Parse.com

UPDATE:  parse.com as now been closed and moved to parseplatform.org. I will update the content of this page an move the back-end to this platform

Parse.com was a database in the cloud.  Working with Parse, there are some similarities with scriptDB.

Parse offers some additional cool stuff including
  • Multiple platform API
  • REST API
  • Async, promises based methods.
  • Cloud based coding
  • Dashboard and data viewer
There are some complications though, especially with the free plan.
  • Rate limited .. you need to throttle requests or they will fail
  • Limit to query responses .. you have to work round it
  • Not Caja friendly .. you can’t use the javaScript API  with Google Apps Script HTML service

Comparing with ScriptDB

The best way to compare these two is write the same application using both. I’ll also write clients in javaScript, Google Apps Script and VBA to see how well the integrate and perform. For the javaScript version I’ll use the javaScript API. For the other two I’ll use REST API.  See this blog post for performance comparision of scriptDB and parse.com
Of course Parse.com makes an ideal cloud based nosql database for Excel. Here’s a VBA API, parse.com – nosql database for VBA
You may want to read about these other related database APIs implemented on this site before deciding if parse.com is right for you.

Target application

The data I’m going to use here is the one used in Looking up color table. This is about 10,000 rows so it should give us a decent base to play with. The application will look up the table for matching colors from a given color scheme.

Loading data

First step is to take the data currently on Google Docs Spreadsheet and load it to both scriptDB and Parse.com

Querying the data

Now we can move on to the app itself. We are going to allow querying of data based on various parameters, return what we found in the DB and calculate the color properties of each item returned.

The color schemer explorer

Here’s a finished app that uses parse.com as its data repository
I’ve written a couple of APIS you can use to access Parse