Recommendation for app download with "empty datafile"

Hi Team – I have a Glide app that I have been using for about a year (mostly from my iPhone). I would like to make it available for general download or, at least initially, for other selected users to download to their devices. What is not clear to me is how I create a downloadable link and have each user write to their own datafile. In other words, I don’t want my new users to download the app and my data. In case it’s material, I use Google Sheets as my database.

Are you expecting other users to create a Glide account and have their own independent copy of your app? If so, then you can create a template project that they can then add to their own glide accounts and they will have their own set of data and can develop the app as they see fit.

If you are expecting users to still use your copy of your app but have their own data sources…that’s not going to happen. You have to remember that these apps live on Glide servers. The app connects to one set of data. Everything is deeply integrated between the interface and that set of data. “Installed” apps still point to the web because the entire app lives in the web. The best you can do is still host all of the data, but apply Row Owners so everybody can only securely access their own data.

Glide apps are not self contained on individual user’s devices, so you can’t just pop different data sources in and out. This is a server/client situation. Glide is the server that hosts everything, and the client is the user that consumes that information.

Also note that the app on your device has no knowledge that a Google sheet exists. It is only communicating with the Glide servers that have a copy of your data.


Thanks for the thoughtful and detailed response, Jeff. In a way, I’m sort of relieved that there isn’t a way to do this. It would have meant that I’d have completely missed that option during my time using and reading about the tool. However, I do strongly believe it’s a missed opportunity for Glide. Understanding that the Glide architecture might not readily/easily accommodate the use-case, it seems that there must be some creative way to enable the download of a Glide app to a user’s device that integrates with only that user’s data. Isn’t that one of the most common data use-cases for apps?

The only way to give a user complete control of their own data is to allow them to copy a template of your app to their own Glide account. Then both the front end and the data are out of your hands completely.

Or, use Row Owners, but you will still be in possession of everyone’s data.

In some cases yes, but that’s typically with native Android or iOS apps that don’t require an internet connection, and where the entire interface and database is installed locally on a user’s device. Glide is more like facebook. You can install the app, add all kinds of information about yourself, and keep it private…but Facebook still holds all of that data on their servers. Glide apps are web apps that live on the web. An internet connection is required to keep both the interface and the database in sync. Some things may be cached locally on the device temporarily, but it still has deep roots via that internet connection to the server.

I understand what you are asking for and from a technical standpoint it should be possible. I do software development for a company and our codebase can very easily point to Dev, Test, or Prod versions of data for multiple different customer databases. We don’t allow different customers and different environments to share databases for security and compliance purposes, so we have multiple different copies of the same tables and certain parameters tell the codebase which database to use. So I know it’s definitely possible, but in Glide’s case, it’s just never been part of their design. Maybe someday, but I don’t anticipate a feature like that anytime soon, and I fear that the way they have there backend coded, it would not be an easy thing for them to achieve.


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