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Manage your own fleet with smart templates

Managing a fleet of vehicles is a versatile and responsible task for companies and self-employed persons. With a template for your fleet management, vehicles and their use can be planned precisely. In the following, we explain how you can manage bookings, returns, repairs and inspection dates in a convenient and uncomplicated way.

What exactly is fleet management?

Every company that owns company vehicles should have a good system for managing them - it does not matter whether the vehicles are used for transporting goods or whether the vehicles are intended for transporting people on business trips. Fleet management includes the complete organisation of a company's own vehicle fleet, but also ensuring the economic efficiency of goods transport or passenger transport.

Fleet management enables the securing and maintenance of operations. For this purpose, existing vehicles must be maintained, repaired and serviced. In addition, the fleet must be managed efficiently in terms of costs. For short trips, for example, electric vehicles can also be used to conserve resources and the environment.

Tasks of fleet management

Fleet management can vary in size and intensity. This depends entirely on the purpose for which the vehicles are integrated into the company. Transport companies, or companies that depend on vehicles for their daily business, will certainly organise their fleet planning somewhat differently than companies that only need their fleet for their employees and business trips.

Fleet management has the task of making all processes involving vehicles as efficient and cost-effective as possible. This concerns acquisition costs, operating costs, but also maintenance work and repairs. Savings here can be used sensibly in other places.

It is also important to keep an eye on the environment and sustainability when planning a fleet. For companies, these topics are more important than ever before. E-mobility and the reduction of CO₂ emissions are issues that have a high priority in the public eye due to social and also political discourse and create an expectation among customers. In view of the mobility turnaround, planning electric vehicles into the fleet is not only a financial aspect, but also a strategic one.

However, the problem-free and uncomplicated allocation and provision of vehicles is also an important task. For this purpose, digital booking systems can be used to facilitate the booking and to document the process completely.

Important aspects of fleet management

  • Handover of vehicles
  • Booking and distribution of vehicles
  • Commissioning and monitoring repairs and inspections
  • Management and needs assessment of the vehicles
  • Follow strategic guidelines

Systems for fleet management

There are several different solutions for managing a fleet of vehicles. The software solution should fulfil various requirements: On the one hand, it should be flexible and thus applicable to a wide range of scenarios. It should also be able to collect different types of data while remaining easy to use.

Depending on the size of the company, the requirements for such software are different - here, the flexibility of the software is particularly important so that it can adapt to the needs of the company. Large companies, for example, can fall back on dedicated industry solutions, but these are often expensive. However, smaller businesses and traditional companies that only have a small fleet of vehicles do not have to plunge into the expense of an expensive fleet management system.

SeaTable is best suited for the management and organisation of small fleets, such as in craft businesses or small companies that have employees in the field. We explain below how you can efficiently use our SeaTable template for your fleet management!

Manage your fleet with SeaTable

Keep track of your entire fleet. With our Fleet Management Template you can catalogue your vehicles and make them available to your employees for booking. Document handovers and returns as well as repairs and appointments for your vehicles.

In the first step, compile an overview of your fleet: You can enter any information that is important to you. With different types of columns, you can create your very own view of your fleet. For this purpose, we have stored images that are displayed directly in the gallery plug-in. Add further data to describe your vehicles, such as make, colour, drive and mileage.

Overview of the vehicle fleet in your fleet

Overview of the vehicle fleet in your fleet

Set all the information you need in your daily business here and create your own catalogue.

Manage bookings and rentals

Manage all bookings of your vehicles in one table. Interested parties and employees use a web form for the booking, which is based on the columns of this table. Contact details are entered there, the desired vehicle is selected and the rental or usage period is specified - after sending, the request immediately appears in your table and you can process it.

Vehicle enquiries for your fleet via web form

Several tables are linked to the "Rentals" table to reflect data. Each request can be assigned to an existing employee and the desired vehicle. You then check whether the vehicle can be used at the requested time or whether it is already assigned during the period.

Use the timeline plugin for this: All requests with the desired time period are displayed here. If there are double bookings, as in our picture example, you can reject the request that arrived later.
Vehicles booked in your fleet

After the check, the status of the application can be changed with a simple click. With the button column, SeaTable makes it possible to automate certain processes and trigger them with just one click. This allows you to easily process applications further.

The rejection or confirmation of a vehicle booking is also fully automated with just one click. In our fleet management template, you can either confirm requests if there was no double booking or reject them. A preset email is then sent to the applicant with the respective information.

Keeping an eye on maintenance

Since the condition of all vehicles must always be strictly recorded upon handover, handover records are essential. Damage or other signs of wear can be recorded directly. Again, a web form is used for this purpose, which appears directly in the table after submission. If repair work is required, the repair progress can be documented in the "Repairs" table.

To keep all vehicles roadworthy, appointments such as inspections and tyre changes must be kept regularly. The general inspection, which is due every two years, is also obligatory so that the vehicles in your fleet can continue to participate safely in traffic.

Important dates are already marked in the table. Through notification rules, which are automatically triggered by a rule, involved responsible persons are informed in time about upcoming appointments. So you don't have to look at the calendar every day - SeaTable automatically sends you everything important at the right time.

Use SeaTable for your fleet

SeaTable offers simple and intuitive handling of your fleet and incoming booking requests. This means you always have an overview of which vehicles are available at what time and the condition of your fleet. Try SeaTable and our fleet management template today and get to know SeaTable with its flexible applicability!

SeaTable 2.6: Private views, more default values and improved page design plugin

We are pleased to present in these release notes version 2.6 of SeaTable, the last new release in 2021. If you are tired of eating biscuits in the coming days and need a little distance from the dear family, then take a look. There is more than enough new stuff to discover! The highlights of the new version are the private views, the data update function for CSV and XLSX files, default values for three additional column types and an extended page design plug-in. And that's not all. SeaTable 2.6 is filled to bursting with minor improvements to existing features. You can find the complete list of changes - as always - in the SeaTable Changelog.

Private views (only for Enterprise subscribers)

A view is a collection of filtering, sorting, grouping rules and conditional formatting settings. In other words, views provide individual perspectives on the data in your tables. Do you need to check new entries in a table regularly? Then simply create a view that filters via the creation date and only displays new entries from the recent past. The desired evaluation is then always just a click away.

Private views and normal views share the characteristic that they allow a certain viewpoint on your data. They differ in that private views in shared bases are not visible to other users. Only the user who created a private view can see it. Because setting changes in a private view do not affect other users, they are particularly suitable for data analysis when filters, sorting and grouping rules are changed frequently.

Three more column types with default values

SeaTable 2.0 introduced default values for text, number and single selection columns. Version 2.6 now adds the column types checkbox, rating and formatted text to this list. So from now on you can set whether a checkbox in a new entry should be ticked by default and which rating should be assigned automatically. In the case of formatted text, the default value function can do much more than simply define a default value. In the formatted text editor, you can create a complete document structure. Such a predefined structure makes it very easy to enter qualitative data in a uniform and standardised form.

Improved page design plugin

The page design plugin makes creating good-looking certificates and form letters a breeze. In SeaTable 2.6 you can now also do this with multi-page documents. Was sending out your Christmas letters a lot of work this year? Next year, simply use the page design plugin and get into the Christmas spirit faster.

In addition, the plugin offers a second major innovation: the display of linked entries in table form. You only have to position the placeholder for the table on the page and then select the columns to be displayed. The plugin pulls the data from the linked table and displays it in the desired table structure. The table size adjusts automatically: The table lengthens with more entries; if there are no linked entries, no table is displayed. To give the inserted table a visual appearance, you can set the colour of rows, the colour of the frame and the font. This gives the document a unified appearance.

Last but not least, we have also added the function to change the page size after creation. Thanks to this addition, the template does not have to be recreated when the page size is adjusted.

Data update via CSV and XLSX

SeaTable has had an import function for CSV and XLSX files since its early days. With the new release, SeaTable can do much more than simply import their content. In SeaTable 2.6 you can use both file types to update existing data in your bases. You specify the column or columns over which SeaTable compares records in the import file and the SeaTable table, and SeaTable does the updating. If there is a match, SeaTable overwrites the current value with the new value from the import file.

Imagine you have already started your work with a data set and now an update of this data set comes in. The new XLSX file contains new entries, some entries have been changed and one or the other column has also been added. Previously you would have had to import the file into a new table and start again. With SeaTable 2.6, you simply import the file a second time and SeaTable updates the table data for you (provided there is a column with a unique identifier that has not been changed): New entries and columns in the import file are added to the SeaTable table and changed entries are adjusted. All columns and statistics that you had already created after the first import are retained.

Customisable table header

After repeated customer requests, we have made the table header customisable in SeaTable 2.6 via two setting options. The adjustable row height is particularly convenient when a long column name is to be displayed in full length. If the row height is doubled, the text is wrapped to two rows so that the column width can be halved. The second option allows you to hide the arrow icons that can be used to call up the context menus of the columns. When a table is created completely for the first time and the column settings become less important, more space can be created for the column names.

More improvements

Here is a brief overview of some of the numerous improvements:

The date column has been given a new date format. The format DD.MM.YYYY will primarily make users in Germany happy.

The new Base Status provides an overview of the most important statistics of a Base. It lists the rows per table and view as well as the values for the base as a whole.

The data collection form now also supports columns of the type Link and Formula for Link. If a collection form contains links to other tables, then these and formulas based on them are displayed even if the user does not have access to the linked table.

The formatted text editor offers a full-screen mode for more clarity when editing text. Especially when using this column type for documentation purposes, users will appreciate the extra space.

The data processing operation Compare and Link has undergone several improvements in SeaTable 2.6. Not only can all relevant column types now be used in the definition of the matching rule, but the operation can now also be executed autonomously via automation. If a row fulfils a predefined condition after a change, it is automatically linked to the other row .

The formulas findmin and findmax in the column type Formulas for Links now also support filtered searches.

New licence requirement (only for on-premises users)

With version 2.6 SeaTable Server Enterprise Edition (SeaTable Server EE) requires a licence file. Without a licence file, SeaTable Server refuses to start. Earlier versions could also be started without a licence file. If your SeaTable Server EE does not start after the update, please check for the existence of a licence file.

A free licence for up to three users and a validity of 2 years is available on request via our website.

Which SeaTable is right for you?

There is no one SeaTable, but you can get SeaTable in three different versions. The choice of your SeaTable system has a big impact on how quickly you can get started, how much you have to take care of yourself, the price you pay and the control you have over your own data. This article will give you a complete overview of what products are available to you and the benefits of each product. By the end of this text, you will know which SeaTable is right for you. Promised.

Why do I even have to choose between SeaTable Cloud, Dedicated or On-Premises?

Most browser-based software solutions today are developed as cloud solutions. This approach offers many advantages, both for the user, the IT departments and also for the user. Users are happy that they can simply get started after a short registration. No administrator is needed for a cloud solution and the costs are usually cheap and clearly calculable. The provider of the cloud solution also has many advantages: instead of having to take care of many different customer systems, only one central system needs to be maintained. This makes it easy to always keep it up to date. The resources of this system can also be better utilised.

An IDC study from 2020 provides clear evidence of the new love for the public cloud. Of the 200 companies with more than 100 employees, more than 80% said they already have a multi-cloud strategy and see this as the best solution for the future.

With SeaTable, it's different. We are firmly convinced that a cloud solution is the best solution for most users. At the same time, there are many cases where you don't want a cloud solution. That's why SeaTable was designed from the beginning to have two other products besides the cloud. These are the self-hosted on-premises systems and dedicated systems.

At SeaTable we believe that people, businesses and your requirements are different and therefore it doesn't make sense to squeeze them all into the same product.

What is the alternative to the SeaTable cloud?

Even though cloud solutions are currently very popular, a countermovement can be observed, especially in Europe and Germany. Many people and organisations value data protection and the possibility of having more control over their own data. These people recognise the sense of a public cloud solution, but do not want to accept or at least reduce the loss of control. With any cloud solution, you entrust your data to a service provider and pay for the provision of a service and the processing of the data. In some cases, companies even prohibit the use of foreign cloud solutions because critical data, such as personal data or intellectual property, should not be transferred to foreign companies.

We offer these organisations the opportunity to gain more control over their data and, depending on their technical expertise, a self-hosted solution or a dedicated system of their own can be used.

SeaTable On-Premises and Dedicated

With a self-hosted solution (on-premises), you only license the SeaTable software solution and can then determine where you want to install this software. For the installation, you use the English administrator's manual and retain full control over the data and the system with this on-premises approach. Conversely, however, you have to take care of the installation, operation, maintenance and updates yourself.

Public Cloud vs. On-Premises

Cloud or rather self-hosted?

A dedicated system is, in a way, the middle ground: you no longer share the system with many other users, but you get your own personal system, which you do not administer yourself. All administrative activities are taken over by the developer of the software. The developer installs updates and ensures that the system functions reliably. In terms of administration and functions, a dedicated SeaTable behaves like a cloud product, but in terms of use it is more like an on-premises system.

The following table shows an overview of the different aspects of the three products:

 CloudDedicatedOn-Premises
VersionsFree, Plus, EnterpriseEnterpriseEnterprise
Usable free of charge (SeaTable Free)
Administration
Any server location
automatic updates
own administration
Access Linux command line
Own authentication
Customizing
custom logo
custom URL
custom templates
own user roles
Support
optional corporate support
RequirementsE-mail addressmin. 100 usersLinux server or VM

The three central questions for choosing the right product

Now you may wonder how you are supposed to know which is the right product for you? The following three questions will help you decide which product is right for you:

  • Can I take over the administration of a SeaTable server myself?
  • Is my data particularly worthy of protection?
  • Do I need individual customisations such as a custom logo, own colours and custom templates?

If you answered "yes" to all three questions, then only an on-premises system is an option for you. If you answered "no" to all three questions, then you should give the SeaTable cloud a chance. In all other cases, you should read on and look at the three products in detail.

If you are not 100% sure which version is the right one for you, try the SeaTable Cloud first. This is available immediately, offers all functions and costs little. At the same time, you can transfer your data from the cloud to a dedicated or self-hosted SeaTable server at any time.

Product comparison: which SeaTable is suitable for you?

Read all the details about the three SeaTable products in the following section.

The SeaTable Cloud is ready for use immediately

So far, this article has only talked about the SeaTable Cloud. In fact, there are three cloud offers called "Free", "Plus" and "Enterprise". These differ in price, the functions included and the usage limits. As the name suggests, the Free subscription is a free and at the same time functionally limited version. A maximum of 2,000 rows is available to your team with a Free subscription. With a Plus and Enterprise subscription, you pay a monthly fee and receive higher limits and more functions in return. For a full list of the exact differences between these subscription models, see the SeaTable Cloud pricing page.

The SeaTable Cloud is configured so that teams can be formed. Each team can include as many other members as desired, who can then work together, but at the same time the teams are logically separated from each other. Sharing across team boundaries is possible, but groups can only be formed within a team. The SeaTable software thus ensures that everyone can only access the information to which they should have access.

With the SeaTable Cloud, all users share the same system. You can access it at cloud.seatable.io and register new users on the page you are currently on. All data and user information is backed up in the same database and data storage. Specifically, the SeaTable cloud runs in the German data centres of the Swiss provider Exoscale. By the way, you can find more background knowledge about the decision for Exoscale in this blog article.

Updates, backups and maintenance are carried out automatically and at regular intervals by the system administrators of SeaTable GmbH.

The advantages of the SeaTable Cloud:

  • The SeaTable Cloud is ready for use immediately
  • For registration you only need an e-mail address
  • Start with the free subscription
  • Switch to a Plus or Enterprise subscription at any time
  • Only pay for the users you need
  • Updates and backups are carried out by SeaTable GmbH.
  • Trust the data storage in Exoscale's German data centre

With SeaTable Dedicated you make your life easy

With a dedicated system, you get your own personal cloud, which SeaTable GmbH manages for your company. Maintenance, updates and backups of the system are carried out by the same system administrators of cloud.seatable.io.
of cloud.seatable.io. However, since it is your own system, you can determine which domain or subdomain as well as colour scheme and logo should be used. You also have a much greater degree of freedom when it comes to authenticating users. For example, you can integrate an LDAP server or single sign-on authentication via SAML.
You can also determine the templates that are offered to your team in the system. Normally, you do not need to separate teams in a dedicated system, so that all new users can work together immediately. Nevertheless, you can of course define which roles and permissions are assigned in the system and which capabilities the system should provide.

A basic requirement for a dedicated system is at least 100 users. You only pay an annual fixed price per user. You do not have to reckon with any further costs.
The installation takes place within a few days after the order on the servers of the provider Exoscale. As soon as you have set the corresponding DNS entry, the system is available to you.

The advantages of a dedicated system:

  • You can set the URL, colours, logo and templates
  • Use existing user authentications such as LDAP or SAML
  • No administrative effort
  • Regular updates and maintenance
  • Your system, your database, your data storage
  • Hosting in the German data centre of Exoscale

With SeaTable Enterprise On-Premises you have full control

With an on-premises system, you decide where and on what hardware your system runs. This can be either your own server or a virtual server in any data centre. You download the SeaTable Enterprise Container from Docker Hub and install and configure the system according to the SeaTable manual.

In any case, you need a licence to start the SeaTable Server. For up to three users, you receive a free two-year licence. Only your e-mail address is required for this. If you want to use more than three users, you have to license SeaTable Enterprise according to their user numbers. The licence file is a txt file that has to be stored on your server. The validity is validated when the SeaTable server is started. A connection to the internet to a licence server is not necessary. SeaTable Enterprise can therefore be operated completely isolated and autonomously in a local network.

With a self-hosted SeaTable Enterprise System you get all the possibilities of SeaTable and at the same time you have complete control over all components of the system. You define which roles and permissions you assign, which users are allowed to log into your system and which functions you want to activate. You also retain full control over the choice of hardware or virtualisation environment used.

SeaTable Enterprise is installed via Docker on a Linux server. The operation is not complicated if you have experience with the Linux command line and the operation of a server. Of course, with the purchase of a SeaTable licence, SeaTable support is available to you. We also offer individual packages for maintenance and support on request.

The advantages of an on-premises system:

  • Full control over hardware and data storage
  • Full range of functions is available
  • No internet connection required
  • Individual configuration of the system possible

In addition to the Enterprise Edition, there is also the Developer Edition, which is functionally very limited and is primarily aimed at developers who want to use SeaTable as a flexible database with its own front end. Details on the two editions and the exact differences can be found in the blog article SeaTable Enterprise and Developer Edition in comparison.

SeaTable 2.4: Improved display options for faster work

SeaTable 2.4 has seen the light of day! The latest incarnation of the SeaTable Server was uploaded to Docker Hub at the end of last week and SeaTable Cloud was updated this morning. The new version offers a number of improvements and new features: View navigation is now dockable, the Link to Other Entries column type offers enhanced settings, a new and improved data processing operation make quantitative analysis easier. In addition, a new conditional formatting offers help with large data sets. And these are just the features that stand out from the crowd. SeaTable 2.4 also offers much more. You will find the most important information about the new release in these release notes. You will find the complete list of changes - as always in the changelog.

Dockable view navigation

Views provide unique perspectives on the data in a SeaTable table and are fantastic tools for data analysis. But, according to user feedback, switching between views is unnecessarily complicated.

Pinnable view navigation

With SeaTable 2.4 we introduce dockable view navigation, which makes selecting and switching between views as easy as navigating folders in a file manager à la Windows Explorer or the Finder on the Mac. With the navigation docked, the list of views is expanded across the full left side of the table editor, making the views directly available for selection. To accommodate different needs, the width of the docked navigation can be set individually according to requirements. If you have to switch between views frequently, this innovation will save you a lot of clicking and mouse work.

Linking to other entries much more flexible

The column type Link to other entries is probably SeaTable's most important. SeaTable is not just another online spreadsheet! Like no other column type, this column type stands for that. And in SeaTable 2.4 we have made this column type even better.

More display options for link column

In previous SeaTable versions, the link always showed the value of the first column of the linked entry. From now on you can select which column value of the linked row should be shown. This selection is easily done via a dropdown menu in the link column configuration. What sounds small is of great importance! Imagine that the first column in the linked table is an autonumber column. These values are without relevant information for you, the display without significant meaning. In the new version you now choose a column that contains more meaningful information. This simplifies link creation and makes the table more compact with fewer lookup columns. Finally, the revised link column also makes web forms more powerful for polls and surveys. The selected display column is also the one that a visitor sees and can choose from in the web form. We are confident that you will be as excited about the new feature as we are.

Automatically highlight duplicates

You want to identify all duplicates in your table? With SeaTable 2.4 you now have not one but two ways to do this: you can use the data deduplication plugin or the new conditional formatting option "Highlight duplicates". This formatting option highlights all duplicate rows in the active table. By selecting the comparison columns, you can define exactly what constitutes a duplicate.

New conditional formatting option "Highlight duplicates

The big advantage of conditional formatting compared to the plugin is the fact that you do not leave the table editor. The duplicates are displayed where you can edit rows , delete rows as well as use filters and sorting. (The plugin remains the tool of choice if you want to automatically delete all duplicates).

More data processing operations

Data processing operations were introduced in SeaTable 2.1 and have been continuously improved since then. SeaTable 2.4 is no exception in this respect. SeaTable 2.4 offers a brand new data processing operation, "Calculate Percentage", and improves the existing "Compare and Concatenate" operation.

The operation "Calculate percentage" determines for each row in the active view the proportion of the column value to the column total. If the operation is performed for a grouped view, the percentage value refers to the column total of the group. Of course, once set up, the operation can be saved under a name for later reuse.

The improved operation "Compare and Link" now offers more control over the linking of entries. Previously, SeaTable created links between entries with identical values in a column. Starting with SeaTable 2.4, multiple pairs of columns can now be selected. A link is only created if the rows have identical values in all selected columns.

Countless detail improvements

Finally, a few more improvements that should not go unmentioned in these release notes:

SeaTable 2.4 extended the list of image file formats with preview function by the TIFF format. Now JPG/JGEG, PNG, GIF and TIFF image files can be viewed directly in SeaTable.

Because minimum, maximum, sum and average do not always represent meaningful sum values for columns, SeaTable now also offers an option "No calculation". If selected, SeaTable does not calculate any values, neither for the entire column nor for individual groups.

SeaTable renders the contents of a cell with formatted text directly in the table editor when the row height is set to quad.

Buttons have learned a new trick with version 2.4: With just one mouse click, SeaTable creates a PDF document with the page design plugin and saves it in a column of the type file.

SeaTable 2.2: Automation and Integration

SeaTable knows no summer break! We keep our monthly release cycle and so, beginning today, all SeaTable Cloud users benefit from the advantages of SeaTable 2.2. Automations and external apps are two new features introduced in this version. Other highlights of the new release include nested groups, cascading single select columns, as well as improved table permissions and data processing operations. These release notes describe all these new features. The much more comprehensive, complete list of changes can be found - as always - in the SeaTable changelog. On Docker Hub, SeaTable 2.2 - in both editions of SeaTable Server - will be available tomorrow.

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How museums and galleries manage their art exhibitions efficiently

There are around 55,000 museums worldwide and countless other galleries, exhibitions, theatres and art stages. Everyone will agree that art in its various forms plays an important role in our lives. In times of Corona - but even before - managing and running such an art institution is incredibly difficult. Dependent on public funds, in constant justification mode and now hit by Corona-related closures, there are certainly easier tasks than those of a museum director.

This article describes both the challenges of art management, addresses the differences in managing a public art institution as opposed to a company, outlines the problems of inflexible sector solutions in the field of art management and shows efficient ways to solve these challenges.

What is art management or the task of a museum anyway?

In order to describe art management, one must first understand the task of a museum and its art. But as simple as this task may seem at first glance, even the international council of muse ums has struggled for decades to find a suitable and comprehensive definition. The impact of art on our society is too complex. In Kyoto in 2019, the following description was agreed upon:

Museums are democratising, inclusive and polyphonic spaces for critical dialogue about the pasts and the futures. Acknowledging and addressing the conflicts and challenges of the present, they hold artefacts and specimens in trust for society, safeguard diverse memories for future generations and guarantee equal rights and equal access to heritage for all people.

It is thus the task of public museums, exhibitions and galleries to be a haven of history. They are to preserve art objects and preserve them for present and future generations. The core tasks thus include "collecting, researching, preserving, exhibiting and mediating".

Art management is therefore about taking on precisely this difficult challenge and finding ways and means to fulfil the aforementioned core tasks in public space.

The management of art exhibitions, museums and exhibitions requires flexibility from people and software.

The differences between arts management and the management of a company

At first glance, running a business and an art institution seem similar. The big difference, however, is that art exhibitions and museums are public and in most cases less able to act independently. While companies are profit-oriented and can decide for themselves what strategy they want to pursue, art institutions are largely financed by the state, can only generate a small part of their costs themselves through their visitors and are usually prohibited from trading their art. This deprives you of a potentially important source of income and makes you dependent on your financial backer - the state.

In addition, museums, galleries and exhibitions not only have to do a consistently good job in terms of content and organisation, but they also have to permanently justify their own existence and further development. Museum directors live in a constant balancing act. They are expected to meet the high demands of art for the general public, while at the same time they are subject to constant public criticism and are often restricted in their activities by decisions of the public authorities and sponsors.

A small insight into the problem was given by the resignation of Udo Kittelmann in 2019. Kittelmann gave up his post as head of the German National Gallery, probably the most important and renowned exhibition in Germany. Too little budget and too little freedom in combination with the permanent need for representation in politics had made him throw in the towel.

Art management differs from the management of a company

Few museums have an appeal like the Louvre in Paris. The picture shows visitors at the painting of the Mona Lisa.

Even before Corona, artists, museums, galleries and exhibitions had a hard time. But with the pandemic, the problems have intensified. The forced closures have eliminated an important source of income without reducing costs to the same extent. Even if galleries and museums are state-funded, the pressure to justify each of these institutions is increasing. World-famous museums such as the Louvre do not find it difficult to survive these times because of their attraction. But where are small exhibitions or artists' projects supposed to develop this charisma.

That's why it's time to think about efficient art and exhibition management, especially when income is falling away. Money that is not spent on the expenditure side does not have to be collected or financed on the income side. This reduces the pressure to justify and facilitates the continued existence of such public institutions.

The challenges of art management

Besides the difficult framework conditions of art management, however, there are also challenges in terms of content in exhibition management. The most difficult challenge is certainly that art exists in many different forms and each has different requirements. Works of art cause high and mostly permanent follow-up costs through professional storage and restoration.

Objects of art often do not belong to museums but are on loan for a certain period of time. Due to the usually high value, appropriate insurance policies must be taken out and monitored. Often the building in which a museum is located is already an art-historical asset and must be maintained itself. Depending on the type of exhibition, the necessary information that needs to be gathered is diverse and can even change fundamentally from exhibition to exhibition.

It is the task of people to cope with this complexity and it is the task of museum management software to deal with this complexity. These solutions must be able to deal with each of these challenges and not cost too much.

SeaTable as flexible museum software

Museum management software must be flexible and simple at the same time. An unsolvable challenge for usual industry solutions

Why industry solutions are often not suitable

As an industry outsider, you may be surprised at how many such industry solutions there are in the field of exhibition management. Even a brief search yields a multitude of possible solutions. Among the best known are: MuseumPlus, Axiell Collections Management, Artwork Archive, CatalogIt, PastPerfect, Argos Art Management, Versai Museum Management Software, Veevart and many more. Each of these solutions has its own individual focus and can often be divided into two categories: one category focuses on the creation and provision of catalogues, visual elements and exhibition information, while the other category takes care of the administrative work in the background.

The problem with all these special solutions is their fixed structure, which almost every software solution brings with it. It forces your users into a process and a way of working that the software deems useful. Yet the only way to deal with the many challenges in the arts environment is flexibility. Only if the management software can adapt to the requirements and reality will it really facilitate the work of the users.

For this reason, you should take a look at Seatable. Because SeaTable offers you exactly the flexibility you need to develop your own processes and workflows. In SeaTable you can bring together all your information, no matter what kind, in your very own personal database, connect it and thus organise your daily work more efficiently. SeaTable is as easy and intuitive to use as an Excel spreadsheet.

Manage and organise exhibitions, collections, contracts, loans, restoration tasks, client bases and information of any kind in a single intuitive platform. Design your individual applications based on your information. Powerful filters, sorting and grouping give you the freedom to design your work exactly the way you need it. Link SeaTable with your other business applications and automate your workflows.

SeaTable is not rigid, but adapts flexibly to the needs and requirements of managing art and objects. The following sections describe typical tasks in art management and how you can solve them with SeaTable. They are intended to give you a sense of the flexibility that SeaTable can offer you.

1. collection management

Collection management ensures the reliable recording, cataloguing, indexing and management of all objects including all relevant information. Depending on the object, a different type of information capture may be relevant, but with SeaTable you can respond flexibly. For a painting, in addition to the core data such as title, artist, dating and dimensions, the material and origin could also be relevant. At the same time, however, information about planned restorations or loans must also be recorded.

The strength of SeaTable lies in the fact that you determine yourself which information you want to record and can expand it as you wish. At the same time, any links can be created between the different information and, with the help of roll-up columns, information can also be transferred from one table to another.

Our template Art Gallery Management has some sample entries to show you the possibilities. The individual art objects are at the centre of the collection management and are linked to the artists. At the same time, the location of the artwork is recorded and there is a link to the planned restorations. An extension to include public references, creative periods or art categories can be added at any time.

Object overview of the Art Gallery Template

Object overview of the Art Gallery Template

Visual representation of the objects with the gallery plug-in

The table view of SeaTable can be flexibly adapted to the needs of individual employees with individual views. In addition, SeaTable has other display options besides the tabular display. For entries with pictures, for example, it makes sense to use the gallery plugin to quickly find the desired entry. A click on the entry is enough to switch to the detailed view and make adjustments to the data.

The artists presented as a gallery

The artists presented as a gallery

2. exhibition management

The organisation of an exhibition is complex and requires careful planning, management and control of multiple activities. SeaTable supports you with its flexible structure and allows the people and institutions involved to coordinate venues and donors. Manage loans or monitor transport to ensure complete traceability of all objects at all times. For example, every movement in and out of the museum grounds can be recorded and documented via a movement log. You keep control of whether an exhibit is currently in the exhibition, in the restoration workshop or in transit. Thanks to the powerful filters, groupings and sortings, you will not lose sight of any object.

Every museum has to manage a multitude of contracts and agreements relating to exhibitions, loans and objects. In SeaTable, you can record every type of information in a structured way and thus file complete documentation. Be automatically reminded by e-mail before a deadline expires or monitor monthly costs with the help of statistical evaluations. Manage your documents with contract-specific fields that you need.

Evaluation of monthly costs by expenditure category

Evaluation of monthly costs by expenditure category

3. customers and contractual partners

Customer and contract management involves the administration of all persons and companies with whom you are in contact. These can be employees, but also artists, restorers, patrons and sponsors, editors, press representatives, but also forwarding companies and insurance companies. You determine which information you want to record and how you link this information to the exhibition.

Do you want to save the date of birth of your sponsors in addition to the address? With just a few clicks, you can add another date column to your data entry and save this information as well. The possibilities are almost limitless and you could, for example, maintain address groups and distribution lists as well as a complete contact history in addition to master data such as salutation, name, address, telephone number and e-mail.

Group and filter your contacts

Group and filter your contacts

4. restoration and maintenance

The care of historical works of art is a great challenge. In addition to the technical challenge, logging represents a large part of the work. With SeaTable you can record both the incoming documentation and the condition logs before and after restoration in images, videos and descriptions.

All measures can be called up for each object. This way you can record data on storage, transport or the general condition directly at the object and always have it at hand.

5. loan management, transport and logistics

In an exhibition with objects on loan, the coordination of the persons and institutions involved is an important task. The
venues as well as lenders and the entry and exit protocols must be recorded. At any point in time, the traceability of each loaned exhibit must be possible. With SeaTable, you can overcome challenge with ease and can guarantee complete traceability of all objects, whether they are on loan or owned by the collection. You know at all times whether an exhibit is currently in the archive, in the restoration workshop, in the exhibition or in transit.

6. archive and literature

What would an art object be without the necessary background information. No matter what information you want to record in addition to the objects, with SeaTable you have the possibility to do so. You can enter bibliographic entries of any kind or create literature references to objects. Alternatively, you can of course link directories, books, catalogues, periodicals and articles to the respective objects and thus create the basis for an exhibition documentation.

7. internet presence

Every exhibition, gallery and collection needs a website to provide more information to art enthusiasts before and after their visit. Avoid the duplication of information and simply use the information stored in SeaTable to create an engaging website. Thanks to the well-documented REST api, you can use any programming language to retrieve the content from SeaTable and display it on a web page.

This allows you to display your exhibits on your website in your corporate design, creating a fitting online presence. Once set up, the website updates automatically when you customise your objects in SeaTable or add more objects.

The following code section is all you need to put your exhibits on a website. Just use the code section as a source of inspiration and experiment with it. You can find the full API documentation at https://api.seatable.io.

A platform for the individual workflows and processes of museums, galleries and exhibitions

The administration and management of museums, galleries and art exhibitions or any form of art management is certainly a great challenge. It requires flair and that you constantly reinvent yourself. Use a software solution that can adapt to your particular needs and that is as flexible to new challenges as you are. Try SeaTable and you will be amazed at how versatile and flexible you can use it to develop your very own processes and workflows.

Connect SeaTable to over 2,000 of your favourite apps and websites

SeaTable is a great tool that can help you capture, structure and work with data in many ways. So we are not surprised to hear again and again about people using SeaTable in new and interesting ways to organise themselves, their lives and their work. An artist from India told us that he manages all his work including press relations, client list, commissioned work and a chronological overview of his works with SeaTable and has thus gained flexibility and freedom for his work. Or a café owner from Berlin uses SeaTable to be able to record the addresses of her customers for Corona follow-up.

We love to be surprised with such reports and experiences and are therefore pleased to release the new SeaTable integrations today, which offer our users countless possibilities to work even more creatively or productively. Our users can now connect SeaTable with over 2,000 different services and apps, including popular services like Slack, Twitter, all Google Apps, Mailchimp, GitHub and many more.

This is made possible by the automation service Zapier, which makes it possible to exchange data or information between the different services on an event-based basis. Zapier is very easy to use and does not require any programming knowledge. You define the desired process by specifying a trigger and a follow-up action. In many cases, this can save time or increase productivity. Due to the large number of supported apps, the possibilities are not only proverbially endless. Receive an email notification when a certain event occurs, automatically transfer a new entry to another system or automatically archive new information in SeaTable.

Zapier integrations recommended by us

Here are a few highlights of how you can integrate SeaTable with other apps:

The possibilities of Zapier are truly endless and offer great potential to make your life easier. Write to us and tell us about your integrations or tell us what integration you need.

SeaTable 1.2 now live! Taking giant steps towards better data management

SeaTable is the ultimate solution for data management and online collaboration. With its rich field types, organization / group / team management and collaboration functions as well as various templates and plugins, SeaTable unleashes your team's full productive power with its automated data processing and workflow.

We are thrilled to announce the official release of SeaTable Version 1.2. SeaTable 1.2 has some major updates in functionality and user experience in store for you. For the full list of changes, check the changelog. In this release note, we present some of the most exciting new features to you.

More colours and symbols in the base library

The base library looked a bit boring in the past? That's over now! In the new version you can change the icon and color of each base. You have a total of 12 colors and more than 25 icons at your disposal. Just click on the pencil icon to the right of the base name and design according to your wishes.

Customizing base icons and colors will help you organize and find your bases, especially when you have a lot of bases there. In a soon-to-be-released version, the base header color inside the grid editor will be synced with the icon color.

Batch export of files or images

At some point, you may want to download all files and pictures attached to your table. When archiving a base, for example, the new batch export function may come in handy. When batch-exporting, all files or images in one column get wrapped in a ZIP-file and you can download the package to disk.

In the context menus of the column types File and Image you will find the function "Download All". With a click on this, SeaTable displays the resulting ZIP file and also the number of items to be downloaded in a pop-up. Another click on the download icon starts the download of the archive.

Journey into the past - Snapshots

In SeaTable you always have an overview of the processes in your bases. The log lists all changes, additions and deletions of records as well as all other processes in a base. In addition, SeaTable automatically creates snapshots every 24 hours of bases that are actively being worked on.

A snapshot captures the state of a base at the time of its creation. Put differently, snapshots are basically machines to travel back in time. You want to see what a base looked like three days ago? Forget the log, use the snapshot!

You can call the available snapshots of a base from the spreadsheet view or the advanced options in the base library. (Keep in mind, your subscription determines the time span for which SeaTable stores snapshots!) When restoring a snapshot from a base, a new base is created. So, no worries about overwriting your current base.

Duplication of views

View customization is one of the greatest features that SeaTable provides. You can sort, group and filter records, hide columns and lock views. Then you can save these combinations as an individual view. When you need this one view again, your data in the right shape and form is just one click away.

This feature has now become even stronger. In the past, it has taken a bit of busy work when creating a new view similar to an existing one. All the sort, group and filter conditions had to be set up from scratch again. Now this frustration is gone. With SeaTable 1.2, views can be duplicated.

In the view menu you will find the menu item 'Duplicate View'. Clicking on it creates a new view based on the existing one. All adjustments to the sorting, group and filter conditions in this new view are then quickly made.

Fine-grained sharing permissions (Enterprise subscribers only)

A SeaTable Base can be easily shared with other users. Sharing permissions also give the sharing user full control over who can change the data in a shared base or who has read-only access. Enterprise subscribers now have even more control over shared bases. Responsible for this: The new functions view sharing, row locking and column permissions.

View sharing

Instead of sharing an entire base, Enterprise subscribers now have the option to share only specific views on a base's data. Filter the data, hide columns, sort and group the records so that the view speaks the desired message loud and clear, and share only that with your colleagues. This is what the new 'Share View' function is for.

When sharing a base - even when read-only - you expose the entire data in the base. With shared views, the recipients only have access to the data you want them to see.

Row locking

You need to share a base with other team members, but you want to keep them from changing the content of one or several rows? Then SeaTable 1.2 has exactly what you need: the new row locking function.

Right-clicking on a cell calls up the context menu of the row and there you will find 'row lock'. As soon as a row is locked, a red triangle is displayed in the upper right corner of the row number on the far left. Repeat the process to unlock. Base administrators (base owners as well as group administrators) can unlock any row ; other users can only unlock rows locked by themselves.

Column permissions

Besides row locking, base administrators can also limit access to particular columns. Specifically, they can decide who can edit values in a particular column: nobody, administrators only or specific users. Needless to mention: Column permissions can of course be combined with row permissions.

column permissions are available for all column types. Open the column context menu and select 'column permissions edit'. The wizard that pops up will guide you through the rest.

General improvements

Apart from the new functions, the SeaTable developers have also worked hard to polish existing functions and improve the user experience. One particular focus was SeaTable's usage on different screens and especially mobile devices. As a result, the various views should now work just as well on mobile devices as on desktop screens.

SeaTable 1.0 released! Linking of tables and support of the European number format

We are pleased to announce that SeaTable 1.0 is finally ready!

The main difference between SeaTable and Excel-like spreadsheet applications is that SeaTable works with rows and allows linking rows of different tables. In this version we improve the function to link rows by adding two functions: "lookup" and "rollup". Lookup shows a specific column of a linked row, rollup shows the summary of the linked rows. These two functions enable advanced use cases for databases. The details can be found on this manual page.

The most important changes

  • You can create several columns in the same table to link the same other table
  • Support for the use of function columns for grouping, filtering and sorting
  • You can specify the decimal separator and the thousands separator for number columns (e.g. 100,000,000.00 in the European way).

Further improvements and corrections

  • The summary column at the bottom of the page can show the average, minimum and maximum of the corresponding columns
  • Support for using a custom URL for external links
  • The support setting expires and the password for invitation links
  • Support for adding images in comments
  • Display image thumbnails in the file column
  • Supports dragging and dropping multiple files in the file column
  • Support uses arrows to select an item in a selection column, a multiple selection column, a collaborator column and a link column
  • Other corrections to the user interface