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Sharing reports with data without even view access to the source sheet



  • SueinSpain
    SueinSpain ✭✭✭✭✭

    I've been using Smartsheet for 10 years and the reports have gradually been downgraded.

    I used to be able to have a free user change the report filter so they could change a date range of a report - it got removed

    Up until very very recently I could share a report with editor's rights and they could update the data in the report WITHOUT having access to the smartsheet - now they not only have to have access but it has to be EDITOR access and this is impossible for us as there are 3rd parties involved, confidentiality and GDPR legal requirements to be met.

    Smartsheet - you have basically crashed all my reports and now I am absolutely stuck

    Sue Rogers

    AmerisourceBergen - MWI Animal Health

    Business Analyst

  • Hello! We were having the issues above, but there is a workaround without sharing the sheet and not having to set up WorkApps and Dynamic Views. You create the specific workflow with whoever's email address you want to share the data with, and then when the error pops up that they don't have access to the underlying sheet, you just edit the sheet property. Here you can open it to whom you chose the workflow is shared with. This way, anyone can receive specific data you choose, but they cannot access the larger underlying sheet.

  • KCJ
    KCJ ✭✭

    Andrée Starå You should not have to pay more for this very basic task. It's extremely frustrating not being able to share a report and have anyone edit it without sharing the underlying sheet(s)! This should be standard. What's the point of a report if you can't limit what eternal users see and then allow them to edit said report??

  • Salèha El D.
    Salèha El D. ✭✭✭✭✭

    100% agree, it is essential to  keep the source sheet confidential.

    More so that, I looked at Dynamic views and I got to the same conclusion as @Trish Dillon

    At the moment, I share the source sheet, they do not a notification and I set their Permissions to the bare minimum.

    - I am eagerly waiting for this to change.

    Salèha El D.

    Talks about #Smartsheet #productivity, #eventindustry, and #informationtechnology

    ➖Continuous improvement – for me, an ongoing desire to enhance processes, and increase productivity ➖

  • JBG
    JBG ✭✭✭

    It was with a shock that i came to realize this situation today. After using smartsheet as a tool it is meant for, project management. for 6 yeas and now wanting to use it for other capabilities, such as logging vacations, etc. i now realize reports cannot be shared without sharing the underlying sheet containing the relevant data.

    This puts me back a few steps, and probably need to revert something different for solving the challenges.

    @Smartsheet before i start trying to find a different solution of hiding data or reverting to a different tool i would like to know if you are planning to make changes in this area, and when. Or could you propose a easy, efficient and feasible solution.

    Please do not ask me to buy license for other products (Dynamic view) that helps to resolve this problem, as this is really basic functionality within a product.

    Your prompt reply to this request, which is part of all the other requests in this thread that started in Apr '23 would be highly appreciated.

  • Depending on your use case, Dynamic View will not work. I say that having Dynamic View and not being about to share a simple roll up report with specific users without sharing the underlying confidential data.

    My use case is for budget roll-ups: I only want to show each budget owner their roll up with a number of sumifs fields. I literally can't do this because I have to share the underlying sheet. I've been super creative with sheets, reports, and dynamic views and nothing provides an acceptable user experience. Can I make Dynamic view do what I am needing? Yes...but my instructions are literally "make the changes you need to make in the planning Dynamic View", hit save, then Refresh your dashboard". The only way to get the change to flow to the budget roll up dynamic view (that should be able to be a report with a current user filter) is to refresh the entire browser window. And if they are monitoring their budget with 50+ potential data inputs...I'd be asking them to refresh the window 50 times.

    I've been trying to figure this out for 3 years and it is just a really, really big gap in the Smartsheet functionality. (along with the inability to format text in Dynamic View.)

  • Andrée Starå
    Andrée Starå ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi @TSummers

    I hope you're well and safe!

    You could use WorkApps instead. Have you explored it?

    Would that work/help?

    I hope that helps!

    Be safe, and have a fantastic weekend!


    Andrée Starå | Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

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    Andrée Starå | Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

    W: | | P: +46 (0) - 72 - 510 99 35

    Feel free to contact me for help with Smartsheet, integrations, general workflow advice, or anything else.

  • Stu Benoff
    Stu Benoff ✭✭✭✭

    @Andrée Starå Wouldn't that only work if the people you wanted to share to had full Smartsheet licenses since WorkApps requires fully licensed users? This is getting tiring where we need to keep licensing add-ons to make processes work that just should work with a fully-baked product.

  • Andrée Starå
    Andrée Starå ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi @Stu Benoff

    I hope you're well and safe!

    Yes, they would have to have a license, or the company would need to be subscribed to Smartsheet Advance or have an added Collaborator Pack.

    I hope that helps!

    Be safe, and have a fantastic weekend!


    Andrée Starå | Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

    Did my post(s) help or answer your question or solve your problem? Please support the Community by marking it Insightful/Vote Up, Awesome, or/and as the accepted answer. It will make it easier for others to find a solution or help to answer!


    Andrée Starå | Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

    W: | | P: +46 (0) - 72 - 510 99 35

    Feel free to contact me for help with Smartsheet, integrations, general workflow advice, or anything else.

  • This is a super frustrating issue. Has anyone found any good workarounds that don't involve adding dynamic view? I need my collaborators to be able to view their report and make edits, without being able to see the source sheet with everyone's confidential data in it. I'm feeling like my only option, outside of scrapping the entire system I've built in smartsheet, is to share the source sheet and ask everyone not to look at it, I guess?

  • After not finding a great solution here, I used this lengthy workaround:

    1. Copy the source sheet (Save as new) to a new identical file (destination).
    2. Delete all data that doesn't belong to the target user from the destination sheet, then share the destination sheet with the target user (omit notification).
    3. Create a report with the destination sheet as the source, then share the report with the target user (include notification).
    4. In the source sheet, set up a workflow that copies rows pertaining to the target user to the destination file.
    5. Use data mesh to keep the source and destination in sync.

    It's a lot of setup that is tedious and time consuming if lots of columns are involved (I have 258 which needed two separate data mesh mappings), but it works and it's better than scrapping years of data that already exists.

    I use the source sheet to manage employee-specific data. The workflow and data mesh keep each employee's destination sheet and report up-to-date with the changes made in the source, without allowing them to view the source sheet which contains all employee data. Perhaps data mesh could sync edits made on the destination sheet back to the source sheet, but I didn't test it because I don't need it. This won't be a solution for all, but it worked for my needs.

  • We ended up doing something similar for about 70 different people as it was a one time use case and I didn't need it to continue to update, which is what you have. But we:

    1. Made a consolidated sheet with all the needed data
    2. Split that sheet into individual sheets, 1 for each user, deleting all rows now intended for that user
    3. Shared those sheet to the user
    4. Created a report that consolidated all the individual sheets into the 1 report
    5. Used a current user filter on the report
    6. Put the report in a dashboard.

    Alternatively, I've done something a bit similar using Dynamic View by adding extra rows to my source sheet, one for each person I need the budget roll up for, then doing a few sumifs formula to get the math working, then assigning that row to the user/contact and then leveraging Dynamic View. it works...but it is CLUNKY.

    It was the only solution that meet our needs...and it wouldn't have been an ongoing option. It's REALLY frustrating to be told to purchase another add-on. Reports SHOULD be able to do this...please make it happen.

  • I optimistically shared a report of open RFI's on a project with the client, seeking their input to questions we could not answer, only to get an email back from them asking whether they were to expect a blank page...? "No Max, you have editor rights...just enter the RFI answers field"

    Little did I know that the client also needed access to the parent sheet to see any (and all) data. What then is the point of filtered report if you cannot collaborate with it? I thought that was Smartsheet's reason for being! Here's the keys to the house; sleep in any bed you like.

    Smartsheet, please fix this. Way more important than enhanced colour palettes on the Dashboard.

  • Krystal Garcia
    Krystal Garcia ✭✭✭✭✭

    I agree with everyone else here. I paid for dynamic view, limited number of views per pricing by the way, So instead had to duplicate / edit 45 sheets for each of my locations anyway. Ridiculous.

  • Paul Bilbro
    Paul Bilbro ✭✭✭✭

    Big hole in Smartsheet. Even if I create a report widget on a dashboard that I then share to the users I want to pull data from, they can't interact with the report in the dashboard view without sharing them to the source sheet. Even if I share them to the sheet without "notifying users," I am concerned that they can still navigate to the source sheet since I had originally sent them a sharing link to the source sheet although I have since revoked that access.

    If I re-share the sheet without "notifying users" will the old share link navigate to the source sheet, or is every "share link" unique even if it is "to" the same source sheet?

    Same issue with "publishing" the report. I can send them the link of the published report which they can view, but they can't interact with...

    Why do we have a COLLABORATIVE tool that we can't have outside of ORG users COLLABORATE with, without cost prohibitive licenses...? 😡