When you decide to create an app for your business, or you want to automate your processes, the first thing you’ll need is a database. The problem is that there are tons of no-code database options, from simple spreadsheets to those with advanced features and granular control.
And you know what this means, right?
So many potential complications!
Today, we’ll show you how Airtable, Google Sheets, and sheet.best compare when it comes to powering your app.
Let’s dive in!
Quick Breakdown: Airtable vs. Google Sheets + sheet.best
|Features||Built as an online database. You’ll get everything you need to build a database, including filtering and custom data views.||Built as the online version of Excel. Sheets is hard to automate without third parties, but take a peek on the right!||If your data is in Google Sheets, just convert it into a REST API with sheet.best. From there, plug it into any app you’d like!|
|Ease of use||2/5. Airtable tries to do a lot of things at once, so it’s hard for a beginner to use it for no-code automation.||5/5. Old school. Sheets is very similar to Excel and even offers the same formulas.||It takes two clicks to generate your API.|
|Pricing||Freemium available. Paid plans from $10/user/month.||Free. Only pay for storage once you exceed your quota.||Get started for free. Paid plans start from $9.99/month for up to 15k requests/month.|
The Contenders: Airtable vs. Google Sheets vs. sheet.best
While Google Sheets is, in its simplest form, an online spreadsheet, Airtable takes its features further and is more of an online database. As such, it provides many features that make managing and interacting with your data simpler.
By now, you’ve gotten familiar with Google Sheets. It brings the features you’d typically find in Microsoft Excel to an online platform and offers extensive collaboration features. So, you can use it to create, edit, and share spreadsheets quickly and easily.
sheet.best is neither a database nor a spreadsheet. Rather, it’s a tool that supercharges your spreadsheets so that you can use them for almost any purpose imaginable via API.
The Differences Between Airtable and Google Sheets
You’ll notice that while we’re comparing three different tools, we’ll deal only with two at first. Before you understand how the third comes in, you must understand the differences between Airtable and Google Sheets.
Data Views: Airtable vs. Google Sheets
Google Sheets is all about spreadsheets, so it looks similar to Microsoft’s Excel, the most popular spreadsheet app. As a result, more people feel comfortable using it, and there aren’t many new features users could struggle with.
In short: Google Sheets is old-school.
In contrast, Airtable has flashier visuals compared to Google’s offering. Apart from showing your data like a regular spreadsheet, the tool gives various other ways to display and interact with your data.
However, Google Sheets will do if you only need a place to store your data. For example, it’d be simpler to manage inventory in Sheets than in Airtable.
While Google Sheets is more familiar to more people, it has yet to be improved to the same extent as other modern tools.
Airtable has many features that Google Sheets simply doesn’t offer, including automation and filters, which make it much easier to turn Airtable into your CRM database, for example.
Collaboration in Airtable vs. Google Sheets
Google Sheets is well known for the collaboration features it offers, including:
- Real-time updates and commenting
- Granular file sharing
- Access control
And more! Moreover, Google offers these features to more than 100 collaborators, even on the free tier.
Airtable aims to take collaboration even further. So, it offers more features, views, and ways to interact with data as a team. Included in these features are:
- Calendar views
- Real-time editing
- Revision history
Ultimately, when comparing these two tools on collaboration features, they’re quite evenly matched.
Are Airtable and Google Sheets Suited to No-Code Development?
When it comes to no-code features, Airtable takes a significant lead compared to Google Sheets. This is simply because, at its core, Google Sheets is a simple spreadsheet. So, while you can use Sheets as a no-code database, it does lack some vital features.
Conversely, with its range of features and built-in features, Airtable is more like a database than a spreadsheet. For example, it allows you to:
- Link records across tables
- Use flexible field types to store different types of data
- Use more complex data models
- Easily interact with your data.
Airtable also enables you to build your own no-code solutions using the data stored in the platform.
As mentioned earlier, most people are familiar with Google Sheets, and it’s relatively straightforward to use.
Conversely, because Airtable offers many other features, different views, built-in automations, and other options, it’s more complicated to use than Sheets. It also comes with a steeper learning curve, so you’ll take longer to get up to speed than with Google Sheets.
With all its features and functionality, Airtable has a significant drawback – it can be pretty pricey.
The tool offers a free plan, but it’s severely limited. If you’d like a usable option for no-code development, you’ll need to opt for one of the paid plans.
Here, on the Plus plan, you’ll pay $10 per user per month. If you’d like more features, this price goes up to $20 per user per month for the Pro plan. Also, it’s important to remember that these prices are quoted based on annual billing. If you pay monthly, you’ll end up paying more.
Conversely, Google Sheets is free. You’ll only need a Gmail address to get started. The only con is that, with the free plan, you’ll get limited storage. Once you fill your quota, you’ll need to upgrade.
Is Airtable the Better Option for No Code?
Based on the above, you might think that Airtable is the better option if you’d like to create a no-code database.
However, it’s not all good news.
For example, while you can build efficient workflows with Airtable, its automation features aren’t as powerful.
(Now’s a good time to remember what I said: we need to talk about the first two tools to see where the third really comes in.)
Turn Your Google Sheets into a No-Code Database with sheet.best
The problem with Google Sheets is that it doesn’t allow for automation, but it’s easy to use. Airtable is expensive and hard to use.
So, what do you do?
You plug your Google Sheets into sheet.best and get a REST API you can use anywhere:
There’s not a learning curve like with Airtable. If you love your Google Sheets spreadsheets – hey, more power to you!
Ultimately, you’ll be able to use your Google Sheets as the database of any no-code development or automation project:
- Web or mobile app backend
- Inventory management
- Workflow automation
- Content management
- Customer relationship management
Another major benefit of turning your Google Sheets into APIs is that there’s no platform lock-in.
When using Airtable, your data is stored and managed in the platform. With a sheet.best API, you can use your data wherever you’d like.
To learn more about sheet.best and how it can help you turn your spreadsheets into data powerhouses, get started for free today!