What's the difference between Sheets and Tables?

I have noticed that many new users appear to get a little confused when it comes to understanding what constitutes a sheet vs a table, and how they interact. The introduction of Glide Tables a while back has possibly exacerbated this situation somewhat.

So I’m creating this FAQ topic in an attempt to provide some clarification. Please note that this is the way that I choose to think about it, which works for me. Others may think about it differently, and that’s fine :slightly_smiling_face:

The way I like to think of it is as follows: Tables belong in Glide, and sheets belong in Google Spreadsheets

TABLES - are found in the Glide Data Editor, and there are two types:

  1. “Normal” tables: these are essentially a copy of your Google Sheets. When you add a new Google Sheet, or modify an existing one, the changes will sync with Glide and automagically appear in the Glide Data Editor.
  2. Glide Tables: These are special tables that only exist within Glide. These tables will not appear in your Google Spreadsheet, nor will the data sync in any way. Glide tables can be identified by the distinctive icon Screen Shot 2020-12-27 at 12.57.48 PM next to the table name.

SHEETS - are found in your Google Spreadsheet. As a general rule, all sheets will also exist as tables in the Glide Data Editor, however there are a few notable exceptions, as follows:

Depending on which features are enabled/used within your app, Glide may automatically generate a number of new Google Sheets. These sheets can be identified by the name, which will always be in the format App: XXX. Examples are App: Logins, App: Metadata & App: Comments. Important things to understand about these sheets:

  • Whilst Glide will generate and populate these sheets with data, it is a one way sync. The sheets will not appear in the Glide Data Editor, nor are the sheets or the data contained in them available to use in your app (but you can make a copy of them if you want to use the data in your app)
  • The rows in these sheets do not count against your row quotas.

I hope this is helpful :slightly_smiling_face:

9 Likes

Can a Glide Table be linked to a Google Sheet? Say you have data that only exists in a Glide Table but you need to perform functions that you can only perform in a Google Sheet (countif, arrayformula, etc). How can you make the data in Glide Table accessible in Google Sheets?

2 Likes

It’s not possible as of now.

3 Likes

Very useful!

One thing to be added would be:

Glide Tables can be used across various apps by simply linking the same table to another app. It’s a powerful feature if you are building many apps which have common data.

7 Likes

@Manan_Mehta

:+1:

2 Likes

I’m quite new to Glide. I’m just learning about array columns. I created my app using tables rather than sheets. As I watch the tutorials on multiple-categories, I finally realized they are creating them in sheets. It took me a while to figure out why the array columns weren’t working. . .

Is it possible to do use array columns for multiple-categories in glide tables?

Thanks.

1 Like
1 Like

Wow, that was fast. Thank you!

I’ll have a look into both of these methods.

1 Like

I started building an app with Google Sheets but I’m not really seeing the advantage of it, the Glide Tables seem to be good enough for my needs. With all of my data duplicated between the two, will there be an option in the future to disconnect the Google Sheet and just stay with the Glide Table? I already paid the Pro subscription and have the custom domain linked, so I’d rather not delete the app and start over. Thanks!

Not sure if there’s any plans like that. At the moment we have the option to start an app completely with Glide Tables, but many forum users have said the best practice is to have a Google Sheets just in case you need it. If you start an app with Glide Tables then there’s no option to add a Sheet later on.

It’s true, but it seems that they keep increasing the capabilities of the Glide Tables and soon this will probably be a moot point. If you’re able to export your data then there’s no worry of lock-in either.

1 Like

Just in case you haven’t seen it (and it might not be that obvious in the Editor), there’s an export option.

1 Like

Thanks, I knew that but didn’t word my sentence well - my brain is a little fried on a Friday afternoon after many hours of Gliding. I was investigating how to ditch the Google Sheet and saw there was the export function.

2 Likes

No worries! Have a good upcoming weekend yourself and do let us know if you have any questions.

1 Like

Great information but I am still confused by what is meant by ‘a one way sync’.
Which way is that going? From Glide to Sheets or the other way around?

Also, I am stuck with my key data in a Glide table, because I was following Tara’s example during an earlier class and didn’t know any better.
Can I somehow get the data from a Glide table extracted to a Sheet? (so I could then delete the Glide table entirely)

@JasonFisher The ‘one way sync’ part is just for those certain sheet as indicated in the original post. Automatically generated sheets, such as ‘App: Logins’, ‘App: Comments’, and ‘App: Sales’, are created by glide and added to a google sheet a sort of log only for your use. They serve no function to be used in a glide app. You can duplicate those sheets if you happen to have a need for them to show up in your glide data, but for the most part they are just data logs, or transaction logs and thus only sync from glide to google. This is not the case for other sheets of data as they are synced both ways.

Now if you created your data in a Glide Table, then to data is stored only in glide and eliminates the need to have the data in a google sheet. If you would prefer to have your data in a google sheet, then you will need to Export the data as indicated in a post above, add that data to your existing app google sheet, then rebuild the logic to point to that new data tab. There is no easy way to “convert” data to be Glide Table to Google Sheet based and vice versa. It will take some reworking of existing glide computed columns, tabs, and any other layouts that were based on that existing glide table.

3 Likes

and there is no way to switch from Glide able to Google sheet?
even in a tricky way I mean

If your app wasn’t based on a google sheet to begin with, then no, there currently isn’t a way to attach a google sheet. If your app uses both glide tables and google sheets, then you can export data and load it into your google sheet. Or there is a creative way to move data between tables and sheets with the following method:

4 Likes