@Buglouse, I understand. My background is actually as a database systems professor and then worked for almost a decade at Microsoft in the SQLServer team. So I do understand why one would choose a SQL database and sympathize with those reasons.
A few comments though:
*) if you have your data in a database, then all updates are always going to go thru some app. So if you’re going to build apps for all users anyway, then you might achieve the same outcomes building those apps on AppSheet and the backend doesn’t matter as much. Another way of saying this is — if your followed the same patter but left your data in Excel, all updates would be executed by AppSheet and things would not get overwritten.
*) Google Sheets is really an excellent product and very successful. I doubt it is getting discontinued. You could always export and move at that time if so.
*) Yes, we decided to move database integration to the business subscription. Why? Because the primary use cases for a database involve developers (business users are unlikely to every figure out SQL queries) and usually it is because of scale or transaction requirements or integration with some other database-centric system or … these are typically business scenarios of higher value. The case of a simple low-value low-scale app that must put its data in a SQL database is not very common.
*) In the prior pricing model, with 150 users and the PRO plan (that used to have SQL integration), you’d have been paying $1,500 * 12 = $18,000. You’re in identical territory with a business subscription today. So I don’t quite get why the pricing is driving your decision.
I don’t want to do a hard sell, but I hate it when a customer is happy with the platform but leaves perhaps without fully exploring the options. If you like, you could send some details of what you’re planning to email@example.com (please do cc me at firstname.lastname@example.org).