Inspiration

I wasn’t familiar with Quick base before this Hackathon. When I saw the potential in connecting Formito to Quick Base, I got started working on an integration where users can send their data to QB tables. While developing the integration, it came to my mind that it would be great to create a converter where users can quickly turn their QB table into a chatbot.

What it does

As I demonstrated in the video, my submission is a 2-in-1 solution:

  1. An integration using QB RESTful API where any chatbot that made on Formito can send their responses to QB. This integration adds a record to a table containing values entered by an end-user.

  2. A converter wizard that gets a table ID and converts it into a chatbot without writing a single line of code. It uses QB RESTful API to get all fields in the table, convert them into a chatbot on top of Formito, and send back responses to the QB table as a record.

Finally, users can share the chatbot using a shareable link, or embed them into their QB app dashboard.

How I built it

Formito is a JavaScript-based application and your RESTful API was the only thing I needed from QB. I started learning your platform by watching a few videos and playing with a couple of app templates. Then read your API documentation and started coding! The integration wasn’t that hard and I built it in a couple of days. But the conversion tool took me about three weeks because Formito hasn’t had this feature before. So, I had to build React components, create API end-point, create a conversion toolkit, etc. But it definitely has worth it.

Challenges I ran into

Extending QB using code pages is still challenging for me. It might be me, but I couldn’t find proper documentation for using code pages. I was hoping to have a client-side enhancement for QB where users can create a chatbot without leaving QB, but without proper toolings such as Babel transpiler or JSX support, it would be very hard to reuse React components.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

The converter components and utility functions I made to make it work are achievements that I’m proud of during this hackathon. I built it with reusability in mind, so it would be much easier to extend this converter to include more tools.

What I learned

There’re always learning points where you work with a new tool or API. QB inspired me to extend Formito and make connections with other tools to eventually build a better experience for users through a one-click converter. Also, by studying your field types I figured out that I need to extend Formito to support more complex data types that have already started.

What's next for QuickBase Chatbot

If Quick Base can build a marketplace for plugins (something like G Suite Marketplace), I would be very interested in building an app/plugin for this marketplace where users can convert their table to a chatbot without leaving QB app builder. My solution would ask users to pick a table, enter their Formito Access Token, and with a click, they’ll get a link to their chatbot.

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