Appsheet vs Powerapps vs Glide: A Comparison for 2023
No-code app development platforms are an increasingly popular option for creating custom applications. Among the most well-known platforms are Microsoft Power Apps, AppSheet, and Glide. But, do you know them well? Are you wondering what they offer and how they differ? These three tools enable users to create applications from data stored in spreadsheets or databases and offer different levels of functionality and customization. In this article, we will compare their capabilities and explore their advantages and disadvantages.
- Ideal for businesses that already use the Microsoft suite to build apps from data sources such as Excel or SharePoint.
- Users can create custom themes to match their organization’s branding, localize labels and strings on custom pages, and use a variety of controls such as sliders, galleries, and forms.
- Offers a per-app plan starting at $10 per user per app per month or a per-user plan starting at $20 per user per month.
- Allows users to create mobile applications from Excel or Google Sheets data.
- Offers a variety of features such as the ability to add images, maps, and charts to your application.
- Offers a free plan for personal apps and prototypes. Their first-tier plan starts at $5 per user/per month.
- Allows users to create mobile applications and web apps from Google Sheets data.
- Offers a simple drag-and-drop interface for creating custom applications.
- Offers a free plan with limited features. Their first-tier plan starts at $25 per app per month.
An overview of the tools
Microsoft Power Apps is a platform that is part of the Microsoft ecosystem and allows for the creation of web and mobile applications with a graphical user interface (GUI) based on predefined or custom components. Users can connect their applications to various data sources such as Excel, SharePoint, SQL Server, Dynamics 365, and more. Additionally, Power Apps offers the ability to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) services and process automation with Power Automate and Power BI. Power Apps has a visual editor that simplifies app creation and editing, along with its proprietary programming language called Power Fx to add logic and advanced functions.
AppSheet is a platform acquired by Google in 2020 that allows the creation of web and mobile applications from Google Sheets, Excel, Airtable spreadsheets, or databases like MySQL, PostgreSQL, or SQL Server. AppSheet automatically generates an app based on the data and allows the user to customize the look and behavior of the application using a property-based editor. AppSheet also offers the ability to integrate Google Cloud Platform services, such as optical character recognition (OCR), natural language processing (NLP), or automatic translation.
Glide is a platform founded in 2018 that enables the creation of mobile apps and progressive web applications (PWAs) from Google Sheets or Excel spreadsheets. Glide has an intuitive drag-and-drop editor that makes designing applications easy, with a choice of different templates and components. Glide also allows for integration with external services like Stripe, Zapier, or Mailchimp. With Glide, you can automate a wide range of scenarios, such as sending emails, SMS texts, push notifications, and updates via platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams.
Ease of use
AppSheet is designed to be user-friendly, and beginners can quickly start creating apps using a no-code approach. Its interface is relatively intuitive, and it allows users to create apps by connecting to data sources and defining app behavior using a spreadsheet-like interface.
PowerApps is part of the Microsoft ecosystem and offers a low-code approach. It may have a steeper learning curve for complete beginners, but it provides extensive documentation and resources to help users get started.
“PowerApps is well suited for "quick-wins" and fast prototypes of business solutions. It also is beneficial for situations where business partners and developers work together - it allows the business folks to provide a "quick-and-dirty" prototype which is then fleshed-out by developers that are trained experts on the platform.”
Scott Byrge, Lead Software Engineer
Glide is known for its simplicity and ease of use. It offers a no-code environment that allows users to create apps directly from Google Sheets. Glide's interface is beginner-friendly, and you can start building apps without any coding experience.
AppSheet and Glide are excellent choices for beginners, with Glide offering the simplest and most straightforward experience. PowerApps, on the other hand, may be better suited for those already accustomed to the Microsoft ecosystem and willing to invest time in the learning curve.
AppSheet offers a high level of customization in terms of features, UX, security, and branding. Users can create custom app logic, workflows, and designs.
PowerApps provides extensive customization options within the Microsoft ecosystem. Users can customize the user interface, build custom connectors, and apply security features. Branding options are available for apps created within the PowerApps environment.
Glide offers reasonable customization options, but it may not be as extensive as AppSheet or PowerApps. Users can customize the app's appearance and behavior, but it might have limitations in terms of advanced security features.
AppSheet is ideal for those seeking a high degree of customization and advanced features, while PowerApps offers robust customization options within the Microsoft ecosystem. Glide is the simplest of the three, making it accessible for those with straightforward customization requirements.
Deployment & device support
Apps created with AppSheet can be deployed on both iOS and Android devices. You can publish them on app stores or share them via web links.
PowerApps supports deployment on iOS, Android, and the web. Apps can be shared within your organization or published to app stores.
Glide can be used to make mobile-first apps for Android or iOS choosing "Create Glide app" at the start of your project. You can also choose to turn your data into a web app by selecting "Create Glide page". The resulting web app will be responsive and accessible on various devices.
AppSheet offers robust support for advanced features, including complex logic, workflow automation, and machine learning integration. It can handle a wide range of app requirements.
PowerApps provides a high level of functionality, especially within the Microsoft ecosystem. It can handle advanced scenarios, including custom connectors and integration with Azure services. It’s well-suited for intricate scenarios and enterprise-grade applications.
Glide's redesigned Actions Editor simplifies the creation of custom workflows, allowing you to combine various actions. With the ability to reuse actions across different workflows, efficiency is at the forefront of your app development process. Also, Glide's AI integration introduces a new dimension to your applications, enabling intelligent calculations and data handling.
“Feature-rich - especially around the interface, both in terms of building applications, but also deploying them in a mobile-first way.
The way they integrated AI into the platform is so smart - I haven't seen another team take nearly as logical an approach. It's a total game changer for things like voice-to-text, summarization of text, and sentiment analysis (to name a few).”
William S., Chief Operating Officer
Integration with your current systems
AppSheet is a versatile platform that offers good integration capabilities. It can connect to a wide range of data sources, including spreadsheets, databases, cloud services, and APIs. It can integrate with Google Sheets, Excel, MySQL, Salesforce, and other popular data sources, allowing you to build apps that work with your existing data.
AppSheet also offers various ways to integrate with third-party tools. It provides the option to create custom integrations using webhooks, allowing you to connect with a wide range of external services. Of course, as a Google product, AppSheet offers built-in connectors to their most popular services like Google Drive, Calendar, etc. While it may not have as extensive a library of connectors as PowerApps, AppSheet's flexibility with webhooks allows for integration with many third-party services.
PowerApps is designed to integrate with the Microsoft ecosystem. It can connect to various Microsoft services and tools, including Office 365, SharePoint, Dynamics 365, and Azure. It offers connectors to a wide range of data sources and services, making it a powerful choice for businesses that rely heavily on Microsoft products.
PowerApps can leverage the Common Data Service for data storage and management, which integrates with other Microsoft applications. While PowerApps is optimized for Microsoft integration, it also supports connectors for non-Microsoft services and APIs. But still, it’s mostly limited to the Microsoft suite of products.
Glide connects with many data sources, and that’s one of their biggest advantages. You can connect with Google Sheets, Airtable, Excel, BigQuery, MySQL, and more. Having multiple data sources means your app easily fits into your current workflow—no more hours spent on data transfers.
Moreover, Glide includes its native data source—Glide Tables. A noteworthy addition is the Glide Tables API, a feature that allows developers to programmatically access and manipulate Glide Tables data. This is perfect for creating custom integrations, automating workflows, and interacting with Glide Tables through HTTP requests, adhering to RESTful principles. The API also supports secure authentication via API keys.
“For other "no-code" tools you end up needing some coding background to use the no-code functionality. Glide truly takes data you already have and makes it your database. All without using scary jargon or needing input from the user. Their template library covers many areas that allow it to be plug and play for a lot of novice users.”
Evan F., Small-Business Owner
Glide offers integration capabilities through Glide Actions, which allow users to connect their apps with a variety of third-party tools and services. Glide Actions offers native integrations with popular tools like Gmail, Slack, OpenAI, Google Calendar, Google Analytics, HubSpot, and more. These integrations provide a direct link between your apps and the tools you rely on, and it eliminates the need for intermediaries or complex APIs.
If the integration you need is not available, you still can build it using Glide’s API, but this option is limited to Pro/Enterprise level apps. Also, if you want to keep things no/low code, you will need to use a tool like Make to call Glide’s API.
Businesses that are deeply involved with, or even restricted by the Microsoft ecosystem are the primary target audience for PowerApps, which naturally offers a good range of integrations and compatibility. Glide stands out as a more flexible solution, as it offers a wide array of data sources and extensive integrations with third-party tools.
Offers three plans: Starter, Core, and Enterprise. The Starter plan costs $5 USD per user per month and includes basic application and automation features, while the Core plan costs $10 USD per user per month and includes advanced application and automation features. The Enterprise plan offers additional features such as machine learning modeling and enhanced application security, team management, and governance controls. The pricing for the Enterprise plan is available on request.
“The simplest apps can be created with the free version, for more complex functions or to achieve certain distributions, a license must be paid per user.”
Ivan Marquez, Consultor
Offers two kinds of plans: Per App and Per User. The Per-App plan costs $10 USD per user per app per month and allows users to create and run one custom app. The per-user plan costs $40 USD per user per month and allows users to create and run unlimited custom apps. Both plans include access to Common Data Service, Microsoft Dataverse, and Microsoft Power Automate.
If you want to integrate Power Apps with Microsoft 365 services like SharePoint, OneDrive, or Power Automate, having a Microsoft 365 subscription can be advantageous. It allows for seamless integration with these services and extends the capabilities of Power Apps. Power Apps is already included in specific Microsoft 365 licenses like E3 and E5, check their pricing documentation for more information.
Offers five plans: Free, Starter, Pro, Business, and Enterprise. The Free plan includes basic features, while the Starter plan costs $25 USD per app per month and includes additional features such as custom domains and email support. The Pro plan costs $99 USD per app per month and includes advanced features such as Zapier integration and custom branding. The Business plan costs $249 USD per app per month and includes additional features such as SSO and API access. The Enterprise plan offers custom pricing and includes additional features such as dedicated support and custom SLAs.
User interface & design capabilities
AppSheet allows users to create custom themes, providing flexibility in designing the app's appearance to match an organization's branding. The platform offers a balance of customization and ease of use, making it suitable for users who want to create applications quickly from spreadsheets or databases.
PowerApps provides a drag-and-drop interface for designing canvas apps, allowing users to create custom themes and localize labels to meet organizational branding requirements. It offers a variety of controls like sliders, galleries, and forms, granting flexibility in designing app interfaces. Microsoft offers coding standards and guidelines for canvas app development, making it suitable for users with more advanced design needs, but it may have a steeper learning curve.
Glide also offers a drag-and-drop interface, simplifying the process of creating custom applications. Users can customize the app's appearance by adding custom icons, colors, and fonts. Glide also provides a UI kit with supported components such as buttons, drop-downs, and text inputs. The platform focuses on creating visually appealing and user-friendly applications, making it suitable for users who value design aesthetics and a great user experience.
All three platforms are valid choices for creating no-code mobile applications, but each has its pros and cons. Power Apps is best suited for advanced users who want to create complex applications integrated with the Microsoft ecosystem. AppSheet is ideal for users who want to create applications from spreadsheets or databases rapidly. Glide is the preferred choice for users who aim to build progressive web applications with an appealing design and an excellent user experience.
App stability and performance
AppSheet, backed by Google, generally offers good app stability and performance, particularly on Android devices. While it should work smoothly on Android devices, it's still advisable to conduct thorough performance testing, especially if you intend to install the app on various devices. AppSheet apps natively support offline functionality, which is a significant advantage. This means your app should continue to function even in scenarios where there is a loss of internet connectivity, making it highly reliable for field use.
Power Apps typically provide stable performance across various devices, but some users have reported occasional interface issues, especially on Android devices and iPads. These issues can affect the overall usability of your application. If you require your app to function offline, you'll need to take additional steps to configure it for local data storage. While this approach offers granular control over the app's offline behavior, it does require coding knowledge and extra time and effort for setup.
Glide is generally known for its app stability and performance, with a responsive and smooth experience. However, it's important to note that Glide is primarily a web-based platform, and the user experience can vary on different devices. Performance may depend on the browser and device being used to access the app. Glide does not natively support offline functionality, which may be a consideration if your app requires consistent operation in offline or low-connectivity environments.
AppSheet, especially when used on Android devices, tends to offer strong app stability and performance, with the added advantage of native offline functionality. PowerApps provides good overall stability but may experience interface issues on specific devices while offering offline capabilities with additional configuration. Glide delivers a responsive experience, but when it comes to web apps its performance can depend on the device and browser used, and it does not natively support offline functionality.
Expert view: Why do we choose Glide?
As we wrap up this article, we'd like to share our expert perspective on why we choose Glide when it comes to crafting business apps. From our point of view, Glide lets you achieve pretty much the same great stuff as the others. Glide can handle equally complex tasks and functionalities as its counterparts with remarkable ease and at a fraction of the cost.
Glide's pricing tiers may seem more expensive but they offer service for multiple users. In contrast, PowerApps and AppSheet often follow a per-user pricing structure, which can lead to significant cost accumulations as your user base grows.
Another area where Glide shines is its intuitive and straightforward interface, and how it simplifies data updates and maintenance. AppSheet and PowerApps have more complex interfaces and require more time to create apps.
Also, Glide has incorporated many interesting AI capabilities directly for you to make your apps more powerful, and they are committed to improving these features. We think their dedication to innovation positions Glide as a forward-looking choice for app development, where your creations can evolve in tandem with the latest technological advancements.
Finally, another aspect where Glide surpasses AppSheet and PowerApps is the variety and quality of features it offers. Glide provides a wide range of components that can be added to apps, including maps, charts, forms, buttons, images, videos, audio, and more. Additionally, Glide allows for the integration of external services like Stripe for payments, Zapier for task automation, or Mailchimp for email communications.
Do you think Glide is right for your project? As an experienced Glide agency, we're here to guide you! We provide expert consultation and offer a tailored quote based on your unique requirements.
Connect with us today!