Customer portal, many users, limited use: is Glide the right solution?

Asking for a friend. Really.

This friend is considering if Glide is the right platform for the job. Friend is building for a client, a law firm, and client is to use the app to allow its legal clients to upload documents. The law firm has 100s of active legal clients who would be uploading a few documents and updating information about themselves and their cases.

This friend is wondering what plan he could use and his thinking has been as follows:

  • Maker plan: Not suitable because of the limitation on non-corporate email addresses.
  • Team+ plans: If the users of the app were only to be employees of the law firm, then with around 20-40 employees potentially using the app, the cost would be acceptable to the law firm. If the users of the app also included the legal clients (the clients of the law firm), then the cost would be substantially higher (about 1k) and probably out of budget.
  • Idea 1: Use Airtable as an external database, use a solution such as Fillout form (or another) to feed data into Airtable. To me this sounds like an unnecessary technical workaround to circumvent a pricing inconvenience.
  • Idea 2: Forget Airtable, use a form solution and send the data to Glide via API. But here again, to me this sounds like an unnecessary technical workaround to circumvent a pricing inconvenience.

So question: Is Glide not an adequate solution for this type of use case?

A more general question: Is Glide not an adequate solution for a customer portal where the number of users logging in to the portal would be substantial (250+ for instance) and where monthly frequency would be limited (1-2 monthly max)?

I know what I would answer to this 2nd question, but I am curious as to what others might think. Thanks :pray:

Glide is not expensive for a law firm with hundreds of active clients. If your friend is telling you this, he probably is building this for the law firm and he’s too shy to ask them about their actual budget.

If for example, he thinks the team plan might be in their budget, but the business plan is too expensive, both of these plans cost less than one hour of legal work.

In principle I don’t disagree with you, David. “We expect law firms to have money, they can pay.”

But once we get past that, let’s assume that the perceived value to the law firm of 1 client submitting 1 form once is not (random number) $1000 monthly. What then?

Just to give a sense of what real businesses in the US at least spend on software, at Glide we spend over $10k per month on a tool that just tells us the status of our servers. We have 5-10 other tools that we spend around $2-10k per month on each, and this is just productivity stuff.


If the law firm just needs a form for customers to submit files, they should use a simpler tool than Glide if they can find a cheaper one that does what they want.


It’s clear to me that Glide shines in certain settings (many!). For instance, replacing processes with custom software, especially if the team is to create multiple apps.

I was wondering about the use case “customer portal, many users, limited uses per user”. I have heard of people say they build customer portals on Glide, but I’m struggling the see the business case. I was simply wondering if I had missed something.

Hi @nathanaelb, I think I have a plan that would work here. Please schedule a quick meeting with me and I can review the details.

It always depends on the total value of the active customer base. A customer portal for a hot dog stand does not make sense, as the price of a hot dog is less than the price of each user on Glide, so in this case you would want to contact us for volume pricing.

At the other end of the spectrum, we know of apps where the users are investors who have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into the company hosting the portal. In this case, paying $5 for one of those investors to access documents and charts is a no-brainer.

In the case of a law firm with hundreds of clients, where each client pays hundreds of dollars hourly, again this is a no-brainer (Glide is cheap). We pay our law firm an average of $3k per month, so if they had to pay $5 per month for us to log into a portal, they would not think twice.


Hi @nathanaelb out of interest how are you going to deal with files (documents) and the fact that they are accessible via a public url (admittedly you need to have the url)? Interested as we are in prelimanry talks with a law firm and I dont really have an answer/solution to this (I know this particular subject has a feature request). Pasting url links to some form of secure storage isn’t really an option.

Excellent question. I’m sorry but I don’t know what the plan is to address this privacy concern.

I think what the law firm wants is a better/cheaper user experience for a ‘Drop Box’-like functionality. Secure and Simple means of sharing documents.

As an example my accountant uses SafeSend ( ).

In this case it seems there are many options for lawyers (this was written by a vendor) The Best Secure File Sharing Software for Lawyers in 2023 - TitanFile

Buy v Build ? If there are viable, reasonable alternatives - buy. That is why @david pays for his sever management and productivity tools (and probably Atlassian which makes a ton of money!).

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