Glide queries your database on demand when you view SQL data in the Data Editor, and when users view SQL data in your app. You can also use the Reload Query action to let users refresh the data manually.
I have a few questions about the new functionality. I don’t know if anyone can answer them:
Question: Will SQL sources be more performant than big tables?
Explanation: My customers find the Big table experience to be a bit laggy currently. The loading animation, the way the screen refreshes completely… While standard Glide tables give a top notch experience and really amazes people with it’s reactive and fast interface, the refresh of Big Tables when searching doesn’t really lead to a modern app experience.
Question: Will SQL sources truly allow for unlimited data?
Explanation: I have a project for an accountancy firm which wants to create custom accountancy and reporting software for it’s customers. The problem: he has 3000 customers x 1000 invoices/year so the amount of data is massive. Because of that (and the laginess of data), we were looking into creating an app in Bubble or Flutterflow. However, with the new SQL sources, this could be possible in Glide. If it is possible, I and the customer prefers Glide because development is so incredibly fast and the Customer already knows the Glide interface.
Question: Will data sync in real time?
Explanation: I am learning a lot currently on No Code development and databases and as I was learning about Firebase Cloud Functions the other day, I learned that normal databases work with pushing a lot of the heavy calculations to the server instead of in doing calculations in the frontend to keep complex applications running smoothly. This is called Cloud Automation.This is the complete reverse of what Glide is doing with calculated columns. So… using cloud automations on the SQL database side, it would be possible to add advanced calculations/app fuctionality (also without a user having to push buttons) and keep your Glide app running extremely smoothly because you can limit the number of calculated columns and thus the number of calculations that needs to be done by the browser. This however, is only userful, if data syncs in real-time to the Glide frontend when calculations are done by the cloud automation.
Performance – It depends on your setup. SQL data isn’t mirrored in Glide, so your app queries the SQL data source directly. Your server, network configuration, DB optimization, etc… will all affect the performance.
(BTW: If you’re running into issues with Big Tables, please get in touch with support - different things could be affecting your app’s performance.)
Unlimited data – I hesitate to call anything unlimited, but if you have a huge volume of data, I think storing that in a SQL database and querying it in a Glide app would get you what you need. You won’t need to worry about row limits.
If you only need to read the data to produce reports, you can create separate data tables with custom SQL queries and refer to those for your reporting.
Syncing – Your apps will query the SQL data source and display whatever’s returned when that screen loads.
If something changes server side, you’ll need to reload the data, i.e. run the query again. You can force the reload with a Reload Query action.
If you’re doing some server-side processing and writing results to a SQL table, you should be able to pull those results into your app.
Hope that helps, and sorry if I misunderstood any of your questions.
This has really spiked my interest.
Like the other fellow I have began developing on a different platform because the application we need to build has around 7000 customers, and that requires 7000 users. We could filter that down to 1200 users but that still wouldn’t be supported by Glide tables.
And like the other fellow I would prefer to build it out in Glide.
Q. Would it be possible to query our existing customer (external) database for the users table using this new SQL feature?
We are also developing a SaaS Application, and the main reason we moved away from Glide was because Glide wouldn’t support the scale up we hopefully would require if successful. We have our own private servers so it would be great to know if we can keep the data there and use the UI of Glide which we really like. And the power of Glide columns
Answered all my questions! In short, if I understood correctly: it’s possible to load huge amounts of data through SQL queries (and manual reloading whenever data changes) so that’s a big step up for Glide! Real-time data for large data sources (e.g. like Glide Tables are working and more known Firebase etc) is still not possible.
I added a feature request for large size real-time databases
How do you create custom SQL queries in Glide? It appears that all queries are pre-defined when you create the SQL/Glide connection in the data editor (e.g. you create a fixed query to return results).
Can you programmatically provision the Glide Data Editor with SQL Queries without hand editing/entering them (for example from the Glide APP as a template or built by outside service for the Glide API)?
Thanks Andy and also great job driving all this content.