Recently, I’ve been putting multiple values into single cells in order to reduce the number of “writing events” (I’m not sure what the proper term is) to my spreadsheet. For example, I can used an expression like
concatenate([Value1],", “,[Value2],”, ",[Value3])
to put three values in one cell. Then, in the app, I can access them using combinations of split() and index() expressions. For example, if [Value2] is a number and the name of the column that contains [Value2] is [Example], the following would give me the required value:
By the way, the number() expression is needed because concatenate expression changed the number to text. Number() changes it back to a numeric value.
This makes my job as an app developer a little more complicated but it definitely reduces the number of “writing events” (the number of syncs that the app displays) and I’m also pretty sure that it reduces the actual time that it takes to accomplish syncs. Once the expressions to parse these cells are in place, they don’t seem to slow down the app, at least in my experience.
I’m offering this as a “tip” but if I’m sorely mistaken in my approach, I hope someone will set me straight.
Postscript: Here’s part of a follow-up post I wrote to provide an example of the kind of situation in which putting multiple values in a single cell speeds up the writing time:
I made a sample app to demonstrate how one can speed up the writing process by using concatenate to put several different data points in one cell and thereby reduce the number of writing actions in a grouped action. It’s called “Time test” and it’s on my portfolio: