the start of a squeeze? what is the community view?

Si Spence
Si Spence ✭✭✭✭✭✭
edited 12/09/19 in Smartsheet Basics

The email below is the start of a squeeze, the direction of which I’m uncomfortable with and which is ultimately designed to force the switch of collaborators into license holders.  Removing ‘View Cell History’ from collaborators is a particularly unwelcome surprise.

From: Smartsheet Team <>

Sent: 03 September 2019 21:03

To: Si Spence <>

Subject: [Important Announcement] Changes to permissions for unlicensed users

Hi Simon,

This email is to update you of changes we are making to the capabilities available to unlicensed users in Smartsheet. We continue to believe free users play an important role in collaborating on the work you manage in Smartsheet and these changes will not impact their ability to participate by viewing, editing, and updating sheets and reports. However, we also believe that creating, owning, administering, or driving a process, program, or project in Smartsheet should require a paid license.

Effective September 19, the following actions will only be available to licensed users:


  • Create and manage shared filters
  • Create conditional formatting
  • View cell history
  • Lock rows and columns
  • Publish sheets
  • Edit project settings
  • Save sheets as templates

Reports and dashboards

  • Create or alter report definition (updates remain possible by any user, licensed or free)
  • Remove columns from a report
  • Publish reports and dashboards

Alerts, reminders, and requests

  • Create and manage manual reminders for other people
  • Create and manage manual update requests
  • Create and manage automated alerts and reminders

Home screen

  • Create workspaces

The majority of unlicensed users will not be impacted by this change; less than 1% of the unlicensed users who were active in the last 90 days accessed one of these features. Some free users will find that they now need a license to perform some actions that were previously available to them. When a free collaborator or unlicensed user attempts to access a feature that requires a license, they will see a message explaining the situation and will be provided a link to upgrade or be added to a licensed plan.

If you would like to discuss the degree to which these changes impact free users accessing your plan, please fill out the request form available here.



Smartsheet Team


  • Paul Newcome
    Paul Newcome ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I personally don't see any issues with it and actually lean slightly more towards supporting it.


    I also noticed the mention of less than 1% of free users in the past 90 days accessed these affected things. I really don't see and issue here...

  • jehuthra109441

    You hit it spot on Si Spence. 

    Be very careful how you plan your implementation of SS within your company, because their definition of 'free collaborator' becomes noticeably more restricted every single year.  And there is no recourse, EVER, if they remove something that your users like/use/need.  Your choice is keep SS or go elsewhere, they don't make exceptions when it comes to features.

    I definitely agree that it's a squeeze.  Particularly to those older companies who have already become dependent on the functionality and now are no longer grandfathered in.  SS has gotten tired of 'encouraging' all users to switch to licensed users, they are getting much more aggressive with it.

    As to the "less than 1% of free users..." statement, I would once again question the math and logic of SS.  

    - First, if less than 1% of users accessed it, then it clearly can't be a major burden for SS to keep it because if nobody is using it then how is it draining any resources?

    - Second, some of the features listed (like notifications, filters, and locking rows/columns) are ones that are frequently done once and they don't need to be re-done.  The typical usage of these items is very low whether or not you have a license, so using cycle count to justify removal of 'set and forget' features  is inherently flawed.

    - Finally, they say less than 1% accessed any of those features, but they have historically used this statement to justify revoking your features.  It it immediately suspect in my book because there is NO WAY any external company can verify it.

    Every time SS implements an 'upgrade', it comes at a cost to their users.  EVERY time.  Yeah, they may put in some new features too, but their 'impact analysis' always seems to miss my company, and so many others.