Google Forms can be used as a data source through the Google Forms AppSheet add-on, which automatically converts a Google Form to an AppSheet app. It does this in two steps:
- Prepare analyzes the form and takes information from the form questions and adds it to the response spreadsheet as notes on the column headers.
- Launch creates an AppSheet app from the response spreadsheet.
Understand that the AppSheet service cannot access the form directly; only the add-on (web component running in your browser) can access the form.
Caveats and limitations
Stuck on Analyzing step
Due to a limitation in Google Forms, AppSheet assumes that your response sheet is the first sheet in your workbook. If your response sheet is not the first sheet, the add-on will be stuck on the Analyzing step. Ensure that the first sheet in your workbook is your response sheet.
Add or move questions
If you add new questions or move existing questions around, the order of columns in the response spreadsheet may no longer correspond to the latest form content. You'll need to create a new response spreadsheet (using the Responses menu), Prepare, and then Launch again.
Choose AppSheet types
You may want to use AppSheet column data types like
Signatures, and so on, but they can't be specified in a Google Form. So what can you do? The simple approach is to specify a question as being of
Text type and use a question title suggestive of the type (for example,
Customer Photo or
Manager Signature). AppSheet tries to automatically guess the type based on these titles. You can also change the type yourself in the Data > Column Structure tab of the app editor.
Images and videos
Google Forms can contain embedded images and videos. Although AppSheet forms can as well, the Forms add-on is unable to extract embedded image and video data during the automatic app creation process. These fields will be given variable URLs in the generated app that you should update in the app editor with correct URLs pointing to your image or video content. If you intend to use a YouTube video, provide the
embed link, for example:
Google Forms has a powerful mechanism to chain sections together using a "go-to-next" navigation model tied to answers of specific questions. At the end of every section, you can also specify to jump to another section or submit the form.
AppSheet uses a different mechanism. In AppSheet, you can specify a conditional expression that controls whether a form page should be shown. The Forms add-on attempts to automatically generate the appropriate expressions based on the structure of your form.
Most form navigation can be correctly converted to AppSheet apps automatically, but there are three main limitations:
- Reverse navigation is not supported by AppSheet. Try to arrange your form such that all navigation proceeds to higher section numbers.
- In Google Forms, you can include a special Other option for Multiple choice questions and assign it specific navigation behavior. However, the navigation associated with this choice is not made available to the AppSheet add-on. We recommend avoiding use of Other on questions where Go to section based on answer is enabled.
- There is a practical limit to how much branching navigation can occur in a single form. Part of the process of converting to AppSheet's
Show_Ifnavigation model requires building the set of all distinct paths through the form. The total number of paths through a form can quickly become unmanageable when there are many sections with redundant navigation options, such as multiple questions in the same section that can send the user to the same place. Therefore, we strongly recommend using at most one navigating question per section, and marking these required whenever possible. Note that when more than one navigating question occurs in one section of a Google Form, only the last answered question will affect navigation anyway, and any others will be ignored.
For more information about building conditional branching forms in Google Forms and in AppSheet, see Create multi-page forms with conditional branching.
Questions in Google Forms have Advanced options that let you constrain the type of the response. This information is unfortunately not made available to the add-on. However, you can explicitly set up equivalent behaviors in the app editor.
Google Forms has a convenient feature that shows a statistical distribution of responses. Unfortunately, this does not capture responses made using the AppSheet app. Although the underlying response spreadsheet has all the responses, the statistics are only measured on changes made through the Google Form itself. However, Google Sheets has the Explore feature that serves a similar purpose, found using the plus button at the bottom right of the Google Sheet. Click on the Explore button in your response sheet to automatically get insights into your form responses.
If you have
formSubmit triggers on the spreadsheet, they do not fire when updates are made via AppSheet. As with
onEdit triggers, we recommend moving this logic to a timed trigger.
If your Google form has a
Scale question with just two choices, there is a bug in Google AppScript that causes the AppSheet add-on to fail. In any case, a
Scale question with just two choices isn't very meaningful, so we advise changing it to have at least three choices or switching to another question type.
Grids are not supported.