Excel and Google Sheets are both the leading spreadsheet programs out there. And while they might seem very similar, there are quite few advantages in utilizing Google Sheets with iPaper’s Enrichment Automation.
Excel is a great tool to get you started, though it has one big disadvantage when using it with iPaper: The data is static and not dynamic. This means you need to re-upload Excel files to make changes via Enrichment Automation, which might limit your options for having a fully automated flipbook.
Here's where Google Sheets comes into play.
What are the benefits of using Google Sheets?
No Stale file handing
Google Sheets operates on the cloud, which can be accessed via a URL.
As there are no files, the data can be now considered as dynamic.
You can change fields and update information whenever you need. This also opens up the opportunity to use add-ons from the Google Workspace Market, to make your data even more automated. Having a document on the cloud can also allow you to collaborate and contribute in real time.
Enables option for auto-update
With dynamic data, you can reprocess your flipbook automatically once a day, to make sure your flipbooks are updated with the current information.
Drawbacks and security
Using Google Sheets is a great step into getting an automated flipbook with dynamic data. Although this workflow still demands manual work on from your side, which might be cumbersome at some point.
If you have access to exportable data from a system, or a dynamic product feed, we recommend using that instead.
As a Google Sheet is accessed via a public URL, your data is openly available.
Just to keep in mind that your documents are hidden behind an obscure URL which is still very hard to crack and might be secure enough.
If this is something your IT team is not sure about, we recommend using other sources of data that can be protected via a password
How to use it
Inside the document, click on share and make sure it's set to Anyone with the Link.
A restricted link will not work.
If you have uploaded an Excel file into Google Drive, make sure to convert it into a Google Sheet first: Right-click → Open With → Google Sheets
Append file extension in the URL
To be able to use it in the Enrichment automation, we must specify the file extension.
To do that simply append export?format=xlsx at the end of the URL.
Reach out to us
If this is the first time you'll be using a Google Sheets/dynamic data Automation, we might need to adjust some settings, make sure to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, so we can help you set it up.
If you have no data and are looking for where to start, make sure to download one of our Enrichment Automation templates here: