Experimental Code Column

Create new computed columns with JavaScript.

With the Experimental Code column, you can use your own JavaScript code to create new, custom computed columns. Parameters and results are passed to your code, which performs computations or fetches data from third parties and then returns values to your app.

TL;DR (for experienced programmers)

  1. Host your code at a publicly accessible URL

  2. Parameters and results are passed as JSON

  3. Perform computations or fetch data

  4. Return a single (or array value) from your code

  5. Read the important caveats at the end of this guide.

Beginners Guide

The easiest way to think about how the column works is that it:

  1. Sends values (columns) from Glide to your code which is hosted elsewhere

  2. Your code then computes something using those values

  3. The result is then returned to Glide

  4. The result is computed for every row in your table

(in reality, the code runs on your device, but it's useful to think of it this way šŸ‘†šŸ¼)

Hosting your code

When you add the Experimental Code Column, you see only one field, which is the URL for your code. Hosting code is a whole other topic which we can't go into depth with here. Suffice it to say, your code needs to be publically accessible on the web so the Experimental Code column can reference it. You can host your code in many different ways, but we would suggest usingĀ ReplitĀ orĀ GitHub Pages.

Replit lets you write, publish, and host code easily. To help you out,Ā we've created a starter app for you. After you've signed up for an account, copyĀ this ReplĀ by ā€˜forking' it.

Your code needs a number of files for it to work properly. In the app you just copied, you'll see the following:

  • The index.html file loads all the other files

  • The driver.js file is the interface between the code you write in function.js and Glide

  • The function.js file is the actual JavaScript code of your column

  • The glide.json file contains metadata about your code, such as its name, a description, what parameters it takes, and what kind of result it produces.

  • The README.md is a markdown file explaining some of what is covered in this guide.

The only two you need to worry about are theĀ glide.jsonĀ andĀ function.jsĀ files. You should leave the others alone unless you really, really know what you're doing.


TheĀ glide.jsonĀ file contains high-level information about your code. In other words, this is where you define:

  1. The name and description of your column (as well as any other metadata you want)

  2. The names and types that you'll be passing from Glide to your code (otherwise known as parameters)

  3. The type of value you want your code to return to Glide (string, number, boolean, array, etc)

The glide.json file is written in JSON. You can learn more about JSONĀ here.

In the example, you have three values you want to pass to your code:

  1. The string you want to extract the substring from

  2. The start index of the substringā€”e.g., character position 0 (which would be ā€œMā€ in ā€œMichaelā€)

  3. The end index of the substringā€”e.g., character position 3 (which would be "c" in "Michael")

When you add the public URL of your code to the column, the JSON objects you define show up as functional fields that you can pass data into.

The final part of the glide.json file is the return type. This is the type of data that your code returns. In the example, you'll be returning a string, so you'll write:

1 "result": { 2 "type": "string" 3 }


TheĀ Function.jsĀ file is the actual JavaScript code for your column. In the example, your function is quite simple. Below is the code with comments.

1 // The function here takes the parameters that you 2 // have declared in the `glide.json` file, in the 3 // same order. 4 5 window.function = function (str, start, end) { 6 7 // For each parameter, its `.value` contains 8 // either its value in the type you've declared, 9 // or it's `undefined`. This is a good place to 10 // extract the `.value`s and assign default 11 // values. 12 13 str = str.value ?? ""; 14 start = start.value ?? 0; 15 end = end.value; 16 17 // Your function should return the exact type 18 // you've declared for the `result` in the 19 // manifest, or `undefined` if there's an error 20 // or no result can be produced, because a 21 // required input is `undefined`, for example. 22 23 return str.substring(start, end); 24 }

Making changes to your code

When your app loads on a device, it will always get the latest code that you've published online.

If you make changes to your code and want to see the results while you're editing your app, you need to publish those new changes, visit the column in the Data Editor, and click the refresh button. This will fetch your updated code and sync it to the Data Editor for you to see the effects and debug any issues.

Whenever a Glide app starts, it loads the code for the Experimental Code column. If you make changes and are testing them on your device then you will need to quit the app and re-open it.


String, number, and boolean are the basic primitive types. If you declare a parameter of this type, Glide will convert whichever values are passed into that declared JavaScript type. In other words, if you declare a parameter as number, then you can be sure that the value is a JavaScript number (or undefined, which can happen for any parameter).

Primitive is special in that it doesn't convert the values, as far as that is possible. For example, if you have a boolean column with a string value of "True", if you declare a parameter as boolean, Glide will pass it as the boolean true, but if you declare it as primitive, Glide will pass the string "True".

Uri, image-uri, audio-uri, date-time, markdown, phone-number, email-address, and emoji are string types. Glide will pass them as strings to your code, and you have to return them as strings, but Glide treats them specially. For example, if your computed column declares that it returns date-time, then you can use all the date/time comparison operators on the result.

Arrays of primitive values are declared as, for example { "kind": "array", "items": "string" }, which declares an array of strings.


Your Code is Public

Your code needs to be public in order for Glide to read it, so don't put any secrets or sensitive information in there. You also can't assume that the code you're writing is only going to be called from your app. Even if you haven't shared the code's URL, someone else could theoretically run your code by calling it from somewhere else.

Not Designed for Actions

The Experimental Code Column is not designed for code that performs actions. It should only be used to compute data or call data from other services.

This is because you do not control when or how often the code is called and at what interval. This is determined by the internals of Glide.

Another way of thinking about it is that your code should beĀ idempotent. No matter how many times it's run on the same data, the same result will be returned. Code that increments a number, for example, is not idempotent.

Make Sure You Trust The Author

If you're using code written or hosted by someone else, make sure you trust the author. Experimental Code columns can access any data you pass to them so it's important you are confident with where it's going.

Sharing Your Code

Similarly, if you share your code with others,Ā make sure you're clear on the implications and remove any parts of the code that you don't want others to be able to access.

It's Experimental

We built this feature to learn which computed columns we should add to Glide. The Experimental Code column could change drastically, or we could even remove it. We encourage you to play with it, but we don't recommend building mission-critical functionality with it just yet.


Glide support staff cannot help you with your custom code, but you can always post in the community, and you're sure to get a response from one of our friendly community members.


Here are some examples fromĀ the communityĀ that you can copy for free.

Many of these have now been turned into much more accessible columns you can add directly in the Data Editor. Learn more about these here.

Have a question about Experimental Code Column? Ask the Glide community.

Updated more than a week ago
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