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External links

Do you have data that you want to share with a larger number of people, or even make publicly available? For these use cases, SeaTable's external links are just what you need! External links grant read access to data in SeaTable without requiring a user login. External links can also be embedded in web pages, making it easy to put small and large data collections online.

External links offer many exciting use cases. This article explains what they are and how to use them.

Functionality and types of external links

An external link is a URL that gives you read-only access to a data collection in SeaTable. Such a data collection can be a base or a view.

  • External link for a base: By calling up an external link for a base, the visitor can see all data stored in a base, including all tables. The visitor can also access all existing views and statistics. The evaluation tools grouping, sorting and filtering can be used for own evaluations. (However, new views cannot be created).
  • External link for a view: Such an external link grants read access to a specific view of a table. The rows and columns hidden by the view settings, as well as other tables in Base, remain hidden from visitors to the external link. (As of 27 March 2021, content in link columns cannot be displayed in external links for views).

External links are basically public links, i.e. the link can be accessed by anyone, regardless of a user login. This is also one of the main differences to an invitation link. An invitation link requires a login to SeaTable and thus a user account.

External links are always suitable if you want to make data in bases accessible to external persons and you do not want to make this access dependent on a login to SeaTable. This can be the results of a survey, a price list or the schedule of an event or a product release.

Ein besonderer Einsatzzweck von externen Links ist deren Einbettung in Webseiten. Mit einem einfachen <embed>-Tag können Sie eine Base oder eine Ansicht über einen externen Link in eine Webseite integrieren. Die Bases in der Template Bibliothek sind beispielsweise mittels externer Links in die Webseite SeaTable.io eingebettet.

External links for bases can be created via the Share dialogue. The share dialogue can be opened in the Bases library or in the table view. In the Bases Library, move the mouse pointer to a base and then click on the three-dot icon that appears to the right of the base name. The release dialogue opens with a click on Release. In the table view, open the share dialogue by clicking on the share icon at the top right.

Externe Links für Ansichten lassen sich über die erweiterten Optionen einer Ansicht erstellen. Klicken Sie auf das Dreipunkte-Icon rechts des Ansichtsnamens und dann auf <i>Ansicht teilen</i>.

For each base and each view you can create one or more external links. You can set three properties for each external link:

  • Password protection
  • Automatic sequence
  • Random URL vs. custom URL

The two protection mechanisms password protection and automatic expiry secure the publicly accessible external against unauthorised access. Without password protection and automatic expiry, any person with knowledge of the link has read access to the base without time restriction.

The URL of all external links consists of two parts: The reference to the SeaTable system and the unique reference of the shared resource - base or view. The reference to the SeaTable system at SeaTable.io is uniform https://cloud.seatable.io/dtable/external-links/ for external links for bases or https://cloud.seatable.io/dtable/view-external-links/ for external links for views. The reference depends on the selected URL type. For a random URL, this is a 20-digit combination of letters and numbers; for a custom URL, this is the assigned name preceded by /custom/.

You create an external link by clicking on the Create button. The created external links are listed under the button.

Three icons appear to the right of the created external links when you move the mouse pointer over the link:

  • Use the first icon to call up the embedding preview. You can see how a base or view embedded in your website would look on a desktop/laptop and a mobile device.
  • Use the second icon to copy the link to the clipboard. From there you can paste the link into an e-mail or a web page.
  • Use the third icon to delete the external link.

The management of external links - like their creation - is done via the share dialogue, which you can call up as described above.

Click on External Link in the Share dialogue to display the existing external links. Using the three icons to the right of the link, you can call up the embedding preview, copy the link to the clipboard or delete it (see above for more).

For an existing link, the password protection and expiry date can no longer be changed. You must delete the external link and create it again.