DataMesh within the same sheet to copy cells from one column to another

johngraham78 ✭✭✭
edited 11/10/23 in Best Practice

Up until today I've restricted my understanding of datamesh to copying values from sheet to sheet. However, I just discovered today that you can use it WITHIN a sheet! What does this solve?

If you ever need to copy a value from column A to column B, but do not want to use a formula, then this process is perfect. It also solves having to use data shuttle and excel to export/import a value back into the sheet.

For example, we have a backend process that generates a code for each line item and puts it in a column called [Generated Code]. The code is a concatenation of several things. We have another column called [Code] that is free text. The user has the option of putting something in that field, and most of the time they just forget. The data mesh trick copies the value from [Generated Code] to [Code] so the user never has to worry about it.

If in the future they want/need to make a manual change to the code, they are free to do that. I have data mesh set up to not overwrite values.

A second example has to do with start/end dates of customer events. Most of the time people forget to include an event's end date, and most of our events are 1 day events. This trick copies the start date to end date field. Obviously a formula cannot work here, because you could never have multiday events (without a helper field). This way we assume an empty end date means it's a one date event.

Just thought I'd pass this along, I hope it helps at least one other person.