‘Standalone’ Fields that write data

Hi all,

Just getting started in Glide, having a ball, but slowly-slowly catchy-monkey.

I have searched the forum for this question, but couldn’t find anything.

I’ve found Robert Pettito’s videos amazingly useful (if you see this squire, :saluting_face:), and I was going through one on Timeframes which uses the ‘Choices’ field to write a value to a field in a table so it can be used elsewhere. It was exactly what I had been banging my head against a wall with for a couple of days! I’m looking to do a similar thing, extending his usecase to comparing two time periods - in this instance I want the user to be able to say how many periods they want to go back (either weeks or months selected via the choices field). I don’t want to add more choices as that’s limiting - I would like the user to input a number. Also because the chips are non-sizeable, so they’re a bit too big when you have a few of them for what I’m looking to do.

I can’t find a field that does this - maybe I’m not looking hard enough. I’ve tried both going through, and also searching, the documnetation.

I know that it could be done using the number entry, but that requires a form container by the looks of things. I tried using a separate button with set column values, but it doesn’t allow the data in the number picker to be selected as a value as it isn’t visible in the options to pass data through from. I’m assuming that’s why the form container exists, to link these data inputs together and allow them to be seen as data sources for the ’set column values’ or whatever other action is being selected .

I’m trying to make ‘it’ all nice and pretty by having the comparison set up over a table in a container of 3 columns - current period, previous period, delta. The choices and fields play nice with that format, as would a number picker and button. But the Form Container that seems to be needed… not so much. Won’t allow it to be placed inside a container.

So, there’s the context. I was hoping that there would be alternatives that, like the choices field will allow a standalone field to write data to a column.

Would love to hear your thought/feedback!


So you would need them to choose the unit (week or month) and then input a number?

What would you do with that data afterwards?

Thanks for the reply!

You are correct.

So there are a number of use cases I can think of if this is possible, but first and foremost in this specific scenario’m going to use it to display current period Vs historical period and then show the delta (difference), which could

So let’s say I input “month” and then 2, you would find data from the period of “2 months ago” and compare it to the current data for me, then show something like the delta, a chart and more things?

Apologies, I didn’t finish the message - got distracted and noticed that somehow I posted it!

Yes, that’s the ticket. 2 months compared to the previous 2 months for example. Or the last 2 months, and take the average daily rate (manufacturing production environment), and compare that to the current daily rate and give the delta.

A chart is nice, but not somethiing I’d try and chuck in a 3 column container obviously.

The delta would give metrics for ‘increase by x per day to hit previous periods average’, or a kind of progress tracker. You get the idea.

I’m pretty sure that I have some convoluted Sheets work ahead of me including some interesting REPT and SEQUENCE, then replace text in string in the Glide Table, then somew Math and If/Then/Else columns! That’s all part of the fun though!

If I could summarise this in a sentence or two, would it be fair to say that you want to filter a data set by two separate and user configurable date periods, and then summarise and aggregate each of the filtered data sets for comparison purposes.


If that’s an accurate representation of your challenge then yeah, it’s certainly doable in Glide.
Forget about your Google Sheet formulas, you won’t need them and they’ll only slow things down. Especially if you’re looking for dynamic period switching - as it appears you are.

So yeah, it can be done but it could get a bit tricky, especially if you’re new to Glide. You’ll want to familiarise yourself with the following computed column types as a minimum:

  • Math (particularly Date math)
  • Relations
  • Rollups
  • Single Values
  • If-then-else
  • User Specific Columns
1 Like

Thanks Darren - yes, that’s the size of it.

I’m not sad to hear that I won’t have to do too much in sheets - the SUMIFS were getting annoying :joy:

Maths(Date Maths) - I’m kinda used to this. All dates are equated to numbers (typically from either 1/1/70 or - IIRC -1/1/1890), the reason we see a ‘date’ is the formatting we apply. Therefore maths can be done on a date because it’s actually an integer underneath all that formatting. I’ve had to converet enough ISO dates to dates that various formats like over the years, coverting to/from strings to know that it can be ‘fun’!
Relationships: If this value appears in this column of this table, and it also appears in that column of that table then you have access and correlation to data from that table in this table
Rollups: Sum/Count/Average of data in a row. It was thanks to Robert’s video that I figured out how to do a dynamic roll up by filtering by choices, creating relationships etc in a single row worktable.
Single Values: I know what they are - a single value repeated in each cell of a column, but I’ve not had need to use them yet.
If-Then-Else: My favourite kind of logic
User Specified: Each user gets to determine the value of this column, it isn’t shared over all users of the app. Allows for variables per user - in this case being able to set a filter for 6 weeks, and another user being able to set a filter for 8 weeks, and there not being in conflict over who is setting the value.

I’m new, but I’m trying (so I keep on getting told :wink: ). Databases are completely new to me - I’ve only ever used spreadsheets before, so the lack of excel like functions per cell takes some getting used to, alongside taking 20 columns to do things that would take two in excel/sheets and having to ‘get over’ the fact that databases aren’t meant to be ‘looked at’, and therefore do not have to be pretty the way that you kind of need to in a spreadsheet.