Even Non-Developers Can Create An API Using Popular Form Services, Zapier, and Restlet
02 Nov 2015
I have a notebook of story ideas I can do from any moment, but I find that I foten need some sort of inspiration to kick them off properly. I got that this afternoon in a Tweet from Leah Bannon, reminding me how important it is for me to have stories for non-developers.
Tools that make it easier for non-devs to do stuff with APIs are the most under appreciated and awesome things in tech right now imho— Leah Bannon (@leahbannon) November 3, 2015
There are many tools available right now that let's anyone publish an API, you just have to know the right tools, and right process to get the results you need. Thanks to Zapier, you can connect to the API driven services of a wide variety of cloud tools, and using Google Spreadsheets and Zapier, you can easily store data and content, to be used in a simple API--all without writing any code.
The most useful example of this, is using popular form services like Wufoo, Gravity Forms, Typeform, and Survey Monkey, you can collect just about any information you want, crafting exactly the form and fields you want, then using Zapier you can route the form results to a Google Spreadsheet. Once you have your Google Spreadsheet, you can then easily publish an API, complete with documentation using Restlet's cloud API deployment, and management services.
I'm going to save the detailed how-to for a future post, but I wanted to kick-start, what I hope to be an ongoing series, of simple exmaples of how non-developers can consume and publish their own APIs, without being a programmer. My goal is to help encourage anyone to understand the value of aggregating valuable data and content using Google Sheets, and then allowing it to be put to use anywhere, by deploying an API with Restlet.
If you need help with this example, let me know and I will expedite my next how-to post.
Disclosure: Restlet is an API Evangelist partner.