Glide Tables or Google Sheets for the Glide Template Store?

I’m looking for some pointers on the best way to start with this…

I’m working on my first app for the Glide store which is tightly focussed on a particular niche, and our potential customers are not tech savvy, so it’s important that it works right away for them when they purchase it.

All they will have to do is swap out the dummy content with their own, so we don’t need the extra layer of complexity of a Google Sheet.

Usually I work by adding and formatting content into a Google Sheet which is fine for my own projects as it is only me who is managing the content. And where needed I can share the sheet with some of my collaborators.

But this is the first time I am going to build something for other people.

The last Glide project I built was during lockdown 1.0 and in that time Glide has come on leaps and bounds and now has its own spreadsheet.

The thing is, during the initial onboarding of creating a new app in the dashboard it is asking me to make a choice of data source and it seems that once that choice is made it cannot be undone.

If I choose Google Sheets as it’s easier (and quicker) for me to create the dummy content for my app, and collaborate with my helpers, my instinct is telling me this could be a bad choice for the end user as I don’t want Google Sheets to get in their way, i.e. another thing for them to sign up to and manage.

Also, if I choose Glide Tables then I can’t see where I can import data from a Google Sheet.

Any ideas on the best way to approach this would be deeply appreciated, thank you.

I’ll prefix my comments by admitting that I don’t have any templates in the Glide store, so I’m probably not the best one to advise. But…

If they have any more than a few rows of data to swap in - and you choose Glide Tables, then this will be quite a chore. Because as you’ve noticed, there is no easy way to get large amounts of data into Glide Tables. Even getting your dummy data out will be a manual process.

If you search the forum, you’ll find a few workarounds that people have come up with, but that’s all they are - workarounds. And nothing that you could reasonably expect a template purchaser to have to grapple with. Especially if they are expecting a plug and play experience.

As you’ve also noted, once you decide to go one way or the other there is no going back. In my view, it’s always a safer choice to start with a Google Spreadsheet, even if you don’t actually use it. At least then you are keeping your options open. I shared some of the reasons why I always do this here.

But again, I don’t put my apps through the store, so I could be way off base.


Thank you Darren, there’s certainly some food for thought there, appreciated!

Plug and play is key here and there will be more than a few rows to swap out but I feel if the tables and their columns are explicitly named then it’s just a case of systematically going through everything and changing stuff.

They can always hire me if they can’t be bothered, or it’s more of a challenge for them than they expected. I plan to offer a structured & clear tariff of services if they need my help.

I haven’t tested it yet, but I saw somewhere in the forum that the data in Glide’s own table even if you have a Google Sheet as the origin source, is not synched.

So that got me thinking of starting out with Google and then disconnecting it when I’m done in the hope that all of the data is captured in Glide’s own tables.

This was probably referring to Glide computed columns (which includes User Specific columns), which only ever exist in Glide.

I’m afraid that won’t work. Once you disconnect the Google Sheet, then Glide loses all the data in the sheet and any components that use that data will become dysfunctional.


Damn! Cheers anyway Darren, I’ve got a lot of thinking to do now!

1 Like

I recommend using Glide Tables. Soon we’ll add more data sources like Excel and Airtable, and people interested in those will not want a Google Sheets template. They may not even be able to use Google at all.

Templates that only use Glide Tables will eventually rank higher in the Template Store, because every Glide user can copy them.


:thinking: @david would you suggest that I recreate all my existing templates to use Glide tables?

1 Like

@david Thank you. My instinct is to use Glide Tables for these particular templates given the target market.

So I might create all dummy content off-Glide in Google as it is easier to work in, and then cut & paste it over.

The other data sources idea is interesting because that opens up a door for authors to create different versions of their templates?

I think the important thing is the ability to add or remove data sources from existing apps instead of having to commit right from the beginning. Right now we have to decide if we may or may not need to use a google sheet in the future.

If you start an app as a ‘glide tables only’ app, then there is no way to ever attach a google sheet if you later determine that you need some backend processing that can only happen in google sheets. The only option is to completely rebuild a new app from scratch that’s attached to a google sheet from the very beginning. Because of that, the common recommendation in the forum is to always build apps that are connected to google sheets, in the event that you may need it in the future.

On the flip side, once an app is connected to a google sheet, it’s easy to change the sheet source, but there is no way to remove the google sheet altogether. Because of that, you are stuck with that second data source, even if you know you won’t need it. Plus, non-google users will be unable to copy the app as a template.

You don’t know what you don’t know, so the common practice is to play it as safe as possible and pick the option to have both glide tables and google sheets just in case you need it. Of all the pros and cons of choosing whether you want a ‘glide table only’ or a ‘google sheet’ app…choosing to go with the google sheet option usually wins out with the most pros and the least detrimental cons.

If there is going to be more data sources in the future, I think there needs to be a way to attach or detach those various data sources. People with different needs are going to have different data requirements. If a template is built as a ‘glide table only’ app, then will somebody want it if they can’t attach it to a google sheet, excel, or airtable? It might not be apparent to them when they purchase a ‘glide table only’ app, and later hit a roadblock because they discover that there is no current way to attach to another data source, such as a google sheet. Or, they purchase a template and discover that there is no way to remove a Google sheet data source if they don’t want it.

Maybe this is all in the works and will be revamped in the future, but I want to stress why many users build templates with google sheets attached. 0% to 10% of the app may actually use the google sheet, but at least it’s there if someone who purchases a template needs it down the road. We have to make those decisions from the very inception of the app. We can’t change our minds later if we decide that we do or don’t want to include a google sheet as part of the app.

Just also thinking about corporations that switch from Google to Microsoft and vice versa. Should they rebuild apps from scratch when they switch, or should it be simple enough to switch a data source between google or excel? Minor corrections are a lot easier to deal with when switching data sources compared to rebuilding an entire app.


Thank you @Jeff_Hager for the detailed response and you raise a few questions that perhaps only Glide can answer right now. In the current onboarding, when you start a new project, they are gauging the demand for other data sources, so I am sure they are mindful of all the potential pitfalls etc.

For my apps, the target market is people are who are perhaps not that familiar with Google Sheets. I spoke with one client recently and although he has had a Google account via Gmail for many years he has never used their Sheets or other Drive products.

He may or not be typical of my market, I haven’t done enough research as I’m going on my instincts.

My apps are not complex, they are mainly a way to structure and highlight important info and content for a specific use case, with basic listings and a simple store for upsells. Nothing fancy that would need a Google Sheet, and I don’t envisage my target market ever having the need to hook up a different data source.

Also, there’s the question of ownership of the Google Sheet? If I provide the apps with Google as the data source then how does that work when the Pro template is widely distributed?

That’s a bit of a grey area for me.

I’m guessing that the fact my data source will be proprietary to Glide, and not open like Google Sheets, then it reduces the attraction for commercial no-coders to buy the template to rebrand it and pass it off as their own?

1 Like

My understanding is that when you purchase a template that uses a Google Spreadsheet as a source, then a copy of that Spreadsheet is made in your own Google account. Which means (I believe) that a Google Account is required in order to use templates based on Google Sheets.

I believe that Glide have a mechanism in place to prevent this. ie. it’s not technically possible to buy a template, modify it slightly and re-submit it as another template.


Thank you @Darren_Murphy :+1:

The fact they may need a Google Account in order to get up and running is a big no no for me!

I’m hoping that the Glide team are planning some visual management tools for their data source, I can envisage a nice flyout panel from the side of the screen that enables us to cycle through records in a stacked arrangement (rather than linear as currently) and have more space to view and change content, particularly rich text and photos, maps etc.

Something just occurred to me - in your topic title you referred to the “Glide App Store”. In all my replies I’ve been assuming that you’re referring to the Template Store - there really is no such thing as a Glide App Store, and certainly not in the same sense as the App Stores for IOS/Android.

One thing I should point out which you may not have realised is that the Glide Template store is primarily a resource for app developers, and not so much for app users. The idea with templates is they give Glide app developers a kick start. You purchase a template, which is downloaded into your own Glide account, and you then customise it to your own needs.

Based on your comments, I’m wondering if the template store isn’t what you think it is?


Sorry, I meant Glide Template Store, I’ll correct that in a moment.

The Template store, looking at it now, does seem to suggest that it is only for developers with the headline: Why build when you can copy?

I hadn’t noticed that before :wink:

I was viewing it through the prism of a company looking for a solution for their business.

That said, I can’t see what would stop a company buying a template from the store if it ‘sold’ them the solution.

Or am I missing something here? (very possible!)

Absolutely, yes. It can work that way.
I just wanted to be sure you weren’t operating on a false understanding.


I agree with everything you said. Also, at the moment, it is much easier to add massive amounts of rows and data in a Google sheet.


And even easier if you hook up your Google Sheet to the following:

This gives you the ability to design dashboards in any way you like which makes it a breeze updating data in a Spreadsheet, and adding new rows too.

This would be great if we could connect it with Glide Tables as it would hugely benefit the initial creation and updating of dummy data.

1 Like

I use google sheet as my data source for all the reasons you mention.

1 Like

Thanks, but we can’t use Google Sheets for our templates.