Convert Excel to JSON Using DreamFactory

Excel to JSON Conversion with DreamFactory

If Benjamin Franklin were alive today, some of his his famous words would have instead read, “Nothing is certain but death and taxes and Excel“. Microsoft’s ubiquitous spreadsheet application is as firmly embedded within the corporate world as TPS reports and the reek of a poorly chosen microwavable lunch (I swear it wasn’t fish). Given their prominence, it’s no surprise developers often spend a great deal of time wrangling spreadsheets, and among other questions wonder how to convert Excel to JSON format. Doing so is incredibly useful for a variety of reasons. Among other uses the JSON format would allow you to:

  • Render the spreadsheet within a web page using a JavaScript tabular library such as Tabulator or DataTables.
  • Periodically import the spreadsheet data into a database.
  • Manipulate the spreadsheet data before importing it into any number of other systems or services.
  • Parse the spreadsheet and deliver e-mail or text notifications based on values or thresholds.

The initial use case is particularly critical, because departments often use Excel as a group-based metric reporting tool. Frustration often sets in due to numerous duplicate and outdated versions eventually entering circulation. Of course there are more sophisticated solutions for workbook sharing, SharePoint being chief among them, however adoption of such technologies isn’t as widespread as Excel itself. So how can one go about sanely converting Excel workbooks to JSON?

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Managing Your DreamFactory Instance Using the System APIs

DreamFactory includes a web-based administration console used for performing tasks such as managing APIs, administrators, and business logic. However many users prefer to instead automate administrative tasks through scripting. This is useful for several reasons. First, automation reduces the amount of work required to manage multiple DreamFactory environments. Second, it opens up the possibility of integrating DreamFactory features into third-party applications such as an API monetization SaaS. In this post we’ll demonstrate just how easy managing your DreamFactory instance using the system APIs can really be.

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Synchronizing Database Data Using an API

Synchronizing database data using an API is a topic that comes up repeatedly in conversations with DreamFactory users. The reasons for doing so are many, but perhaps the most commonplace is the need to fill in data gaps found in a new database. For instance, you might wish to periodically consult a customer database and synchronize relevant data with a marketing campaign database. So how might this be accomplished?

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Extending Git with a Custom Command

The DreamFactory development team leans heavily upon Git and GitHub for repository management. Whether it’s DreamFactory Genie, the DreamFactory website, the Getting Started with DreamFactory guide, or the platform itself, you can guarantee the code is managed within a repository. Apparently my own Git usage is such that it dominates my terminal command history, accounting for 32.689% of all commands executed (per the command zsh_stats )! Yet no matter how deep your Git expertise may be, eventually you’ll have to combine commands with shell syntax in order to achieve more complicated tasks. One such example is deleting all locally merged branches. In this tutorial you’ll learn how to do so by extending Git with a custom command.

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Apigee API Generator: Easily Create APIs For Your Apigee Suite

Apigee and DreamFactory

Apigee is great at managing your existing APIs – but how can you bring new technologies into your Apigee suite that lack an appropriate API?

As it happens, DreamFactory is perfectly suited to creating a REST API fast for whatever datasource you need, and it can now be plugged straight into Apigee. In this blog post I will be breaking down how to go from a datasource with no API to having a fully Swagger documented and secure API managed in Apigee in no time, courtesy of DreamFactory’s Apigee API Generator.

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NoSQL vs SQL: Understand the Differences and Make the Best Choice

nosql vs sql
NoSQL vs SQL
The tough choice of NoSQL vs SQL. An important decision for any business that may pay the price for down the road if you don’t plan accordingly. Here, we break down the important distinctions and discuss NoSQL vs SQL for you to make an informed decision.

What is NoSQL

NoSQL or Not Only SQL is an alternative to relational databases such as MySQL, Postgres, and SQL Server. Typically NoSQL databases are popular for working with large sets of data as data is stored in the form of flat collections so reading or writing operations is much faster. There is also less management for NoSQL databases as they support automatic repair, data distribution, and simpler data models. MongoDB, Couchbase, and Cassandra are popular NoSQL databases, but what do their queries look like? If NoSQL is all about leaving SQL behind, then what happens? These are fair questions, for example MongoDB uses its own syntax that kind of resembles JavaScript. Let’s take a look:
db.inventory.find( { status: "D" } )
In the above query the example selects from the inventory collection all documents where the status equals “D”. It is not too difficult to follow, but does feel a little foreign if you are used to SQL.

What is SQL

SQL or Structured Query Language is a language used in programming and designed for managing data held in a relational database management system. Some examples of popular SQL databases are Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, and Postgres. One of many reasons for its popularity is how portable it is. SQL can be used in the program in PCs, servers, laptops, and even some of the mobile phones. Unlike NoSQL databases, SQL databases have an established, well defined standard. The language is also very straightforward, let’s take a look at it:
SELECT * FROM inventory WHERE status = "D"
In the above query the example selects from the inventory collection all documents where the status equals “D”. Sound familiar? That is because it is doing the same thing the MongoDB query is doing.

Which is Better?

This all depends on what your goals are. SQL databases tend to be beneficial for companies that have a clear business structure and do not plan on making many changes to their database structure. If your company has rapid growth or no clear schema definitions then a NoSQL database is the right choice for you. If you’re uncertain about which type of database is best for your business, you can schedule a consultation with one of our experts today.

What if you want to use a SQL database but not learn SQL or the opposite, use a NoSQL database without learning how to handle the data? That is where DreamFactory comes into play, interact with your data without having to learn SQL. In minutes generate an API from nearly any datasource that is fully documented and secure without code. Contact an expert today to learn how to cut development cost and time in half.