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Santiago Uribe
November 03, 2017

Feature Friday: Matryoshka Forms

Welcome back to Feature Friday. This week we are dedicating this space to a single feature release that will take data capture and data management to a new level in your apps. 

We're happy to introduce Nested Forms in AppSheet. Nested forms lets you capture, data for multiple tables, giving more opportunities to customize forms. Here's how it works:


Nested Forms: Save data into multiple tables.

In short, if you have two tables connected via a reference column, you are creating a Parent/Child relationship for the two tables. The child table is the one that contains a table of type Ref. This means any record in the parent table can contain multiple related rows in the child table.

If you mark the child table with IsPartOfAppSheet will treat the items as a unit, enabling new features in forms, allowing you to add and delete parent/child items together. 

Is Part Of.png

When you create a new parent item, you have the option to also add related child record directly from the form. No need to save the record first and add "New" items from a details view. 

Nested Forms.png

You can hide any nested forms using the Show_If functionality, you can also make a certain number of responses required by using the Valid_if functionality. In essence, the nested form has the properties of a regular virtual column in your table, you can change its description, if it's required, hidden, or if the content is valid. 

Here's a quick video walk through: 



Enable IsPartOf in Data > Column > Ref Column type. 

Bonus: Use BEFORE and AFTER values in change workflows. 

When a change workflow runs in your app, there are two versions of the row being updated, the status BEFORE the workflow is triggered and the status AFTER it runs. You can now use those two values in your workflow rules to better customize how they run. For example you can do things like:

  • Only trigger the workflow if the difference between BEFORE and AFTER is greater than a particular value
  • Use the BEFORE and AFTER values in the subject of your message: "Hey there, thank you for changing from the Standard plan to the Premium plan!"
  • Use the BEFORE and AFTER values in the TO: section if you are changing project owners and want both to be notified. 

Use the expression [_THISROW_BEFORE].[Column Name] or [_THISROW_AFTER].[Column Name] to get the values for any change workflow you need.

Because these expressions are mostly useful in Change workflows, you shouldn't use it in scheduled workflows or in change workflows for adds and deletes. 

We'll be providing more tutorials and documentation on this feature, stay tuned!

See you next week!

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