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Create CSV-Connected Business Apps in AppSheet

Use the CData Cloud Hub to connect to CSV from AppSheet and build custom business apps using live CSV data.

AppSheet provides a no-code development platform for application software, which allows users to create mobile, tablet, and web applications. When paired with the CData Cloud Hub, you get instant, cloud-to-cloud access to CSV data for business applications. This article shows how to create a virtual database for CSV in Cloud Hub and build a simple app from CSV data in AppSheet.

The CData Cloud Hub provides a pure MySQL, cloud-to-cloud interface for CSV, allowing you to build reports from live CSV data in AppSheet — without replicating the data to a natively supported database. As you create applications to work with data, AppSheet generates SQL queries to gather data. Using optimized data processing out of the box, the CData Cloud Hub pushes all supported SQL operations (filters, JOINs, etc.) directly to CSV, leveraging server-side processing to quickly return the requested CSV data.

Create a Virtual MySQL Database for CSV Data

CData Cloud Hub uses a straightforward, point-and-click interface to connect to data sources and generate APIs.

  1. Log into Cloud Hub and click Databases.
  2. Select "CSV" from Available Data Sources.
  3. Enter the necessary authentication properties to connect to CSV.

    The DataSource property must be set to a valid local folder name.

    Also, specify the IncludeFiles property to work with text files having extensions that differ from .csv, .tab, or .txt. Specify multiple file extensions in a comma-separated list. You can also set Extended Properties compatible with the Microsoft Jet OLE DB 4.0 driver. Alternatively, you can provide the format of text files in a Schema.ini file.

    Set UseRowNumbers to true if you are deleting or updating in CSV. This will create a new column with the name RowNumber which will be used as key for that table.

  4. Click Test Database.
  5. Click Privileges -> Add and add the new user (or an existing user) with the appropriate permissions.

With the virtual database created, you are ready to connect to CSV data from AppSheet.

Connect to CSV in AppSheet

The steps below outline connecting to the CData Cloud Hub from AppSheet to create a new CSV data source.

  1. Log into AppSheet
  2. Click "My account" in the menu
  3. Click the Sources tab and add a new data source
  4. Select Cloud Database and set the connection information
    • Type: MySQL
    • Server: the endpoint for your instance, including port, for example, myinstance.cdatacloud.net:3306
    • Database: the virtual database, for example, CSV1
    • Username: a Cloud Hub user with permissions for the database
    • Password: the password for the Cloud Hub user
    • SSL: Require SSL
  5. Click "Test Connection"
  6. Click "Authorize Access"

Create an App

Once you create the data source for CSV, you can start building apps on CSV data. Start by clicking "My apps" in the menu.

  1. Click to create a new app and select "Start with your own data"
  2. Name the app and select an appropriate category, based on your data
  3. Select the newly created data source (e.g., database-1)
  4. Select the table or view with the data you want

At this point, you can configure the design of your app, selecting which columns from the selected table to display, use as labels, and more. Preview the app in the preview panel and then publish or share it when ready.

To get SQL data access to 150+ SaaS, Big Data, and NoSQL sources directly from your cloud applications, try the CData Cloud Hub.