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Jennifer Cadence

Jennifer Cadence
Jennifer helps AppSheet creators learn and love our platform.

Recent Posts

Feature Friday | Headers and footers

Welcome back to AppSheet’s Feature Friday where we showcase both new and favorite features. This quick guide will help you build your apps faster so you can focus on what matters.      Custom Headers + detail views  Detail view types operate jointly with a number of other views. Table, Deck, and Gallery types all rely on the detail view to showcase the full detail of the clipped data from the previous view.  This view type, however, was limited in its customization capabilities. We wanted to grant Creators such as yourself the ability to really take control of what your users experience when they use your apps, so we added the ability to treat the header of the commonly used detail view type as a card view type.  Ready to give it a try? Navigate to UX → Views → Click on Detail View type → View options → Classic (traditional detail view) or Card (custom detail view).    Footers + primary views  When making decisions about how you would like your end users to interact with your application, views are one of the most important areas of consideration. View types can be accessed in a number of ways- adding numerous views types to display your data throughout the application, side menu, or primary views.  The primary views are those that are made accessible via the bottom bar of the application. Think of it like a speed dial for views you’ll need to access quickly and often. If you have a robust app that houses multiple view types, the primary view is an important addition to your application. But what do you do with a footer when you are working with a less complex app that doesn’t require designation of a primary view type?  We asked ourselves the same question and provided a new default view to address the real estate that an unnecessary navigation bar might occupy. If you have an application and have not selected a primary view, the navigation footer disappears. If your app does contain a primary view, a navigation bar will be available in the footer. The only exception to this is form views. You will always have access to the “save” and “cancel” options on a form, no matter the primary view settings.    How will you use these new features in what you’re creating? Stop by the AppSheet community and let us know! Happy app building!

Feature Friday | Charts and an IP address update

Welcome back to AppSheet’s Feature Friday where we showcase both new and favorite features. This quick guide will help you build your apps faster so you can focus on what matters.    Charts  One of the areas we’ve been working to improve is our UX View Type: Charts. We have not released anything just yet, but over the next few months, you’ll begin to see changes and updates. Here’s some of what you can expect:  Charts are changing in a positive way. Our first step is to improve some of the issues that had been encountered in the rendering of the charts.  Over the next few months, a number of updates and small releases will be taking place. These will impact everything from enterprise management to authoring.  Community driven iterations! We’re in need of testers to help us ensure we’re getting it just right. Not everyone who volunteers for this will be accepted into this particular test group, but there will be many more opportunities in the future. You can volunteer by replying to this post in our Creator Community. A friendly reminder for database users For those that currently leverage databases to develop applications, there are updates coming to the IP addresses you’ll need on your allow list. These changes are taking place next week and require an action on your part to ensure there is no disruption in authorization of data usage. Please consult this thread for additional information.   How will you use these new features in what you’re creating? Stop by the AppSheet community and let us know! Happy app building!

Feature Friday | Roadmap edition

Welcome back to AppSheet’s Feature Friday where we showcase both new and favorite features. This quick guide will help you build your apps faster so you can focus on what matters.  The first six months We can hardly believe it, but roughly six months ago AppSheet joined Google Cloud. There has been a number of activities taking place behind the scenes, and this week we held a special Office Hours to address some of the questions and concerns. A recording of the session is available, but below are the three main areas we've been focused on:  Creator Community. We continue to take in and absorb feedback from each one of you across multiple channels. The impact may not be felt immediately, but this feedback helps influence our engineering decisions and other actions we take.  Team expansion. The funny thing about a no-code platform is that you need coders to build it. We've welcomed a number of new team members to make this happen and take AppSheet to the next level.  Improvements and/or new features. In six months we've worked on over 120 new features or updates. Here's a brief overview of some of what we've worked on: What we're working on next  We have some really, really exciting developments in the works. Our engineering efforts will be focused on the following five areas:  Richness Authoring App UX  Connectors Admin So what exactly does this mean? In short, many, if not all, of the features and updates we release this year will be focused on the above list. While we cannot provide a complete list of each and every feature we're working on with a proposed release date, we hope that this provides some clarity around the direction in which the product is heading.  Our commitment  We've thrown a lot of information at you, but the outstanding question is how are we going to improve communicating this all to you? Here are a few immediate steps we're taking: Feature Release Notes section in our Creator Community. The goal of this area is to behave much like a changelog, please see the category description for additional details.  A feature release summary blog post of what we've released that month. This will be posted on the last Friday of every month.  These items are the immediate actions we're taking to improve your experience with AppSheet. Have additional suggestions or requests on how we can improve this part of your experience? Send a direct message to jennifer@appsheet.com  Which of these new features have you used in what you’re creating? Stop by the AppSheet community and let us know! Happy app building!

Feature Friday | Google Cloud Storage and a Sneak Peak

Welcome back to AppSheet’s Feature Friday where we showcase both new and favorite features. This quick guide will help you build your apps faster so you can focus on what matters.  Google Cloud Storage We’re expanding the storage options made available to Creators. The most recent addition allows you to store application and workflow files in Google Cloud. The detailed walk through of how to configure this function can be found in our knowledge base, but here’s a few key notes:  The setup process is controlled by Creators You can choose how to control access to objects (we recommend uniform).  Creators who work with a high quantity of images will find this recent release of particular interest. Inventory for your e-commerce store, rapid factory assembly, field inspection reports, all of these and more would benefit from this storage addition.  A sneak peek at a feature we can’t wait for you to “Meet”  Sometimes we have a feature that is so exciting that we are bursting at the seams to talk about it. When that happens, we try to provide a sneak peek at what we're working on. In this case, we’d like you to “Meet” a functionality that enriches the experience available to your calendar view type. Stay tuned for more information and get your best virtual hangout outfit ready! How will you use these new features in what you’re creating? Stop by the AppSheet community and let us know! Happy app building

Feature Friday | Offline & sync, desktop usage, and LINKTOFORM()

Welcome back to AppSheet’s Feature Friday where we showcase our favorite features. This quick guide will help you build your apps faster so you can focus on what matters.      Offline & sync Did you know that applications built in AppSheet can be used offline? It’s true! And even better, this behavior can be enabled in a few easy steps.  In your application editor, navigate to the “Behavior” tab. Once there, navigate to the “Offline/Sync” tab. From there you can toggle your settings based on your needs. It’s important to note that the “sync” behavior is a critical part of how your application updates your backend. Everyone’s needs are a little different, and because of this we recommend reviewing details outlined in our support documentation.  Desktop Usage It’s a common misconception that applications are only built for mobile devices. In reality, you can actually create applications that are compatible with a variety of devices. Whether you’re working with mobile devices in the field, tablet devices on the manufacturing floor, or desktop devices at your desk, you can access your applications.  One of our favorite ways to work with data on desktops is the dashboard UX view type. You can learn more about working with this feature from this Feature Friday.  LINKTOFORM()  An expression that’s been trending in our Creator Community as of late is LINKTOFORM(). This expression allows you to construct a deep link to the form view named by view-name. If you’re looking for a great example of a use case working with this expression, this post in our Community is a great one.  How will you use these new features in what you’re creating? Stop by the AppSheet community and let us know! Happy app building!

Feature Friday: GETY and GETX, XY map version control, and slices

Welcome back to AppSheet’s Feature Friday where we showcase our favorite features. This quick guide will help you build your apps faster so you can focus on what matters.    GETY and GETX functions For those that work with locations, we’ve added a few additional functions:  GETX(xy) returns the X portion of an XY value as a decimal value in the range +100.000000 to -100.000000. GETY(xy) returns the Y portion of an XY value as a decimal value in the range +100.000000 to -100.000000. These functions are a fantastic alternative to LatLong related functions. You can learn more about these function types in our Expression Types article series.  XY Maps with version control  Column types are an important piece of the data design process. One of these column types, XY, represents a position within an image that you provide. This column type is used most often with the Maps UX view type. When a Map view is configured with an XY-type MapColumn, it will display the image in place of the usual map. This data type is commonly used for applications developed for manufacturing, field work and inventory management but there are a number of other ways in which to leverage this functionality.  One of the challenges of working with this type of data, however, is that the pins associated with these maps could shift if updated maps were not the exact same crop and scale as the previous version. To solve for this, we built the below demo app. This post in our Creator Community contains a detailed walk through of working with this application. Slices The concept of slices is one of the most popular topics for app Creators. Because of this, we want to dive a little deeper. Our upcoming Office Hours on Tuesday, May 19th will feature an in depth conversation on slices and user roles. You can submit your questions and sign up for the session here.  If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of a slice, it’s a subset of the rows, columns, and actions of a table. A slice definition has five components.  The table it's based on (required) Does the slice permit adds, deletes, and updates? (required) The subset of rows it retains from the table (optional) The subset of columns it retains from the table (optional) The subset of actions it retains from the table (optional) You can learn more about slices and how to implement them in our support documentation. How will you use these features in what you’re creating? Stop by the AppSheet community and let us know! Want to spend time with our team? Register for our next Office Hours session for additional Q&A.  Happy app building!

Feature Friday: EOWEEK, creating sample apps and barcodes

Welcome back to AppSheet’s Feature Friday where we showcase our favorite features. This quick guide will help you build your apps faster so you can focus on what matters.    EOWEEK()  If time management is important in your application development, there are a number of different ways to organize how that time is segmented. The EOWEEK() expression, for example, determines what you would like to set as your last day of the week. You can learn more about this expression and comb through a variety of examples here.  Create Sample Apps During this week’s Office Hours we received a lot of questions surrounding how to create sample apps for your team. The simple process takes six steps:  Make sure your app has been marked as Deployed. Open your app in the Editor. Select the Manage > Author tab. Click "Team Work". Set "Make this a team sample?" to checked. Click "Change Visibility". Note that this functionality is only available in certain plan types. Please contact sales@appsheet.com for more information.  Barcodes Whether you're managing inventory, shipping packages or in the field, enabling barcode scanning functionality within your application is a great feature add. Before you reach for your device to start scanning, however, there are two quick steps to take.  First, you’ll need to ensure the column type is set to “text” or “ref” in Data→ Columns. From here, scroll all the way to the far right and click the “Scan” toggle on the column you’d like to enable. Viola! You can now scan barcodes with your mobile device. If you’d like to test it out or see how other apps use this feature, click on the sample app above.  How will you use these features in what you’re creating? Stop by the AppSheet community and let us know! Want to spend time with our team? Register for our next Office Hours session for additional Q&A.  Happy app building!

Feature Friday: Color Picker

Welcome back to AppSheet’s Feature Friday where we showcase new and favorite features. This quick guide will help you build your apps faster so you can focus on what matters.  UX update: color picker  Branding is an important piece of your applications design. It helps define ownership and allows app creators the opportunity to add their own personal touch to the citizen development process. Our recent Office Hours previewed the color picker update. Now, the update is live! In this post, we'll take a deeper look at this release and provide some insight from the team that built it.  Read my chat with Morgan, Adam, and Nico, who are developers on the AppSheet product team.  Jennifer: Can you describe the term "color picker” for those unfamiliar with the term?  Nico: It's a graphical interface that allows you to pick custom colors. Morgan: A color picker lets you choose a color for your app! You can now pick any color you want. Jennifer: That sounds like a really great update! When a Creator makes a color selection, where will that color be visible in the application?  Adam: Places meant to draw attention or emphasize selection state, interactivity, or focus — like buttons, actions, form inputs, active tabs or view buttons. Jennifer: And where can they find this capability?  Morgan: In the UX > Brand tab. Jennifer: Features updates we make to AppSheet are all meant to help citizen developers find success with their application development. How does this latest UX improvement accomplish this?  Morgan: This helps people make apps that fit more closely with their brand. Nico: It gives app creators a little more customization power. It is important for some companies to have colors that match their brand. Adam: It makes it easier to create apps that look consistent with a particular brand, which is often a priority when developing apps for business use. And in general, people will be much happier with the apps they create when they can choose a color they like. If you didn't like any of our default options, you can finally get some relief. Jennifer: It sounds like we're giving more choices back to the Creators for their UX needs. That feels like a powerful addition to the feature set. Are there any helpful tips or tricks you’d like to share to help make the most of this feature? Morgan: Choose a color that coordinates with your app logo and pick a color that is “high contrast,” meaning it is easy to read against the background of your app. You don’t have to be a color expert  — the AppSheet platform will show a warning if the color you pick is not high enough contrast. Nico: Try to pick colors that will contrast well with other colors in your app. For example, a yellow with a white background may not be the best mix. Pick formatting rule colors that don't clash with the primary color. This online palette tool can help. I like a lot of those colors. Adam: The custom theme color can be combined with format rules to add additional colors in more places. Try not to get carried away, though, — sticking with two colors that complement each other well gives a nice effect. Jennifer: Great suggestions! While we're on the topic of UX improvement, are there any additional feature releases coming out soon that this new color picker will impact? Morgan: The header and footer will be colorizable. Also stay tuned for even more brand and theme options.  Adam: A return of the colored header and footer option is on the way, and now you'll be able to choose any color for it. Jennifer: A closing personal question, what is your favorite color combination with the new picker? Morgan: Lately I’ve been into Dark Mode + Purple Nico: I'm a fan of the light blue in the dark theme. Adam: In my own apps I like to use the dark theme with the "LightGreen" option. Thank you to Morgan, Adam, and Nico from our incredible engineering team for their contributions to this week's post. Be sure to follow along in the AppSheet Creator Community for additional updates and register for our next Office Hours session for additional Q&A.  Happy app building! This post was updated on May 20th, 2020.

Feature Friday: UUID, SmartSheet data source and working with Forms

Welcome back to AppSheet’s Feature Friday where we showcase our favorite features. This quick guide will help you build your apps faster so you can focus on what matters.  With the rapid changes in the world around us at this time, we hope everyone is staying safe and sound. For more information regarding AppSheet’s COVID-19 support efforts, please visit our COVID-19 resource page.  Universally Unique Identifiers (UUID)   In this week’s office hours we showcased the recently released UUID.  Previously, Creators could expect to receive a randomly generated, eight character unique ID if the UNIQUEID() expression had been invoked. With this recent release, this expression can be expanded upon to incorporate a longer identifying sequence.  Both UNIQUEID expressions are suitable for those building their applications on AppSheet. Those that work with SQL databases, however, may find that the UUID addition is a better fit for their needs.  SmartSheet report data source Great news- we’ve increased our SmartSheet capabilities! Previously, only SmartSheet Sheets were supported by AppSheet tables. Our recent update allows AppSheet tables to support both SmartSheet Sheets and SmartSheet Row Reports.  This change enables creators to display, update and delete row data contained in a Row Report through an AppSheet table. In addition, AppSheet applications also permit the same SmartSheet Sheet to be included both directly as an AppSheet table based on that sheet and indirectly through an AppSheet table based on a SmartSheet Row report that contains that sheet.  Working with Forms  Some of the most popular use cases for AppSheet application development are inspections and field service work. Forms, one of our UX View types, are an important feature in the creation of these applications. This functionality can range from a basic, single page format to a more advanced, customizable form. We could tell you about how this feature works, but we’d rather show you. Check out the below sample app to explore some of the capabilities of this important feature. How will you use these features in what you’re creating? Stop by the AppSheet community and let us know! Stay safe and happy app building!

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