Need some serious design help. Sorry this is...

(Tammi Canelli) #1

Need some serious design help.

Sorry this is gonna be long.

I maintain a registry for people needing shelter during an evacuation.

I am in the process of moving the registry from one system to smartsheet and have created an online form using Formstack that integrates beautifully.

What I’m trying to do with appsheet is create very user friendly apps for different areas:

Outbound Callers - calling registrants to see if they plan to evacuate, need transportation, and verify address info Transportation - list of everyone called that needs transport, with transport status update Shelter locations - ability to check in/out

Currently I have everything in one master sheet.

I started to get concerned when I saw the sheet limits - max 5000 rows.

While we currently only have 2000 registered I don’t want to run into issues later.

So my thought was to create a different sheet based on shelter location.

This sheet would contain all the registrants demographic info.

I have many many columns dedicated to the callers, transp, shelter checkin, and then vlaues and counts based on checked in status.

I am wondering if it’s better to have each of these on different sheets, with references back to the main registrant sheet.

Is this necessary for the appsheet design?

Am I looking a different apps for each area or can you assign permissions based on the view?

I would also like to incorporate barcoding for faster check in/out.

Is it possible to setup a behavior (or group of actions) that will auto date/time stamp check when barcode scanned and then another behavior to auto date/time stamp check out when barcode scanned again?

Any helpful tips would be greatly appreciated!

(Grant Stead) #2

@Tammi_Canelli Also, by following good database procedures, you would be able to hand the template to pretty much anyone, and they could spin up an application based on it. Remember, you’re not doing those changes “for appsheet” the things you would be doing to your data is for good data modeling in general.

(Grant Stead) #3

It sounds like you know what you’re talking about already! I would for sure have the registrants in their own table, and the actions they take in a separate table… Transportation requests, shelter check-in…

The reason for this is if they have to get transferred to a new shelter, your want to retain how long they were at the first shelter… So Shelley location would have to be it’s own record, not an edit…

Also, if you pre register the people/families, then you can send them push notifications of the storm. Prior to them deciding that they need to get transported to a shelter… So… Yeah, I would make it all separate tables…

(Tammi Canelli) #4

dang i didn’t even think about the transfer during and retaining history.

i did travel down every other rabbit hole i think.

so my next question:

each table would have it’s own ID:

RegID, TranID, etc?? and then I’m assuming I have those columns in each table as needed?

Can you have more than two referenced IDs in a table?

This level of detail is new to me.

(Tammi Canelli) #5

Well if smartsheet went down we would revert to pen and paper - which was our experience during Irma (pre-Smartsheet) - it was horrible.

At least with everything in one sheet I am able to filter out columns with the reports and if we lose smartsheet I’d have all that data in one printout…so i think i’m talking myself into keeping it on one sheet and maybe just using the slices to break up the data.


(Grant Stead) #6

@Tammi_Canelli I think you’d be better with appsheet since it stores a copy local for offline use… Especially in emergency situations… how do you access smartsheet when the internet and power is out? With appsheet you can keep cooking. (I would go out on a limb and say that appsheet would in this case be more reliable than smartsheet…) And this here seems pretty cumbersome… - Smartsheet Smartsheet

(Tammi Canelli) #7

Is there documentation for the appsheet offline?

I’d like to read more about local use and is that one local file or local to all users that would sync when connection is restored?

(Grant Stead) #8

@Tammi_Canelli - Offline & Sync: The Essentials

When appsheet downloads the definition onto the device, each user is working independently of the backend, then when they have connection it syncs their changes… So it’s beautiful cause if you loose internet/signal everything keeps working just fine… (I work in remote construction sites and it’s offline often…) Offline & Sync: The Essentials

(Tammi Canelli) #9

Do you ever do any consulting?

(Grant Stead) #10

@Tammi_Canelli I am an Appsheet Partner. Shoot me an email anytime - Stead Global, LLC - portfolio of mobile apps created with AppSheet

I chose Appsheet to develop my own applications for my business, which is Project Portfolio Management. I have a lot of faith in the Appsheet platform. (Side note, my parents live in sugarloaf, keys area, and are still fixing their house up from Irma…)

Stead Global, LLC - portfolio of mobile apps created with AppSheet

(Mary Jane Pender) #11

Tammi it is too bad you have to use Smartsheet.

It is so very limited in more ways than one.

Google Sheets can support a lot more than 5000 rows and of course there can be partitoning but Smartsheet also has limits on the column types it uses – doesn’t have a decimal or float column type – has problems with date time columns.

I have had to work with Smartsheets in the past and introduced the client to relational database design in order to link the sheets together.

If you can, I would strongly recommend Google sheets. Google and Appsheet have a very good system up reputation and their back end servers are the best.

(Grant Stead) #12

@Mary_Jane_Pender agreed, wish we could convert her…

(Tammi Canelli) #13

I love google but getting stuff approved through Gov IT takes an act of God and they are all about smartsheet.

How would you compare the security between the two?

(Mary Jane Pender) #14

Google sheets on Google Drive is secured on Google servers by Google.

SmartSheet is secured on their servers.

Google is one of the largest digital cloud companies in the world and I would trust their security any day over a corporate or government’s IT department’s security firewall.

I am not aware of any breach of Google Drive or Google servers in the last 10 years.

Maybe Grant can comment on this as well.

(Grant Stead) #15

@Tammi_Canelli yes, each table needs it’s own keys. The cool part is that if you begin structuring in tables like to the power of appsheet while open up for you

(Mary Jane Pender) #16

Again Tammi I highly recommend you have a discussion with the CEO of AppSheet – Praveen.

He can certainly provide you with all the information you need to make a case for Google Drive.

Smartsheet is in the cloud – on its own servers too.

(Tammi Canelli) #17

Mary how long does it usually take to get a response?

I only emailed yesterday but I’ve got mgmt asking questions…

(Mary Jane Pender) #18

You sent it to

(Mary Jane Pender) #19

Tammi, please email me at so I can privately send you Praveen’s email address.

(Grant Stead) #20

So, in general I see that people use forms and appsheet, but then they want to continue using and playing with their backend… The first thing you should do is figure out what you need to do to never look at your backend again… Maybe it’s forms for certain kinds of input, appsheet for internal stuff, dashboard reporting like cyfe… But at the end of the day, you need to stop messing with your backend directly… So once you figure that out, then you stop caring what your backend looks like… Then your free to build what you want!