I used to be a database developer way back when. And I write about this stuff for a living, and know what a REST API is.
However, if I need to be able to do something with a REST API, I won’t use the platform. Mostly because it will take me a long time to figure out this particular implementation of it, since I don’t use it at all in my daily life (since other platforms have point-and-click integrations). And if I go through all the trouble and figure it out, once something changes a month later and I have to go back and fix it, I’ll have forgotten all about how it works and will have to figure it out again from scratch.
Normally, when that happens in a platform, I will stop using it right then and there, even if I’ve put in the initial investment to learn whatever it was. I’m not going to spend an hour or two relearning something each time I want to make a change or fix something.
I’m not opposed to having powerful tools for expert users. And once I use a platform a lot, I do occasionally start writing scripts and using the more powerful features.
But having to do it up front makes for a huge barrier to entry for me.
I guess my ideal option would be to have easy-to-use defaults, and pre-built integrations with the top file sharing platforms. And I don’t want to have to sign up for a third-party service like SheetsU or Zapier because that will create yet another platform for me to try to learn and keep track of, and makes it that much harder to diagnose issues when they arise.
For example, I have some IFTTT workflows set up, that I forgot about. So, say, my blog posts automatically get sent to Twitter. But then something happens, and the integration no longer works, and I’m looking around at Twitter, and looking around at my blog platform, and can’t figure out what’s going on, because I forgot all about the IFTTT connector.
I do want to have an online database platform to use to replace a hodge-podge of Google Docs, Sheets, Wordpress, Filemaker, Dropbox, etc… etc… But if a new platform just forces me to add a bunch of other services that I have to manage, then that’s a deal breaker.
Right now, I’m looking at Zoho, Coda, and AppSheet. They all have significant limitations. AppGyver looks like it can address a lot of their limitations, but it has those big other ones of the difficulty connecting data sources and lack of templates. Ironically, given that AppSheet is owned by Google, they also do a poor job of connecting to Google Sheets. If you need to make changes in table structure, you have to go back to the Google spreadsheet and make them there, then go back to AppSheet and rebuild the database. On the plus side, you can just pick a spreadsheet from a list. You don’t have to use a REST API.