Today, we have deployed SeaTable 1.5 on cloud.seatable.io. When logging in the next time, all users will benefit from exciting new features and a host of interface and functional improvements. Most notably, the table editor has undergone a series of smaller and larger improvements to boost workflow efficiency and user experience. New custom sharing permissions provide more control and flexibility when sharing bases. Enhanced customizing options render SeaTable's web forms an even more versatile data capturing tool.
The full list of changes is, as always, available in SeaTable's Changelog. This release note presents the new version's biggest and most exciting changes.
Sleeker table editor
Given that most users spend most of their time in SeaTable in the table editor, we spend a lot of time thinking up ways to make its many menus, wizards and views more user friendly. We believe we have made great strides in this regard by replacing modals through inline menus, improving menu design as well as upgrading the graphics library for the statistics views. On top of that we have improved our view plugins. In summary, capturing and crunching data has become quite a bit more fun in SeaTable 1.5's table editor!
Modals, control elements, which appear in the foreground and dim the background, have been common sights in previous SeaTable versions. The 'Insert column' and 'Customize column type', for example, were modal menus. While they have served us well so far, they provide room for improvement in terms of smoothness and workflow efficiency: When the modal opens up in the middle of the screen, it prompts the user to move the mouse over to it. Worse, when the modal covers relevant data in the table behind it, the table's scroll bars are disabled and the relevant information cannot be brought out from behind the modal. So what did we do? We replaced the modals with non-modal menus which provide all the functions of their predecessors without their drawbacks.
The options menu in single and multiple select columns is another menu that we converted into a non-modal menu. But we didn't stop there. We also replaced the existing, somewhat cumbersome cascading menu with a much more convenient single window menu. Options can now be created, modified and deleted in one menu with as few clicks as possible.
Co-editing on tables
SeaTable 1.4 introduced a new wizard to facilitate the linking of records. The wizard opens with a double-click in a cell with a link and presents all records in the linked column in an overlay. Clicking a record from the list posts it in the cell. The wizard made linking a record as simple as selecting a value from a dropdown menu.
SeaTable 1.5 now makes the wizard even more powerful by adding an edit to the existing display function! A click on a linked record opens the record's row details. Any edits made there are written to the linked table. If the linked table needs to be accessed, a link atop the record's details provides one-click access.
Let's get precise
In addition to the select and link column types, the number and formula columns also got an update. The format settings of the number column now allow the definition of the decimal precision. The number of decimal places can be individually set at anything between 0 and 8. Of course, these settings can be applied to number, percent and currency values and independent of the decimal separator sign.
When a formula result is numerical (e.g., sum, roundup, average), all format settings available in the number column are now also available in the formula column. For maximum flexibility, a result's formatting in the formula column is independent from the formula's input fields.
SeaTable's statistics module makes use of the open-source data visualization library G2. G2 allows SeaTable to generate a multitude of web-based views interactively and dynamically.
In SeaTable 1.5, we have updated G2 to the current version 4.0 which had been released earlier in 2020 by the data visualization team from the Ant Group. Together with some changes in its integration in SeaTable, this upgrade improves the general reliability and stability of the statistics module.
Better view plugins
The map and the timeline plugin have also seen their fair share of improvements. The map plugin, for example, now remembers the user's last position. When you open up the map plugin, you can pick up your work right where you left off. In the timeline plugin, we reduced the scrolling speed which many customers found too fast.
Custom sharing permissions
Imagine you want to share a base with your teammates with different access rights: You want all of your coworkers to have read-only access to all tables in the base, but some should have read-write access to some tables and a few to all tables. Sounds complicated to implement and, indeed, it was until SeaTable 1.5. A base had to be broken up into several bases and then shared separately with the different permissions to the different groups.
In this new release, we introduce custom sharing permissions. Thanks to them, the above scenario causes no headache anymore. A custom sharing permission consists of individual access rules for all tables and their views in a base. With a custom sharing permission, you may grant read-write access to one table, but read-only access to another. But this is not all: Permissions can even be defined on a view-level. So you may grant read-write access to a specific view of a table, but read-only access to the default view. If you want to grant no access to a table or view, you can do that too. No problem, just grant neither read-write nor read-only access. And it gets even better: An unlimited number of custom sharing permissions can be defined for every base. You were longing for more fine-grained access control in SeaTable? Well, you just got it!
More flexible forms
SeaTable's powerful web forms have proven to be a very sought after feature in recent months. We are proud that countless restaurants, coffee shops and bars all across Europe have started using SeaTable for registering guest contact information during the Corona pandemic.
Based on customer feedback, and in an effort to support this suffering line of business, we have added three more customizing options: Firstly, SeaTable forms now support custom "thank you for your participation" messages. No matter if you want to convey a special thanks to the participants or if you want to provide some additional information after submission, the forms function has your back. Secondly, automatic page redirection was a widely requested feature. It's a pleasure for us to add this option in SeaTable 1.5. When specified, SeaTable redirects the participants to a page of your choice after submitting the form. Thirdly and lastly, we have made the form notices more flexible. In addition to the optional form note at the bottom of the form, a form notice can be added at the top.
We are crossing our fingers that the Corona pandemic will be something for the history books very soon. Yet, if the pandemic is with us for longer, we hope that these improvements will help SeaTable users in the hard-hit restaurant industry.
This release note only covers the most important improvements in greater detail. The Changelog contains the complete list of modifications. Check it out! Among the noteworthy smaller improvements are time triggers for Python scripts (see the release note of SeaTable 1.4) and the removal of performance issues when handling a larger number of rows in the table editor.
Register your team account now and use SeaTable permanently free-of-charge! For feedback and comments, we are looking forward to hearing from you in the SeaTable Forum.