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Bases

Bases in SeaTable

Bases are central to data collection and management in SeaTable. Whenever you collect, analyse or share data in SeaTable, a base is involved.

At first glance, a base is just a container for one or more tables. From a practical perspective, it is therefore natural to compare a base with an Excel workbook. However, this comparison does not do a base justice. Bases are superior to workbooks, as known from traditional spreadsheets, for several reasons:

  • Support of various data formats (e.g. checkboxes, files, multiple selection, formatted text)
  • Support for relational database functions
  • Various release options for easy exchange of data
  • Real-time collaboration (i.e. real-time transmission of all changes in bases to other editors)
  • Interactive comment function for each data set
  • Complete versioning of all changes and snapshots
  • Integrated web form function and graphical form editor
  • Simple integration options thanks to REST API

Bases are therefore much more than workbooks on the web. You will appreciate these advantages very quickly - and then you won't want to do without them!

Ownership of Bases

Each Base has one (and only one) owner. However, the transfer of ownership of a base from one user to another is possible.

An owner of a base is either a user or a group. If a user is the owner of a base, then only this user has full power of disposal over the base. If the base belongs to a group, the administrators of the group have full access to it.

Transfer base

The direct transfer of ownership from one user to another user or to a group is currently (as of 20.3.2021) not possible. This function will be added shortly. Give the young project SeaTable some more time.

You can perform a change of ownership indirectly by having a Base exported by the old owner and imported by the new owner. (For more information on exporting and importing bases, see the article Data Import and Export in this section).

Creation of bases

You create bases in the Bases Library. You are in this library when you log in. If you are inside a base, you can return to the Bases Library by clicking on the base icon in the top left-hand corner.

In the My Bases area and in each group you belong to, you will find an Add Base button. By clicking on this button, you create a new base in the group in which you have clicked on the button.

When creating a new base, you have three options:

  • Create empty base
  • Import base from a file
  • Create base from a template

When creating an empty base, you must enter a name for the new base. The name may contain letters, numbers and special characters, but may not be longer than 248 characters. With confirmation, the base is created and stored in the Bases library. When importing, you must select the file to be imported via the file manager (e.g. Windows Explorer, Mac Finder). You can import from files in DTABLE, XLSX and CSV format; the name of the selected file becomes the name of the new Base. When creating a base from a template, you can choose from the numerous templates. Selecting the Create Base from Template menu option opens the template menu. Browse through the different templates and select the one that suits you.

Base management

You manage bases via their context menus. If you move the mouse pointer over one of your bases, a pencil icon appears to the right of the name and the three-dot icon for the advanced functions. You will need these regularly to manage your bases.

You cannot manage bases that have been released to you. Only two options are available in the advanced functions of such bases: Exit shared base and Copy.

Rename Base

You can rename bases of which you are the owner or administrator. Move the mouse pointer to the name of the base to be renamed and then click on the pencil icon to the right of the name.

Change base icon and colour

You can change the icons and colours of the bases you own or administer. There are more than 10 colours and more than 20 icons available. Move the mouse pointer to the name of the base and then click on the pencil icon to the right of the name.

Release base

You can share bases that you own or administer with other users and people, giving them access. Sharing is done with different permissions so that you have control over changes in your bases. You set up a share on a base via the advanced functions of the bases. Move the mouse pointer to the name of the Base and click on the three-dot icon to the right of the name. In the share dialogue that opens after selecting the menu item Share, you can define the type of share. (More information on base sharing can be found in the section Collaboration).

Delete base

You can delete bases of which you are the owner or administrator. Move the mouse pointer to the base to be deleted, then click the three-dot icon to the right of the name and select Delete in the menu that opens. To permanently delete the base and all data in it, confirm the confirmation prompt.

Copy base

You can copy all bases to which you have access. Move the mouse pointer to the base you want to copy, then click the three-dot icon to the right of the name and select the Copy menu item. Now select where the base is to be copied. It can either be copied to your own bases or to one of your groups.

Export base

For backup, transfer to another user or transfer to another SeaTable server, bases can be exported by their owners and administrators. Move the mouse pointer to the base you want to export and select Export in the menu behind the three-dot icon. The export may take some time depending on the size of the base. Basically, the export is done into a file of the type .dtable. The name of the export file is the name of the base. (For more information on exporting bases, see the article Data import and export in this section). If the export option is not displayed, you do not have sufficient permissions.

Restore Base Snapshot

You can view and restore the snapshots of the bases you own or administer. Move the mouse pointer to the base, then click the three-dot icon to the right of the name and select Snapshots in the menu that opens to display the available snapshots. Click on View to open the selected snapshot in a new browser tab. Click on Restore to copy the selected snapshot to a new base whose name you have to enter. (More information on snapshots can be found in the article Versioning & Snapshots in this section).