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Sparklite for Bubble: Run complex calculations for powerful web apps

If you are building a no-code web app in the world of finance, statistics, or any industry that requires complex data calculations, Sparklite’s new plugin for Bubble is here to help! Sparklite’s no-code API builder and official plugin let you build fast, dynamic calculations into your Bubble app by turning spreadsheet formulas and math into standalone APIs.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://bubble.io/blog/sparklite-for-bubble/
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I am very intrigued by this.

I uploaded a test Excel file to see if the system works. There is only one input, and one output to make it easy.

The input accepts a stock ticker symbol, the excel file then looks up some simple information based on that ticker symbol and returns a basic computation in the output box.

No matter what, when I test the app in the Dashboard of Sparklite, the returned value is always #NAME. I’m guessing since the spreadsheet needs to receive the stock ticker symbol and then retrieve some data based on that, it takes a brief moment to compute and instead Sparklite is returning a value so fast that it’s still NULL. Just a guess.

Or maybe Sparklite doesn’t work with spreadsheets that take an input and then uses that to make a data call to retrieve information before processing the data.

Any insight or help would be great as this is something I would love to implement. My app already works fine, but something like this would take a load off of the workflows and also allow me to retrieve even more complex computations.

Thanks,
Dan

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Hey @underhill.dan :wave:t4: thanks so much for testing Sparklite!

Are you using some kind of a macro to get the stock data?
If so, while we do support those spreadsheets, we don’t support the macros within.

In case you’re fetching the data from an alternative source, please let me know of that too :blush:

Best,
Sourabh
Community Manager, Sparklite

My app uses several paid financial API resources to populate all of the necessary data for my computations. My app does all of the computations internally within workflows and comes up with the proper final data. Everything works well actually.

What intrigues me about Sparklite in this case, is rather than having my app do all of the computations each time via workflows, which only takes between 1-3 seconds, I could potentially reduce the internal stress on the app by simply making an API call to one of several Excel sheets at Sparklite to grab the final data.

The challenge with Sparklite (and it’s nobody’s fault) is that my Excel sheets use the STOCKHISTORY function in one cell. This cell receives a stock ticker symbol. Since Excel sheets are converted to code on the Sparklite side, it is unable to receive a stock ticker from my app into the proper “Xinput” cell, and then make a call with the STOCKHISTORY function to get the raw stock price data back in order to perform subsequent computations in Excel.

Ideally, all that I would need to do is to POST a stock ticker into that cell via API, hit return and STOCKHISTORY populates one sheet with all of the correct data from its own API call. It only takes less than one second, then Excel does all the computations which I could then grab via an API with Sparklite.

Since using a built-in API call within the Excel file that is uploaded to Sparklite is not possible because the file is converted to code, this solution doesn’t work for me. If it WERE possible to use an API call within an Excel file that gets uploaded to Sparklite, then that would be VERY intriguing and potentially powerful to drive data backends to our apps.

Modifying how data is computed can be much easier to accomplish sometimes by just doing it in Excel, rather than modifying workflows within the app as well. I could make changes to the Excel file regarding computations, and the app itself doesn’t have to be touched because it’s just reaching out to Sparklite via API and grabbing the data I want.

Again, my app is working fine, but I’m thinking ahead about scaling up and how a Sparklite-type solution would work if the source Excel sheet COULD process an internal API call for data.

Thanks,
Dan

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Thanks for sharing, Dan (and the context). From what I see based on your conversation with one of my other colleagues, we have added it to a list of our feature requests and hopefully get to working on it soon :wink:

Appreciate your input with these!

Best,
Sourabh

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Wonderful, if you can get it to work then Sparklite could really become a very potent backend for providing computationally intense data to our own apps. Let me know if you have any break throughs and/or want a beta tester.

Best regards,
Dan

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I am trying to build a calculator in bubble but sparklite doesnt support macros ine xcel what is the workaround