Using Python for commercial cloud backup
Using Python for commercial cloud backup. I know, may not make sense immediately, but it does. The new normal for us is moving beyond the traditional Python practices, meaning; we do a) Commercial instead of Free b) Closed Source instead of Open c) Python for Enterprise grade back-end instead of Java or C#
Our Story Enter Smartsheet( https://www.smartsheet.com/welcome-customers-home) a well-respected Enterprise Platform used by 75% of Fortune 100 Companies. It is mainly used for collaborative work management around Project or Sales using a multi-user sheet-like environment or if you like “Excel on steroids”
Introducing us – AcuWorkflow (https://www.acuworkflow.com/smartbackup.html) , a niche company offering services around Smartsheet. We saw a gap in securing Smartsheet data and build a product called SMARTBACKUP(https://www.acuworkflow.com/smartbackup.html) in Python. I hear you, as if the world needs another backup solution. However, the answer lies in what it is solving for. A Sheet within Smartsheet is a multi-faceted object which loses about 60% plus of its recoverable functionality once backed up outside Smartsheet via Smartsheet facilities. Reason being that by enlarge only the data is backed up leaving all of the formatting, formulas, cell links automation rules etc. behind. In reality the things that makes up a Smartsheet-sheet effectively are not backed up.
Our Solution, SMARTBACKUP carve of a portion within Smartsheet called the Vault and then proceed to backup within. This way, restore is a doddle and a near identical copy is guaranteed – all this of course under full/incremental backup control. We did not stop there and proceeded with a complimentary archive solution and innovative export facility.
why Python? To get back to why Python? Initially we were looking for rapid development utilizing the REST API layer provided by Smartsheet. Since we were steep many, many years in Java/C# et al it was our early choice. Fortunately we started experimenting with Python because we needed the smarts brought by Pandas dataframes with binning. When we saw how fast and easily we can consume API’s job done and we continued with a Python only back-end. For the front-end we did not like the typical Python GUI’s and ruled out Django because our requirements called for a nimble app-like UI instead of content-heavy interactions. Seems to us Django would have made a good choice if we had a content-heavy obligation. We settled on Vue.js a reactive SPA framework and the combination of the thread-aware Python back-end with Flask inter-operation really works for us.
the Kicker Here is the kicker for us. We started 3-4 months ago completely new to Python and Vue, let alone some of the peripheries in support. We now have adoption of our platform in some very large Global Enterprises that uses Smartsheet. Future looks bright and we are super happy with our tech choices and the way it performs.