In recent years, the no-code movement has gained significant momentum. These platforms have started empowering businesses and non-technical individuals to create powerful applications without the need for coding skills.
This movement is a promising step forward for the democratization of application development, making it accessible to everyone, regardless of their technical expertise.
However, there are a lot of no-code platforms for you to choose from. Deciding what application to use for your project may be difficult for first-time no-code users.
In this article, we will explore two popular no-code platforms that you can use to build your next app: Google AppSheet and Glide.
Both of these platforms allow users to create mobile and web applications without having to write a single line of code.
However, which of these two platforms is the best? Hopefully, this guide will help you decide whether your next project should be made using either Glide or AppSheet.
What is Glide?
Even if you haven’t had experience with coding, you are likely familiar with databases. Applications such as Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets have been essential tools in the workforce since it allows anyone to view and manipulate data how they want.
Since many teams already use these spreadsheet applications to store their data, it would be incredibly practical to use a no-code platform that can use such data sources.
Glide is a no-code platform that allows users to convert spreadsheets into easy-to-use applications in just a few clicks.
You can either start with an existing spreadsheet or choose one of their many templates.
The existing spreadsheet could either be a Google Sheets document or an Excel file. The ability to use spreadsheets makes it incredibly easy to understand how the underlying database of your app works.
Glide offers templates that cover a variety of possible applications such as a simple e-commerce store or an inventory tracker.
Key Glide Features
Glide’s standout feature would have to be its Glide Apps platform. Users can create full-fledged applications within their browsers without having to install any dependencies.
Glide Apps come with a variety of drag-and-drop components and layouts that you will typically need to create a working application. For example, you can add buttons, labels, and forms by simply selecting them from the component library.
Users can then publish their Glide Apps right away with minimal setup. These published apps can then be shared using a QR code or URL.
Glide provides users with a full library of built-in actions that they can add to their app’s functionality. Some examples of actions include creating a notification, adding a new row to the database, or even sending requests to third-party APIs.
Users can also define custom actions that comprise multiple basic actions chained together. Glide also allows users to create conditions that will determine which actions to perform depending on certain parameters.
While Glide definitely allows you to start an application from scratch, Glide’s large array of templates makes it easier to start building a working application.
Glide also includes a template marketplace for Glide developers to sell their templates to other users with more niche or complex use cases.
Glide App Pros and Cons
Here are some pros and cons to consider when choosing Glide to build your next no-code application.
- The Glide platform has an easy learning curve, especially if you have prior experience with managing spreadsheets.
- Glide offers a variety of free templates you can use to jumpstart the app development process
- Glide includes over 40 different kinds of components that cover almost any type of use case.
- Glide’s Pro plan is not practical for use cases that require over 25,000 rows. This can be a hindrance for any application that reaches even a few thousand users or transactions. However, users can upgrade their plan to Business or Enterprise to increase the row limit.
- Glide gives users very few opportunities to add custom code to their applications directly.
- Glide Apps also require users to be connected to the internet to open any application.
- Glide’s pricing model is based on the number of users. This can become expensive as your user base grows.
What is AppSheet?
Google AppSheet is another powerful no-code platform you can consider to create applications.
With AppSheet, users can design and deploy applications for various business processes that use Google Sheets.
AppSheet was founded in 2012 by Praveen Seshadri and Brian Sabino, who started the platform to help businesses automate their workflows and collect data through mobile apps. In 2020, AppSheet announced it had been acquired by Google and would be joining the Google Cloud team.
Since then, the platform has continued to evolve and add new features, including more advanced integrations with popular third-party tools like Salesforce and Microsoft Office.
In addition to Google Sheets and Google Drive integrations, AppSheet apps can connect to hosted Excel files, Cloud SQL, Apigee, Azure SQL, AWS, and more.
The platform offers a wide range of features, including customizable templates, powerful user management tools, and access to machine learning technology for document processing and OCR.
Whether you’re a small business owner or an enterprise-level organization, Google AppSheet provides a cost-effective and efficient way to create custom applications that can help you streamline your operations and drive business growth.
AppSheet Key Features
Google AppSheet’s bot automation is a powerful tool that can help you automate a variety of tasks.
A bot defines the automation you want AppSheet to run when something happens (an event). This could include creating and sending an email, SMS message, or notification regarding the modified record, further updating the modified record, or calling a webhook to invoke an external web service.
With the AppSheet automation monitor, you can monitor automation in your apps and keep a track of the bot executions that were successful, encountered errors, and are still pending.
Google AppSheet’s expressions feature is a powerful tool for app creators. Similar to spreadsheet formulas in Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets, AppSheet expressions are used to affect an app’s behavior and provide users with advanced functionality.
AppSheet features that use expressions include app formulas, initial values, column constraints, virtual columns, and deep links. AppSheet also checks all expressions to ensure they are correctly formed and used in an appropriate manner.
For example, an expression could be used to calculate the total cost of an order by multiplying the quantity of an item by its unit price. In this case, the expression would be “[Quantity] * [Unit Price]”.
AppSheet Pros and Cons
- Integrated into the Google Cloud ecosystem, making it easy to connect with Google Workspace applications.
- Since AppSheet is built on top of Google Cloud, we can ensure that your application’s data is protected and compliant with the regulatory requirements that Google upholds. As a developer, you can control various security and compliance features such as access controls and encryption.
- Some users have observed AppSheet as slow on less powerful devices.
- AppSheets is a great value application for creating apps for a single user or a small team. However, the pricing plan may be too expensive when planning an app for a significant amount of users.
- AppSheet’s design options are somewhat limited, with fewer customization options compared to other no-code platforms. Users may not be able to create highly visually appealing applications.
- While AppSheet provides users with a range of templates and pre-built features, it can be difficult to customize these features to fit specific business needs. Some users may find that the platform does not offer enough flexibility to create highly customized applications.
Glide or AppSheet?
While both AppSheet and Glide share similar functionalities, they differ in some aspects such as ease of use, scalability, integrations, and pricing.
In terms of ease of use, both Glide and AppSheet provide a user-friendly experience that allows users to create custom applications from existing spreadsheet data.
However, Glide’s interface is a bit more intuitive while AppSheet requires a bit more technical expertise, as it offers more advanced features.
As far as scalability goes, Google’s AppSheet platform takes the lead. It provides users with more advanced features that can be used to create complex applications, making it an ideal platform for larger organizations.
Glide, on the other hand, is better suited for smaller organizations or individuals looking to create simple applications.
Both platforms offer integrations with third-party tools. Glide offers data integrations with Google Sheets, Airtable, and Zapier. However, AppSheet offers a wider selection of integrations with a third-party tools, including Salesforce, Dropbox, and Microsoft Office.
Glide and AppSheet offer different pricing models.
Glide has a free plan that allows users to create basic applications, however, the number of users and rows in the database is limited. The cheapest individual-paid Glide plan costs $25 per user per month while the cheapest plan for businesses costs $99 per month
AppSheet’s paid plan starts at $5 per user per month. However, Google allows you to test out the complete set of AppSheet features at no cost while building a prototype of your application. Users can even invite up to 10 test users at no cost.
In terms of pricing, AppSheet’s unlimited testing period and cheaper price point make it a better solution for teams on a budget.
The no-code platform that will work best for your project will depend on the type and scale of your project.
If your project just needs basic CRUD (create, read, update, and delete) commands, then I highly recommend you start with Glide. The Glide interface may offer fewer technical features compared to AppSheet, but the platform is streamlined enough to make it approachable for users new to no-code technologies.
If you’re interested in a more advanced no-code solution, then I suggest trying out Google AppSheet. AppSheet certainly has more granular control on user permissions as well as support for machine learning models.
Which of these platforms do you think is the best no-code tool for you?