NoCode-Feasibility: OCR-scan + Match with external DB

Hi everyone,

Just recently I attended a NoCode workshop, where glide was introduced. I was really surprised by how powerful it is and am considering to test an idea with it.

The solution should work as follows:

  1. Take a picture of some document with the glide-app, which stores the image. If I am correct the File-Picker-URL will be found in a Google Sheet, which I call sheet#1.

  2. An OCR-solution from another platform vendor will then get access to sheet#1, extracts the text and writes it to another sheet#2.

  3. Then I would like to copy the entries to sheet#3, further manipulate those entries, which means preprocessing/cleaning and joining some more data from a larger external database.

  4. The Glide app should then access this data from sheet#3 again and display some values, feedback text and charts.

Further requirement:
Each user will have their own personal sheets, where the image-URLs as well as all the data will be stored. Of course all the three sheets that are automatically created for each user, must be uniquely associated with that user at all times for later retrieval of the recorded data.

The question is if I can do all of this with a NoCode-stack (if yes, which additional tools would you recommend to automate the task of filling the Google sheets with the relevant data?) or if there is some technical barrier, that would require me to go for a (partly) coded solution anyway. Before diving right into it, I would like to know if my concept would be even feasible on that level. Therefore I would be glad if somebody who has been in the community for a while could tell me right away, if what I want to achieve is doable. If there is something else I should spend some initial thoughts on, before getting stuck during the process, without really finding a way around it, I am also happy to receive any remarks on that.

Thank you so much in advance and stay well!

Cheers,
s1m0n

1 Like

Your number 2 requirement could be the roadblock. I doubt you would be able to fine some kind of API that you could pass in an image and have it OCR the image and return to you the text via a simple http url call from a formula in a cell of a sheet. I’m sure there are 3rd party vendors that could OCR the image but you would have to more than likely have a Google script making those calls.

Thank you so much for your input and for flagging that up.
I am already in contact with a third party vendor and probably will implement some code for that, before solving all the other issues. Let’s assume this issue as solved for now, if nobody else has a NoCode/LowCode-suggestion, that I should check out.

What tools would you recommend for querying the external database?
Also a big thanks in advance for providing input for the other issues.

The only advice I can offer is that glide will not work well if you are planning to have separate sheets for each user. It will work, but you would have to go into the builder and design and add new screens every single time a new user is added. If you decide to change something, you would have to change it for each individual user’s page. Seems counterintuitive to typical database design.

Thanks a lot. It is a big help to know that already at this stage. What a pity that this great tool is not the right solution for my current problem. Hope to be able to realize a project with it soon. Unfortunately I haven’t found any NoCode tool so far, that makes separate multi-user access possible (potentially I am lacking the right vocabulary to find what I need).

Separate multi user access is definitely possible with glide, but it’s all in how you layout your database. Most databases do not add new tables continuously unless it’s for backup purposes. If you can structure your process so you populate existing sheets instead creating new ones, then you wouldn’t run into the problem I highlighted in my previous post. Glide is very strong on per user filtering, so each user can see only their own data.