Thoughts on a "Desktop" Solution

Hi All.

I have another potential client who wants a solution whereby some users utilise a mobile app and others utilise a “desktop web app”. These apps would share the same backend. For me, Glide is a no-brainer for the mobile element (clearly) however the desktop side is a little more tricky.

Glide is not yet ideal in this scenario, primarily due to UI design constraints and the inability to function with email (or username) and password authentication. Specifically this potential client does not want desktop users having to install Chrome and then create a “desktop PWA”. They just want the ability to login and utilise the “desktop web app” via a browser.

When you look at the marketplace for platforms to build desktop web apps, there is little that compares to Glide in terms of capability. The closest is probably StackerHQ, which is actually pretty good and will talk to a Google Sheet backend, shared with a Glide app. So there is a potential solution here, however (and it’s a big however) StackerHQ is a long way behind Glide in terms of its data manipulation capabilities.

Q1. To @david what are you thoughts on this space? I think Glide could really work well with a little more UI flexibility (or awareness) and more flexible authentication.

Q2. Has anybody built a similar solution and, if so, what platform did you use for the desktop web app / web portal element?

Thanks

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I have got a user app and an agent app (call center).

I’ve now set up both to open on tablet/desktop if available.

The agent app is meant to be desktop (but it’s also used as a tablet app). It’s usable, though not a great use of screen real estate unless you play with css.

The user app was planned as mobile only…. But we found that 40% of users (it seems) use it on tablets and desktops. So I use the ‘open as tablet as default’ too.

It could be better, but you can design around things. Most of my apps are tab driven rather than details within inline lists. So I have everything on one screen pretty much.

Hope that helps!

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Hi @Mark_Turrell - Yes I have been round that “loop” several times and can certainly create a desktop app but, as you say, the UI is quite compromised. The authentication is also an issue when building a “web portal” rather than a “desktop web app”, the difference being that the latter can be “installed” to the desktop via Chrome as a pseudo-PWA. In the first case one definitely needs email / password authentication.

Hello,
I have been waiting since August 2020 to be able to manage the desktop mode.
I saw in the staging a beginning of evolution, the tabs in general at the bottom have moved to the top, I find that a good idea.
I would just like to have the option to place a detail style tab in the target on the left.

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I have made sure my Agent app users have chrome as much as possible as you can ‘install’ a PWA with chrome and run it as an app. That works fine :slight_smile:

Yes, but I am finding clients who don’t want to do that (install Chome PWA) for a whole pile of reasons (not that I agree) including - not allowed to use Chrome, not secure enough (one time auth), non-static user profile and ability to login from remote devices.

I agree. With most development projects there are tradeoffs, and sometimes the client changes their mind anyway. The challenge of a mixed environment is how to get at the data from different apps. Google Sheets is not a brilliant common source of data, so we begin to need SQL or some other database. Glide Tables are not (yet) accessible to other systems, and yet GT works much faster on user devices than the round trip to Google.

Tradeoffs, and tradeoffs!

@david Will, we be seeing any developments to the tablet and desktop functionality soon? How can we raise capital to speed up some of these builds?

The parts that would be most useful out the gate:

1.Ability to customize tablet and desktop builds
2. Ability to show/hide components based on viewport (phone, tablet, desktop)

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