Blog Post

Creating a no-code app from a spreadsheet

By: Marco Campana
April 29, 2021

There are many days when I wish I was a techie. I just don't have the intuition. And maybe I could learn if I took coding courses, but... So, I've been experimenting with some no-code tools to see what I can create.

And, I have to admit, it's pretty cool what can be done with a simple spreadsheet on these sites. Here's what I was able to quickly create with one, Open As App.

In this "app" which is embedded below, I took a spreadsheet that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada's (IRCC) Information and Orientation Team a (SIP Branch) created. They conducted a scan of settlement-related videos for newcomers to Canada. These videos address a variety of themes such as housing, employment, language, Canadian law and citizenship. You may wish to use some of the videos in the context of your group orientation work. Please note this app is not affiliated with IRCC in any way. It simply presents the data they compiled in a new format.

Settlement-related videos for newcomers to Canada (March 2021)

You can also view the app via this direct link.

I created this quickly on the Open as App site to see how intuitive it was. It was super easy and while I'm sure there are many more things I could do with it, being able to transform a large spreadsheet into a more usable view that works as well on desktop as it does on mobile is pretty cool.

I also created a no-code app using Glide. I'm unable to embed it here, but you can view it online. Here's a screenshot of what it looks like:

Screenshot of Glide app of settlement-related videos.

What is a no-code app?

Open as App has a great overview article I encourage you to read.

There is also a distinction between no-code and low-code approaches. Here are a couple of useful explainer articles:

No-code (or Zero-code)

"Zero code is a tool that allows you to build software, web applications, smartphone apps, and more without having to know how to code. To build your perfect software, simply drag and drop the readymade building blocks. Apps can be built without writing any code manually. This software elevates the production team’s capabilities, allowing you to produce designs in beast mode with drastically reduced errors."

Low-code

"Low-code is a software development approach that requires little to no coding to build applications and processes.

Instead of using complex programming languages, you can employ visual interfaces with basic logic and drag-and-drop capabilities in a low code development platform. Users with no advanced knowledge of coding or software creation may use these intuitive techniques to build software for several purposes, such as creating mobile and business applications.

As they are a quick and simple alternative to conventional software development, these platforms have grown in popularity. A low-code framework can be used by technical and “citizen developers” (non-professional development) to build applications of a wide variety to fulfill market demands for growth, simplify processes, and facilitate digital transformation.

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