Archiving with many rows

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We are working on coming up with a plan to archive several sheets. There are a few points that are tripping me up in my planning and I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions or best practices.

Things to note:

  • our sheets get many rows added frequently and we will definitely hit the row/cell limit without archiving.
  • even without hitting the limit of the sheet, there are some API calls to the sheet that are timing out because of the scale of the sheet.
  • On the most concerning sheet, each row has an attachment.


Questions:

  • It seems like a rapidly growing sheet will have an archive sheet that also grows rapidly, so it seems like I will have to keep adding archive sheets and updating any reports that need full history, right?
  • Any tips or organization of where to store Archive sheets? We have vendors who need limited access but mostly use Dynamic views so I don't know if it matters where we store them.

Thanks!

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Answers

  • Lucas Rayala
    Lucas Rayala ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 05/10/23
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    Hi Kristie, archiving is a battle with Smartsheets, especially on really active pages. You mention API calls so I'll assume you have programming resources. One of my largest pages has a lot of admins keeping up a large number of hidden columns, and they're always going in and adding temporary columns to tinker with things. This causes severe bloat in the archive. I have a new rule that any column that we don't want to archive must be created with an asterisk in the column title. I created some python code to delete any column in the archive with an asterisk. That runs once a day, after the daily archive. These keeps all the temp columns and unnecessary columns from accumulatig.

    • It seems like a rapidly growing sheet will have an archive sheet that also grows rapidly, so it seems like I will have to keep adding archive sheets and updating any reports that need full history, right?

    If you have DataMesh, you can also consider creating a more streamlined archive. Make a page with just the columns and rows you need, automatically populating. I have many groups working from one main page with rows flowing on and off at a pretty high rate. I actually give each group an archive using DataMesh, which they then use for metrics. These additional pages are maintained by the groups (except for the DataMesh feed, which I provide).

    But yes, if you are going to work with just the archives, and you don't trim them, you will have to keep adding archives.

    • Any tips or organization of where to store Archive sheets? We have vendors who need limited access but mostly use Dynamic views so I don't know if it matters where we store them.

    Someone else may have a better response -- I don't work with external clients, so that problem isn't something I run into often. For me, I usually create a group and add all my files to that group. Anything I'd rather people weren't digging around, I put in a folder called "Extra" or "Other". Nobody really goes in there 😂 so I just put whatever I need in there. I rely on column locking to keep people from messing with my archives.