💬 How I Built a Simple App Using No-Code App Builder Glide and Google Sheets

Replied to How I Built a Simple App Using No-Code App Builder Glide and Google Sheets by Alexis Grant (benlcollins.com)

We use Google Sheets to solve all sorts of challenges in our family.

We combine Sheets with Tiller to track our family finances. We rely on a Google spreadsheet to stay on top of our home renovation project. And whenever one of us launches a digital product for one of our businesses, we build a dashboard in Google Sheets so we can watch sales in real time.

Usually when we build something fancy with Google Sheets, I need Ben’s help. But over the last few months, I used Google Sheets and a third-party tool to solve a problem I’d noticed in our town… and I didn’t need Ben’s help at all.

For this project, I used a no-code app builder called Glide. This was my first time using a no-code tool to build an app, and the first time I organized an app via Google Sheets. Here’s how I did it.

I really enjoyed this walk-through of Glide and how it can be used. When I looked at it, I felt somewhat constrained by what was available. From this point of view I guess it is important to be mindful of the data used in the first place.

Long term, I wonder about about the transition from no code to full code. As the piece went on and more questions were raised about what was possible, I wonder what happens when the project goes beyond its initial beginnings. I had the same question in reading David Peterson’s piece.

This is why I am interested in cross-overs like Alan Levine’s calling cards for simple websites as they offer both a relatively easy entry point, as well as the potential to go further if required.

3 responses on “💬 How I Built a Simple App Using No-Code App Builder Glide and Google Sheets”

  1. Hi Aaron, thanks for sharing this run through of Glide. I recall seeing it “glide” by a while go in what I call “the mildly interesting” mode.

    I’d say first of all I am in favor of people like Alexis taking on the initiative to make something where she sees a need, and not rely on just what we are given. And I think there’s tons of rooms for building from a “database” of Google Sheets (I really liked services like Awesome Table until I found its free tier was utterly crippled). Glide makes reachable what I suspect is using the feature to read data via an API.

    Like you’ I’d agree that the feature set looks limited, and I bet Glide apps begin to look quite the same if you start combing through them.

    But larger than that, this set is hinged on a stringing together of 3rd party fee-based services (Glide itself, Carrd.co for a simple HTML landing page which would be easy on a self hosted domain) that are suspect to failure if any of the services go under. You know, I know that this is the reason for reclaiming/owning your web content, but moreso, with these high flying “no-code” approaches there seems to be no way to extract/export/migrate your stuff elsewhere.

    Thanks for mentioning the calling card themes, I am not sure they are a direct comparison on features. But their WordPress base has the features I have always sought going back to the pre-Cambrian pre-web era of HyperCard. They offer a visual interface for creating custom content that beginners can use but in addition, there is a scripting layer that can be used for someone more experienced to do almost anything. One modality offers a door to the second.

    Not everyone wants to take that on, or just dismiss the abilities themselves. But if I was doing something spreadsheet-based, I myself prefer having more of a conceptual understanding and access to what Glide does for you. But there is ever a door for that in hose kind of apps. Rather than code vs no-code, it should be code and/or no-code.

    Best to you! I miss getting to connect, or even being able to meet up at ACMI!

    1. Thank you Alan for the comment. I really like your point about the ability to export the data:

      With these high flying “no-code” approaches there seems to be no way to extract/export/migrate your stuff elsewhere

      I was probably referring to carrd.co in regards to your calling cards. However, the same could be said to a degree for Glide. At least with that you own the data behind the app.

      I too miss connecting. I think it helps me appreciate the opportunities I did have beforehand.

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