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Version Control/Backups That Maintain Cell Links



  • I requested ownership of a sheet from another team in my company. Before the sheet was given to me, everything was deleted. All data, the intake form, the headers, all automations. The user said she "misunderstood my request" I now have to spend hours creating a brand new form because I can't restore from a previous version. I have been singing Smartsheet's praises across the company and advocating to keep it, but this major flaw has completely dashed my faith in the product. To have such a major product not provide such a basic function is very frustrating. It has been almost a year since Smartsheets responded with "Thanks for sharing - we hear you on this problem. We want to make it easier to back up your data while preserving critical functionality. Stay tuned for updates in this area." I think it is time for our company to move on with a different, more functional, product.

  • bxefaw
    bxefaw ✭✭

    Lack of basic versioning has been raised as a major vulnerability in our organization. One reason my team uses SmartSheet is the ability to paste full size images into the sheet. In the backup all the images get dumped into a folder, and it's impossible to tell which image belongs in which cell. In this use case the backup is of little value because the important information is tied to where the images appear in the sheet. Versioning is a basic feature, and I'm incredulous it doesn't exist. I can see why organizations would choose an alternate solution to SmartSheet. There is just too much risk here without a viable versioning/backup solution.

  • @bxefaw I have actually found a work around for your issue. We have an intake form set up to receive requests year after year. The form will get too overloaded with requests in a short time and it will start to lag and grow sluggish. I have our forms set to move a row to a "backup" sheet after it is in a completed status and has reached a certain length of time on the main sheet. It is an automation that performs the archiving. Since Smartsheets moves the row as part of an automation process it retains all aspects of it's original submission. Pictures stay in place, cell history is maintained. Notes for specific rows stay with the appropriate rows. Every year I switch the backup sheet to a different document. This can be done every quarter if you need to. It doesn't fix the issue of being able to restore a sheet from a previously saved version, but it does allow for you to backup a sheet and maintain the integrity of the data.

  • bxefaw
    bxefaw ✭✭

    @Alexis Bianca Cano Interesting idea! I'll look into if that would help our situation at all.

  • rbotros
    rbotros ✭✭

    There will be scenarios where the team might want to go back to an prior moment in time and restore an older version. Having version history is important for several reasons:

    1. Audit Trail & Accountability: Version history provides a detailed record of all changes made to a document or project. This serves as an invaluable audit trail, allowing users to track modifications, identify contributors, and establish accountability for each alteration. This transparency is especially important in collaborative environments where multiple team members are working on the same project.
    2. Error Identification & Correction: In the event of errors or unintended changes, version history enables users to pinpoint when and where modifications occurred. This capability streamlines the process of identifying and rectifying mistakes, minimizing impact to project timelines and data accuracy.
    3. Regulatory Compliance: Many industries have regulatory requirements for data management and document control. Version history ensures compliance by offering a detailed account of document changes. This can be crucial for audits and regulatory inspections.
  • me_user
    me_user ✭✭
    edited 12/11/23

    This would be AMAZING. And I don't think it would be too much either since we have the activity log? I currently have a monthly export with Data Shuttle, but a complete version history would be so much better with auditing changes on larger sheets.

  • Not only is this an essential feature that is missing, it makes me sound like a joke to my organization when I demonstrate the closest feature is to setup a "data shuttle" so it can export an excel file that needs to be reuploaded and reformatted - or that a manual "save as new" copy needs to be saved into a sandbox - or a weekly export that would need to be reuploaded and reformatted from an excel document (no better than the weekly export) - with neither means to map columns to their types nor keeping previously established parent-child relationships.