Editing rows with a form is the #1 tool missing here

mccoy_FSI ✭✭✭✭✭
edited 10/07/22 in API & Developers

I know this is not a new topic, there are many questions and discussions on this already. But me and my end users really need a form view for modifying existing rows. My rows contain over 250 columns in the database I'm building. If I could create different form views to modify rows with, my efficiency would probably increase 25%, or more. Plus, I really have no efficient way for end users to request database updates. The update request function does not work for end users, or even back end power users, for that matter, it's just not very useful. I have to have this many columns to generate the various documents I'm producing with document generator (amazing function).

I know there are ways to create other sheets that could be populate with rows that then get moved to my database to work as sort of a database update. But to do it that way is clunky and frankly it's simply a workaround not a solution.



  • Lee Joramo
    Lee Joramo ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I agree this is a much needed feature. However, I don't see Smartsheet adding this feature anytime soon. The current solution, while limited, covers a large percentage of the users needs. Beyond Smartsheet's existing workflows to request updates, the remaining needs become very complex and specific to a given set of data.

    I have used the Smartsheet API to add updating rows using an custom-built external form system. A number of issues emerge when you allow updating rows.

    • How do you allow for permissions to edit?
    • Can a user without direct Edit Permissions to sheet, make such updates?
    • What is the impact on workflows?
    • If the columns are added, removed or modified, how is this reflected across all of the forms. In other words, how easy is this to maintain and not forget to update sections of different forms.

    Additionally, you mention having a large number of columns. This likely presents additional issues related to data validation because your are likely to have complex relationships between the columns. A final point with so many columns Smartsheet's "stacked form" or one-dimensional form is likely to become unwieldy. You will likely want to spread fields out both horizontally and vertically.

    Most of the time, we use Smartsheet's provided Forms. But for those times that we need more, I have developed a system using the API that handles all of these (and more issues). For example:

    • the entire form can be viewed by different users who have access to view/edit different field based on the current workflow.
    • provides a easy to read form for large sets of fields and can be laid out as appropriate for the data.

  • mccoy_FSI
    mccoy_FSI ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't see why it's such a complex solution. If the user has collaborator access to the sheet, meaning they can make changes but can't create new columns, why not just have the same interface for new row entries but for row edits? There would be zero affect on workflows, there is not change to the structure of the sheet just the data entry. So I have a database that needs gets request updates often. I cannot have my users go directly to the database, I have to create a helper sheet where they use a form to input their request.