Are there any opensource tools for managing data entry (that can be programmatically customized and communicate with other programs)?

We are currently using google sheets to allow certain users (with certain domain knowledge, but no programming knowledge) to add and edit table records. These tables are then used to update a directory page in a web app written in ruby. The problem is that using google sheets for data entry, does not allow for custom programming such as input validation logic or using a list of prime keys to exclude these table rows being uploaded to the web app.

Suggestions or work-arounds would be appreciated. Thanks.

  • What does "problematically customized" mean? Commented Nov 16, 2017 at 20:02
  • @Kodiologist Sorry, meant to spell "programmatically" Commented Nov 16, 2017 at 20:54

2 Answers 2


You could have your users write simple files with a text editor, XML editor, or JSON editor, or have them write spreadsheets in a spreadsheet program (such as Microsoft Excel or LibreOffice Calc) and save them as CSV. Then, have them submit the data file with a program you've written that performs whatever validation logic you want.


You could upgrade easily to use a google form, which offers some limited validation and posts data (once validated) into a google sheet. https://gsuite.google.com/learning-center/products/forms/get-started/

If you want a more professional / more tailored solution then this could be created in many different open source tools. This is called "application development" and does require some time invested in learning how to use the tools.

It is also likely that you would want to move your data storage off google sheets and into an open source database.

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