Airtable vs Google Sheets: What are the differences?
Developers describe Airtable as "Real-time spreadsheet-database hybrid *". Working with Airtable is as fast and easy as editing a spreadsheet. But only Airtable is backed by the power of a full database, giving you rich features far beyond what a spreadsheet can offer. On the other hand, *Google Sheets** is detailed as "Create and edit spreadsheets online, for free". Access, create, and edit your spreadsheets wherever you go—from your phone, tablet, or computer.
Airtable and Google Sheets are primarily classified as "Spreadsheets as a Backend" and "Spreadsheets Online" tools respectively.
Some of the features offered by Airtable are:
- Link Tables
- Fully mobile
On the other hand, Google Sheets provides the following key features:
- Share with anyone
- Edit in real-time
- Chat & comment
"Powerful and easy to use" is the top reason why over 9 developers like Airtable, while over 5 developers mention "Simultaneous shared editing" as the leading cause for choosing Google Sheets.
Coderus, Appian, and White Rabbit Express are some of the popular companies that use Google Sheets, whereas Airtable is used by Zenefits, Hazeorid, and Cookly. Google Sheets has a broader approval, being mentioned in 81 company stacks & 56 developers stacks; compared to Airtable, which is listed in 40 company stacks and 20 developer stacks.
I'm trying to set up an ideally "no- code" way to have a backend of 3 different tables and be able to find a value in table #3 (contains businesses & cities) by first finding a record in table #1 (7,000+ zip codes) that corresponds to a city (table #2 has the unique cities), and then finding which businesses are located in these cities ( in this specific, original zipcode lookup). And return the business and a description via an API to a front-end results page, which happens to be a WordPress page - but doesn't need to be. I've tried Airtable's API, AirPress (a finicky WordPress plugin for Airtable's API), and I've looked at Sheetsu and a similar spreadsheet as backend and a simple API. I run into the issue where they work fine when you just need to query 1 table, but when you need to use the result from that query in another query to a different table. I'm back in SQL land - where sure it could be done with SQLite - needing to probably create an intersection table or a JOIN and build an API off of that. Is there a way to accomplish what I want without going back to SQL queries and some API?
You're right that there isn't a great way to join tables with Airtable's API. The closest you can get is to use a linked record field, which acts as a pointer to another record. You still end up with the problem you mentioned of having to run another query on the second table separately.
Your best bet is to stick with an actual SQL database. Using an ORM should make your life significantly easier so you don't actually have to write raw SQL. If you still want a graphical interface to your data, BaseDash lets you view and edit SQL databases just like Airtable. A full API with join support is coming soon, so that could be your perfect solution to this problem.
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Pros are: easy for collaborative work making use of the cloud storage version history and revert back option VBA scripts compatibility Cons: little slow with very large sheets Chart formats are not so good lacking of excel analytical powers (pivots, conditional formats, etc.)
We use Google Sheets to store the call for speakers proposals received from Google Forms.
Then we use Spreadsheets API to populate a Single Page App for reviewing proposal, vote and sort.
I'm using Google Sheets on a regular basis to plan events, calculate budgets and prices for products and many other eventualities
Simple tracking tool for which customers (CBO's) and districts are on board with the system.
Rich feature set. Enjoyable UX design. Good integrations with several other tools we use.