Posted on 08-25-2014
Electronic search engine APIs Octopart developed a pretty slick Microsoft Excel plugin for their API a while back, and have now taken it to the next level, with a Google Spreadsheet connector for their API. You can find a simple video on on their site, and the code on Github.
Using the open source Google Spreadsheet API connector, you can connect to the latest electronic parts pricing and availability in your Google Docs, kept up-to-date using the Octopart API—providing a pretty interesting way to maintain a bill of materials (BOM), across multiple providers.
Octopart's approach to using both Microsoft Excel, and Google Spreadsheets as an interface for the average business person is pretty interesting, not because it is the perfect technological solution, but because it brings the value of APIs closer to the actual business problem owners.
Octopart helped increase my awareness of spreadsheets being in conjunction with APIs, but after seeing other providers like Twilio using Google Spreadsheet for storing SMS, and the increased usage of API reciprocity providers like Zapier, making me think spreadsheets have quite a future in the API space.
What innovative uses of Microsoft Excel or Google Spreadsheets are you seeing in conjunction with common, or even unique APIs?
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