SeaTable 1.8 Release Notes

SeaTable 1.8: more collaboration and a new column type

We have deployed SeaTable 1.8 on SeaTable Cloud today, and we are confident that you'll agree with us: SeaTable 1.8 is a great new release! It is packed with new features and extensions of existing features as well as a great number of smaller improvements. As usual, this release note only highlights the most important changes and this time it was particularly difficult to choose those highlights. You'll find the complete list of changes - as always - in SeaTable's Changelog. We'll upload the new Docker images to Docker Hub within the next couple of days.

Customizable row height

Literally, SeaTable's new height adjustable rows are its most obvious new features. Four row heights are available: Single, double, triple, and quadruple. The inflated rows make room to show larger picture thumbnails and provide more space to display the content in long-text columns. Specifically, the double row height can hold two lines of text, the triple row height can hold 4, and the quadruple row height holds 6 lines.

Row height is adjustable in SeaTable 1.8

The old (single) row height is the new default row height. When opening a new base or creating a new table, this is applied. The row height setting is hidden behind the new icon in the view toolbar, to the right of the formatting options. Test it and find out which row height suits your application best!

Column type #21: Button

The new column type "Button" is the odd one out among the close to 2 dozen column types now available in SeaTable. (Spoiler: We'll reach the 2 dozen column types very soon. Stay tuned!) The button column does not store any information, its purpose is to trigger automated actions. With its introduction in SeaTable 1.8, buttons can be linked to a script and execute it. Very soon, a click of a button can send an email (see more below) or a chat message. Over the course of 2021, we'll add more and more of these actions.

New column type: Button

When creating a button column, the button's look and purpose is specified. This includes the button's label, its color, and its action. Have a look at the SeaTable Script Manual , if you want to write your own scripts.

Data collection form

Imagine you are head of sales and you want your product managers to update the product information in your product catalog. Until today, you'd have to grant them access to the product catalog base (or a view) and ask them to verify its up-to-dateness. This may end up being a lot of work as you define individual views and share them with individual team members. With SeaTable 1.8, there is a better way! We introduce: The data collection form.

Save mail account credentials in SeaTable

The data collection form is a tabular view of a base that contains only the rows the current user has created. If the current user is the creator of no row in the underlying base, the data collection form is empty. Hence, the user can only create new records, not edit existing ones. Data collection forms are the tool of choice when it comes to bulk updates involving many people, because the data collection form does not require the user to have a sharing permission for the base. The user only needs to have a SeaTable user account.

For you as head of sales, updating the product catalog is short work: Create a data collection form, send the link to your product managers, and have them do the work.

External links for views (Plus and Enterprise subscribers only)

External links for bases have been a core element of SeaTable's sharing features since version 1.0. The newly introduced external links for views are their logical extension and allow much more fine-grained data sharing. As their name suggests, external links for views grant read-only access to one selected view of a table. The rows and columns, which are not included in the view, as well as the other tables in the base remain concealed from the person using the external link.

You create an external link for a view by clicking on the the three-dot icon next to the name of the view. In the "Share view" dialog, you can customize the link to your liking. Hit "Generate" to create the link. You can share the link in any imaginable way: mail, chat, or by embedding it into your website (like we did in our Newsroom).

Sending emails

Talking about extending existing sharing features, SeaTable 1.8 also has one entirely new sharing feature: SeaTable can send emails! Users can save SMTP credentials of one or more email accounts in a base and then employ these mail accounts using the base.sendMail() method in Python and JS scripts.

SeaTable 1.8 presents: Data collection form

The mail accounts are saved in the backend database and encrypted with symmetrical tokens. In one of the next releases, we'll amend the function with a connection test function. Similarly, we'll provide an option to use the email accounts in combination with the new button column.

SAML support

Finally, we have a special feature for on-premises users of SeaTable: SeaTable 1.8 now supports SAML for single sign-on (SSO). Following authentication via Active Directory and LDAP, SeaTable's new support for the popular SSO protocol drives its operational flexibility to a new level and makes its integration in larger infrastructures a lot simpler and smoother. Broadly speaking, the large majority of identity management systems (e.g., okta, Keycloak, Auth0, OneLogin, SiteMinder, ...) support SAML.

The complete documentation for using SAML authentication with SeaTable is provided in the SeaTable Manual.

And much more

This release note would grow to an unmanageable length if every new major development got the space it deserves. So we won't. But we want to mention them here at the least in a cursory manner:

  • SeaTable now supports calculations with date and duration columns using simple operators. Adding a date and a duration together? Nothing simpler than that! Create a formula field, reference the two columns, and put a "+" in between. That's all that it needs. Of coursee, it also works with "-".
  • A web form can now be time-limited. Submissions after the deadline are not possible.
  • New options in single and multiple select columns can now be created by simply pasting content from the clipboard into them. A new option is created automatically and the pasted string gets saved in the cell.
  • When a column permission prevents a user from changing data in a column, the column is highlighted to signal the restricted permission.
  • A new function countlinks() returns the number of linked records in a link to other records column.
  • Advanced columns such as link to other record columns can now also be created on mobile devices.
  • Notifications can contain content from the row that triggers the notification. Simply insert the column name in curly brackets (e.g. {name}) as a placeholder in the notification template.
  • A new filter condition "is current user's ID" has been added. In organizations, where the user IDs are uniquely defined (i.e., student IDs), this filter condition can be used to create a view that shows different information depending on the user that uses it.

Lastly, we have also fixed some bugs:

  • The filter conditions of single select columns have been aligned with those of multiple select columns.
  • Checkboxes and multiple select columns are now sortable.
  • The search function now also includes collaborator as well as single and multiple select columns.
  • The FREEZE_USER_ON_LOGIN_FAILED option works again - thanks to user mtmail for pointing this out.
    • Ralf Dyllick-Brenzinger
      Ralf Dyllick-Brenzinger is the founder and managing director of SeaTable. He is the strategic mastermind of SeaTable and the master of numbers. He loves his fiancée's cookies and a good bike ride.