New Data Explorer being released for the Appsheet Editor

Data Explorer

Today we are beginning to launch our new data schema explorer, which will let app creators explore their data tables while they are editing them.

Where can I find it?

The data explorer can be found as a tab next to the new examples tab while writing expressions in the expression assistant.

What can I do with it?

The data explorer is there to help you visualize your data as you’re working on your expressions, and make inserting columns into your expressions easier.

First, you can use it to see the names of all of your tables and their associated columns:

Hovering over any column will give you the ability to insert it into your expression where your cursor is in the text field:

Hovering over a ref column will show you what table that ref refers to. The ref can be clicked to persist the connecting line:

For those of you who want more space for writing your expressions, you can now also collapse the entire tab section, either by clicking on a tab that’s already open or by clicking on the expand/collapse icon in the top-right corner. This will be remembered, so the next time you visit this modal they will remain closed.

You can see me making use of all of these features in my app below:

We hope that you find this a useful addition, and I’d love to get your feedback on these changes, what we can improve or what you think you’d like to see added to it. As with many of our new features, I will be rolling it to all of you slowly so you may not see it immediately.

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Wow! Neat! Unfortunate it takes up so much real estate. :frowning:

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Looks Neat,
@Stefan_Quartemont Looks like I was wrong…

Yes!!! Love it.

This part is a bit annoying though.

Old assistant examples:

new explorer pane:


And if you’re working on changes to the expression assistant, maybe you can move the Save button to the top as well?

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Thanks for the feedback on that, I’ll try to make those have similar scrolling behaviour. As to the save button, one thing I did do is make the expression assistant a consistent size so the Save button shouldn’t jump around - you can also now just close the tabs so you won’t be waiting for something to load, and it’ll remember that state so if you’re an expert you can just always leave them collapsed. I think we’re still toying with larger changes to the Save behaviour on the Expression Assistant so I don’t want to necessarily change something right now until our UX team has done their research, but I also do think that a more standard location for the Save button should be towards the top.

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Once we select REF type column, we are able to get the referenced table’s column to construct “De-ref” expression, which is super useful.

It would be find more useful we can construct the De-ref-list in the same way. Once we select the list type with base type - Ref, then we are able to pull the column to contruct [List][Referenced-column] so called “De-ref-list”

Hope this function could be under the scope of your further development.

@Takuya_Miyai

@benhare

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I’m glad you find the ref column linking useful, and it is in the cards to add more linkages like that as a follow up. I want to see how this does and if it’s helping some of the core problems our app creators are having with confusion in the expression assistant (I’m fairly sure it will, but I want to get some data to back that up first). Thanks for the feedback though it’s much appreciated!

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I find the decision to accentuate the expression assistant quite fascinating. I was under the impression that Appsheet wanted a large and robust 3rd party ecosystem. Qrew built and maintains a great chrome extension that has the schema, views, and makes the expression editor better, it even has popups to automatically insert field names as you type.

So, why spend the Appsheet resources on this?

Honestly interested to understand. This is the first thing that I’ve seen pop up that directly competes with a 3rd party tool.

Hello Grant, so I’ve actually been working directly with the author of the extension to make sure that the Toolbox works with this new functionality, and it really is a great tool. But also many (most) new creators begin using AppSheet without installing this extension, and for them the expression assistant is a frequent source of confusion, and frankly where we lose a lot of them. So it really was not the design of this functionality to compete with the tool, but try to transpose some functionality to make it available for all of our users.

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10-4

Will get back with more of feedbacks once the new codes to arrive our enterprise account, as it is curently available under the free account for now.

De-ref/de-ref-list is one of the powerful feature under the appsheet to manipulate the data across the different but connected tables. As suggested, it is make appsheet creators (incl. beginners) life easier to give hints to find the related child record to genereate the de-ref-list, when they select the list/basetype/ref type of fields to guide them in more intuitive ways.

Thanks.

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S’il vous plaît
But either I didn’t understand what it was about, or something wrong on my computer
I`m see only arrow near Examples, which hides or shows all tabs
Fig1


Fig2

No tab`s :frowning:

It’s being rolled-out over time. You should see it in a few days, assuming all goes well as the roll-out progresses.

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Hi @benhare,

Can you please change the columns between tables that span multiple hierarchies so that they are populated with expressions connected by de-reference?

For example, in the following case, Company[Phone] is currently populated, but my expectation is [People].[Company].[Phone].

Example.
Create a VC called Company Phone in the Activity table with the following table structure

4A4ED8EF-A5D4-49EF-900D-1BF159C3C12E

Thanks,

FYI
@tsuji_koichi

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Nested de-references are trickier, and are less broadly used (especially by new users) but if it increases the value of this feature for more experienced users like you then I can give it a try.

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Thanks @benhare :pray:

Considering the strength of AppSheet, which allows for the free use of tables and columns where relationships have not been established, the current specification of Data Explorer is understandable.

So, I thought it would be good to have a different mode that we can call Data column tracer.
Instead of displaying all the tables, this mode allows we to traverse the relevant tables from the table that started the Expression Assistant, and add the column beyond that as a de-reference.

I’m thinking of the following behavior.





I hope you find it helpful.
Thanks

That’s a neat idea, asking our UX designer about this/some other changes. For large changes to this feature I’m going to let this sit for a bit and let it gather data (we’re collecting usage data here so we can make good product decisions), but there will be more iterations of the tool.

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Also just mentioning that I’m listening to feedback - you’ll notice in release notes from today that 2 new changes (from this thread, at least in part) are going out. One is helping with scrolling as @Marc_Dillon pointed out, it should scroll independently. The other is adding in the ref lines for other ref-like columns (lists of refs, enums that are refs, enumlists of refs, and lists of enums that are refs). Inserting directly across these other kinds of refs to come soon.

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Hi @benhare

Thanks for reviewing my feedback.
Yes, I think it’s great that AppSheet will consider whether this is really a necessary feature for many app creators.
This is my opinion and I hope you will find it helpful.

I think I’m going to like this feature, and I’ll be sure to check out the fixes you’ve given me and the release notes in the future.:hugs:

Thanks,

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