Create vitrual column automatically, like ref type column, when we set the enum/enumlist type with base type ref

Upon setting column to REF, then it will automatically generate LIST type virtual column.

  1. Enum type field with base type ref and reference table are set
  2. EnumList type fields with base type ref and reference table are set

Technically speaking those two enum/enumlist setting should be treated equal to simple REF type, but it will not generate the LIST virtual column, so I quite often construct virtual column manually, especially for EnumList base type ref fields to establish MANY to MANY relationship.

Wondering if we could make it automatically, like normal ref type.

Thank you.

The ONLY downside I’ve ever found with EnumList Ref’s, is that you can’t use them as Inline views. Unless there is a trick to it I don’t know (There’s not, right? I’m not mega-dumb…right?). Otherwise, I currently waste a VC just to have a Ref List that equals the EnumList. :confused:

I m not exactly sure what you mean, but I create virtual column with in expression and create inline view.

What I mean, is that I use an EnumList Ref for Admin user editing, but I need to use a VC List Ref pointed to that EnumList to generate an Inline for general user display. So it would be nice if there were an option for EnumList Refs to be displayed as Inlines.

Yes, currently we need to put the virtual column with select expression manually, but I want to get automatically, which led me to this feature request.

One reason we have added this base type of ref is that it doesn’t create a virtual inline column when the sync time is a concern. If it would create a virtual column, it would probable recreate it after you delete it in the same way than Refrows is recreated. So… it should be an option.

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Yes, I have recently updated an app replacing Ref columns with Enum/Ref so that the “Related” column is NOT automatically generated. I was able to eliminate close to 30 Related columns this way.

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I can definitely see why this feature has been requested. There are cases when you want the functionality provide by Enum columns but still want the automatic reverse list. Multi-select especially!!


Personally, I would like to see all of the Enum/Ref and EnumList/Ref capabilities combined into the normal Ref column controlled by options. I believe that is where they belong anyway. Cluttering Enum (et all) columns with Ref capabilities is confusing - especially to the newer members to AppSheet.

Regardless of how this request is handled, there will still need to be some way to prevent the generation of the automatic VC columns when they are not used. I have made such a suggestion in this Feature Request below:

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In this instance, I don’t want the EnumList Ref to generate reverse-refs. I just would like an option on EnumList column settings when the app creator marks the EnumList as a Ref called “Display as Inline on Detail View?” with a checkbox. Nothing would change about how its edited on a form (assuming a real column with no formula), but with that option checked, the EnumList Ref itself will render as an Inline view on Details.

The whole POINT of the Enum with base type ref was to eliminate those extra inline views.

If you need the reverse reference - use a ref type column


This should be as simple as putting that EnumList column in the app formula for your virtual column, right?
[EnumList_Column]

No crazy SELECT() needed?

Yeah, that’s what I currently do.

It’s nothing complicated. And I’m sure its barely a blip on the overall sync time. But being giving a switch for an option to use the EnumList Ref as the Inline view directly would eliminate my (and I assume others) need to have that virtual column at all. Basically, it would be mega nice if it was just a display option. Similar to the display options for Input on the Form (Auto, Dropdown, Button, etc…).

Ultimately an EnumList of Refs is still a List of Refs. While they should retain all their current Enum-iness for how they are used (like the no auto reverse ref and such), we should at least get an option to be able to natively display them on Detail Views like their VC counterpart would be displayed.

It just seems silly to basically be forced to “cast” the EnumList to a List just for that.

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partyparrot (Appsheet)
Had to be made into a T-shirt

Lmao, I’m gunna be famous :joy:

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