Expose data from a spreadsheet as an API


This tutorial will show you how to create a custom web API that exposes data stored in a spreadsheet created with Google Sheets. Google Sheets section of our User Guide.


To follow this tutorial, you will need:

  • a web browser,
  • 20 minutes of your time,

1Prepare a spreadsheet

Sign in to your Google Drive account.

In this tutorial example, we have a spreadsheet with a worksheet named Contact with the following columns, containing a list of contacts:

  • contactid: primary key
  • firstname: first name
  • lastname: last name
  • age: age

Note: we recommend using lowercase characters from the roman alphabet only for column names.

Add a Contact so that you can retrieve it later when performing an HTTP call to your API. We have chosen to name ours Darth Vader, 46 years old.

Google Sheet

2Configure the Google Sheets Wrapper

Sign in to your Restlet account.

Click on + Entity Store.

Select "Google Sheets wrapper" as a Type and enter a Name for your store. We named ours "mySpreadsheet". Input a Description if you like.

Connect to Google Sheets

Click the Connect to Google Sheets button. A message informs you that the connection has been established.

Create a spreadsheet wrapper

Select the appropriate Spreadsheet from the drop-down menu.

Click on the Add button.

Note: You can connect to another Google account from the creation wizard by clicking the Change Google account button. After you have created your wrapper, you can still choose another Google account or another spreadsheet from your wrapper's Settings tab.

Change Google account

Entities will be created based on the structure of your spreadsheet. One entity will be created for each worksheet.

In this case, a Contact entity was automatically created. Entity properties are created based on the name of the columns in the first row of a worksheet.

From the Wrapper's Overview tab, you can view the new entities.

Entities created

Deploy the Google Sheets Wrapper by clicking on the Deploy button.

3Export a Web API from the Wrapper

From the Wrapper's Overview page, click on the actions button on the right of the Deploy button and select Export web API.

Export web API

Give your new API a name. We named ours myAPI.

Create web API

The domain will be created automatically but may not be available anymore so make sure to adjust it.

Click on Add to create the API. You will be taken to the API's Overview page.

Deploy the API by clicking the Deploy button.

Deploy button

4Invoke the Web API

Using a web API does not impose any particular programming language. It can even be done from a web browser. However, to test your API, Restlet Cloud offers an integration of the Swagger UI that provides a graphical user interface to perform HTTP calls.

From the Overview tab of your API, select the appropriate Endpoint.
From the left panel, click on the Resource and the Method chosen and click on the swagger button.

Try it out!

The Swagger UI opens in a new tab.
Your credentials are pre-filled in the two fields on top of the screen.

Swagger UI

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the Try it out! button to invoke your API.

Swagger Try it out button

Note that any POST requests made to the API will result in new data being created in your spreadsheet. Likewise, any data manually inserted via the spreadsheet is visible via the custom web API.

Restlet Cloud lets you generate custom Client SDKs for your API. Supported environments include Java, Android, iOS and JavaScript (AJAX or Node.js).

Congratulations on completing this tutorial! If you have questions or suggestions, feel free to contact the Help Desk.