AppFormula calculation for physical/virtual columns

My understanding is that AppFormulas for physical columns are ONLY recalculated when the row is updated - is this correct?

Does the same apply for virtual columns or are AppFormulas on virtual columns recalculated on the fly, e.g. when they are used as input for another formula or the result of the formula is used by a view being displayed, even when the row has not been updated?

Hi @SethHamilton

Short answer: Almost.
Long answer: To my knowledge, the correct word would be : edited.
If one input value of your expression changes due to any other action (for example “set the values of some columns in this row”), then the calculation won’t be updated.

Short answer: Almost, again.
Long answer: The difference with physical columns, is that the virtual columns will be recalculated on the fly, indeed.
However, if one input of the expression is based on a physical column, then you may have to wait for it to be written and “sync back” in order to be used as a correct input for your virtual column.

In most case this is quasi-instantaneous, but that may take a few seconds depending on the complexity and dependencies of the expressions you use.
The longest sync I saw was for a quote sum, that I duplicated with 4 levels of parents/children relations and around 40 virtual columns or so in each table ==> complete sync took around 10 secs.

If you are concerned about sync issues for displaying results, I suggest you have a look to this excellent tip:

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To add onto what @Aurelien has said

App Formulas are updated when you go into a form and you change/add/delete anything in that form. Also if you have an Bot that runs an action on that row then the App forumula will be recalculated.

Very annoyingly, Appsheet has 2 completely seperate ways it processes calculating virtual columns. The first is when your in a form and you change something the virtual column recalculated instantly, same as an App formula above.

The second is if you are looking at the same virtual column in a detail view or table. You need to understand that despite this being exactly the same column its calculated by a completely seperate part of Appsheet. This one only updates when you sync.

So its entirely possible to go into a Detail view and see the virtual column say “10”, then edit that record in a Form an see the same virtual forumla say “9”. So you save that record as “9” and go back to the Detail view and the same virtual column in there says “10” still :confused:


Thanks @Aurelien, that confirms what I thought was happening.


Thanks @1minManager for the extra info.