Google Sheets Connector

The Google Sheets connector allows data to be imported from a Google Sheet into your Squirrel project at runtime. It also gives options for filtering and refreshing that data.

 

Add a Google Sheets Connector to your project by opening the CONNECTIONS drawer in the object browser, select Google Sheets from the dropdown box and click the plus button:

 

The Google Sheets connection will appear in the CONNECTIONS drawer of the object browser. Select it from there to access its properties in the property panel.

 

Google Sheet Share Settings

Prior to linking the Google Sheets connector in Squirrel to the Google Sheet, you will need to ensure that the sharing option of the Google Sheet is set to grant access to anyone using the share link.

  1. Click the Share button at the top of the Google Sheet.

 

 

  1. In the Get Link section, set to ‘Anyone with the link’.
  2. Click ‘Copy link’.
  3. Click the ‘Done’ button.
Caution: Failing to set the Google Sheet sharing settings as above will mean that Squirrel will be unable to create the connection between the project and the Google Sheet.

 

Google Sheets Connector Properties

 

DEFINITION

  • Google Sheets link – This property can be set in two ways:
    • Paste the share link (copied to clipboard in step 3 above) of the Google Sheet into this property field.
    • Bind to a cell in the Squirrel spreadsheet that contains the link to the Google Sheet.

 

Click the Check File button. This will check that Squirrel is able to connect to the Google Sheet via the share link. This process will take a few moments to complete.

Tip: When a link between the Google Sheet and the Squirrel file is made, the data in the Google Sheet is not visible within Squirrel, and this can make it awkward to work with the data. Check out this Seeing Data from a Connector at Design Time article for tips to make this process easier.

 

  • Sheet to use – This property is shown once a successful connection has been made between Squirrel and the Google Sheet. Squirrel extracts the names of the worksheets from the Google Sheet and lists them in the dropdown box. Select a worksheet to import data from.

 

The remainder of the properties for this Google Sheet connector will then appear:

  • Destination – Bind to a cell or range of cells that the data imported from the Google Sheet can be placed into.
Tip: Ensure that the configuration of the destination cells is sufficient and suitable for the amount and format of data being imported e.g if the intention is to import 50 rows of data from two columns, ensure the destination cells cover 50 rows and two columns.

 

Switch to DEBUG mode and open the spreadsheet to see the data populate the destination cells.

Tip: It can take a few seconds or more (depending on volume of data in the Google Sheet) for the data to appear in the Squirrel spreadsheet.

 

FILTERING

This drawer of the properties panel allows for filtering to be performed on the data before it is placed into the destination cells.

  • Filters – Bind this property to cells in the Squirrel spreadsheet that contain filter conditions for the data. It’s helpful to include a column/row title that corresponds to the Google Sheet data titles. Add filter conditions in a cell beneath/adjacent to the header for clarity, for example:

The above example will import data entries that have a Product ID of 7 with a condition of all (*) for the remaining columns, into the yellow destination cells. See the result below:

 

  • Enforce case sensitivity – Check this to ensure that data is also filtered according to case formatting.
  • Exclude first row when filtering – Squirrel will assume that the data in the Google Sheet has headings in the top row and will exclude these from the filtering conditions. The headings will therefore still be displayed followed by the filtered data.
  • Selected columns – In a separate spreadsheet cell, enter a numerical value for the columns that should be imported. Bind the Selected columns property to that cell. In the example above four columns of data have been imported, but this may not always be necessary; use a comma separated list to indicate which columns are required e.g. 2,4 will display only columns 2 and 4 of the filtered data:

 

USAGE

The USAGE drawer of the properties panel allows for some control over how and when the data is refreshed. If the Google Sheets connector is to a Google Sheet that is constantly being updated, then it may be useful to have the Squirrel project update the imported data at regular intervals or in response to triggers in the Squirrel project.

  • Refresh on load – This is the default setting and means that the Squirrel project imports the data from the Google Sheet on project load. Unchecking it will mean that one of the other usage properties will need to be checked in order for the data to be imported.
  • Refresh on interval – Check this file to set a recurring interval. The Squirrel project will import the data from the Google Sheet after each interval. The interval value is measured in seconds, setting it to 30 will ensure that the Squirrel project will pull the data from the Google Sheet every 30 seconds.
  • Refresh on cell change – Bind to a cell that will have its content updated during runtime. This could be caused by the user interacting with a control, input from a data mover function, or the result of a calculation etc. The following example shows a text input label where the user can enter the number of the Product ID that they want to see results for. The value is inserted into cell H2, which is linked to the filter conditions, the change of value in this cell triggers the Squirrel project to update the data from the Google Sheet:

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