I am completely new to spreadsheets and I’m clueless. Is there documentation somewhere that teaches the basics of designing your database???
I honestly haven’t looked, but the premise is simple:
A Google spreadsheet contains “sheets” (also called “tables” or sometimes referred to as “tabs in a spreadsheet”).
Tables contain rows (also called records) and columns (also called fields). Columns contain data of various types (dates, numbers, text, etc). Rows/Records are “entries” for that particular table.
Each table should contain similar data. A table of employees will have each employee on its own row. The columns describe the employee (name, position, location, email, etc).
From there create all the tables you need to organize the TYPES of data in your app.
Then, you’ll use relation columns to link the tables together.
I highly recommend taking a look at the Glide docs and downloading the employee directory template to see how all the tables work together.
Watch some of the rebuild videos to get a better idea of how to structure your data.
So I’m thinking about it like this…
Each app is built from a single spreadsheet.
Each tab is a different form.
Each column is a different question or action for that form.
Is this correct?
I have played with a few app builders - Glide, Adalo, and Wix, but I haven’t been able to understand because I just assumed that it was the spreadsheet I wasn’t understanding. In reality, I think it is the interactions between the builder and the spreadsheet that I haven’t been understanding.
For certain apps and if you are mainly using your app to submit data via a form to a sheet, this is close to correct.
Another way of seeing it. Imagine yourself using any app on your phone:
- There is what we see on our phones. This is often referred to as the frontend or UI (user interface) or UX (user experience) or design. This in Glide is built in the layout builder.
- There is what we do when touching the screen. These are actions. This is part of the actual experience of the user (UX). This in Glide is determined at the component level in the options of components.
- There is our app’s data, what happens under the hood, what we do not see. This data needs to be stored somewhere, some of it is what the user sees, and there is a logic aspect that computes this data. This in Glide is handled in various places: Glide’s data editor, Google Sheets, Excel, Airtables, BigQuery … basically where the data lives.
So to come back to what you mentioned above, you can see it as follows:
- Each app can be built from one single or multiple data sources, a spreadsheet in Google Sheets being one option.
- Each tab houses data. This data can be used as the destination of a form, as the source of a screen, as the source to display a list, as the source to store parameters/choices used in the app, as a table where data will transit for logic purposes, etc.
- Each column stores one specific attribute of the records/row of the table, for instance, the answer to one question in a form.
This is a long-winded answer to say yes, you are correct, and there are other ways of seeing it depending on what you are building.