Thanks for this, @TyAlevizos ! Very clear. One point that I was unaware of until recently is that the Show-column type is not only useful to achieve a desired look – it’s also useful in improving the efficiency and performance of an app. Here’s a description of the column type from @praveen :
Until I read this, I didn’t realize that, as virtual columns, “Show type” columns are in a special “light” category. So, Praveen’s comment really opened my eyes.
I am currently working on an app with 8,000 records and need to have lines of text on to which I can “hang” inline actions, as follows:
I learned from Praveen that whether I make the lines of text on to which I hand my actions real or virtual, doesn’t make much difference – I’ll still make the device hold 8,000 copies of the same text in its memory. These lines of text cannot be show columns because show columns cannot take actions (at least as the platform is currently configured). So, I’m kind of stuck. In regard to the headings (“CEFR-J data,” “English-Japanese dictionaries,” etc.), however, these can be made into show columns. Judging from what Praveen has told me, the switch to show columns should lighten up my app.
I found this tip of yours today because I was thinking “How is that I’ve been using AppSheet for five years and I am only now realizing that show columns are fundamentally a different (and more efficient) type of virtual column?” I looked at the documentation but could find anything. The following article on column types doesn’t even bother to go through the various types and explain what they are for. The show type isn’t even mentioned:
The following article explains how to use the show type for videos but no mention is made of what makes “show” a special type of virtual column from a performance standpoint:
@MultiTech_Visions has made a very nice video explaining how to use this column type but the focus is on “how to” and it doesn’t seem to mention the efficiency dimension.
This really should be spelled out in the “Column Types and Properties” article.
I would give this community an A+ (I’ve learned so much from many generous people) but I’d give documentation on AppSheet about a B or maybe even lower. If it had not been for the community I would have given up long ago. Even with A+ documentation, the community will continue to be necessary but it would seem to me that a lot could be gained in efficiency if more energy could be put into improving the documentation – it’s better to explain something properly once in the documentation instead of trying to explain it individually to thousands of confused creators.