Add a Google Sheet to a Glide App

So I created my app using only Glide tables with the help of many experts in this forum :pray: :pray: But after reading some more posts, it looks like I should have kept a Google Sheet attached to my app “just in case.”

  1. Why would I need a Google Sheet if it’s working with Glide tables?
  2. How can I add/recreate the app with a Google Sheet link?

Thanks!

Currently there is no way to attach a google sheet if you created your app based on glide tables only. If I’m doing small side projects, I’ll still create apps based on glide tables only, but if I were to tackle something big and complex, I would probably base it on a Google sheet, but still build most everything in glide tables.

The only reason to base your app on a Google sheet would be if you ever thought that you might need (currently or in the future) some logic that can only be accomplished in a google sheet, such as google scripting or some google add-ons, etc. Or you wanted some assurance that your data is not exclusively in glide.

My primary app was built on Google sheets back before we had glide tables or even the glide data editor. One thing I have is a Google script that runs weekly to create a timestamped backup of my sheet. That way I’m comfortable knowing that my data is recoverable if I ever need to refer to a backup. Others have used scripting to backup and cleanup old data in there sheets to keep row usage to a minimum. There’s also integrations with other third parties between google sheets and those third parties to pull in data automatically or move data back and forth.

I have an app that exploits an open API for the reservation system of one of my favorite campgrounds. This lets me pull in current data of all available campsites for a large date range. Then I filter it down to only show campsites that are available on both a Friday night and a Saturday night so the whole weekend is open. It’s a hard campground to get into, so this makes it super easy to see those last minute cancellations and snag the reservation.

If you are comfortable that you can currently accomplish everything on glide tables, now and in the future, then you should be fine. Just consider what your current and future needs might be. I would hope that someday we will be able to attach a google sheet to an existing app. Especially with all of the new data sources that are being offered to us. It would be useful to be able to attach multiple data sources or switch data sources. Currently we can switch to a different Google sheet if the app is already attached to a google sheet.

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Thank you for such a detailed answer! My app will contain options trade transactions, but it all writes to a Glide table. A backup would be nice so that means Google integration. Does that also mean I need to write all my data to a Google sheet for the backup? I assume so. Do you know if Glide offers backups of their user’s tables?

So then is it possible to have a Google-based app, but use custom columns in Glide along with the Google sheet? I feel silly because this was something I wish I would have thought of earlier. I just don’t want to have to remake the app, but at the same time I don’t want to be limited by my earlier choices.

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Settings->Data->Export App Data

You mean computed columns?
Yes, sheet based tables are no different from Glide tables in that respect. However one thing to be aware of is that Glide computed columns only exist in Glide - you will never see them in the Google Sheet. But that’s rarely a problem, and if for any reason you need the computed data in the Google sheet, then there are ways to get it there.

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In my honest opinion, Glide should add the ability to link a Google Sheet after a Glide Table-only app is created. If there’s a technical reason that that is completely impossible, it should be explained or highlighted when the user creates a new app so that users aren’t stuck having to start from scratch if/when they realize they need a specific sheets-based function.

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Agree!

Thank you! @Darren_Murphy @Jeff_Hager @kyleheney So if my app contains months and months of trade data for my users, in your opinion would this have been better setup in a Google Sheet?

I guess after reading the Glide Table Summary Glide table - full app building summary - #9 by Gerard_Fernandez it seems like Glide’s purpose of creating tables was to be able to create an app without Google Sheets. So if it can be done without Google, then great do it without Google - which is my case. So I guess that answers my dilemma? Or am I missing something else?

That entirely depends. I couldn’t say either way. It really depends on your situation, but just know that it is easier to address any major changes before your app becomes too large and complex. If you consider building a new app, you can create it attached to a google sheet. You can also still use your existing glide tables in that app and only use the Google sheet if needed, but you would have to rebuild any computed columns. You also have the option of exporting your existing data, load it into a google sheet, and then make that sheet the source of your new app.

The upside of having data in a google sheet is everything I explained in my earlier post. The downside is the extra overhead of data having to sync between the google sheet and Glide’s copy of that sheet data. Or any lag in waiting for any data that updates via the Google sheet to migrate to glide. Also, a google sheet obviously needs to be part of a google account, whereas glide tables don’t require a google account. Glide tables are simpler to manage since everything is in glide and doesn’t need to sync with outside databases. They are also becoming more and more powerful.

And since you mention trades. Keep in mind that Google sheets provides easy access to Google finance data, but with a lot of the new code columns, there are probably other ways to get that data.

If you choose one way or the other, just know what the pros and cons are for both and be open to working with whatever limitations you encounter with either option along the way. These days I rarely do anything in Google sheets. Pretty much all of my logic is in glide tables, but I also don’t venture to far with scripting or third parties like integromat or Zapier. I choose whether or not to use a Google sheet based on how I intend to work with the data in the long run.

It’s kind of a vague answer, but hopefully it helps you consider and think about your options.

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That does help, thank you. As I’m looking for a better (faster) user experience, I think I’ll stick with Glide since:

  1. It works very well now in Glide
  2. It’ll be faster to not have to sync with Google
  3. I don’t foresee any more complexity being built on my app
  4. Glide’s effort to add new features makes me more confident that whatever I may need, I’ll probably be able to answer it using Glide’s features
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