Simple overlooked feature

In working with customers over the past couple of weeks, I’ve found myself suggesting one feature over and over that I think we often forget about – Append Only.  No, I’m Serious!  The append/prepend is such a cool function that gets overlooked. 

I use append with a text or text multi-line field especially in situation where I want a dialogue between multiple people (think Q&A between team members on a specific task).  The date and person stamp makes the audit trail easy.  But did you know that you could also use an append field with a Multiple Choice field?  Each time a choice is saved, the date and person is again stamped and you get a running history of selections.  I’ve used this recently with a customer who needed to track the status of tasks with lots of different people touching the records and making changes.  They needed a visible history and the append function worked well. 

  • Mike Gerrity

    I read your comments above and immediately thought this was the answer to my problems. We use Quickbase to forecast our sales, and I would like to have a trail that shows when the estimated amount of the sale changes,when the sales probability field changes, and when the close date changes. To my dismay, I quickly discovered that becuase these are all numeric or date fields, the append feature is not available. Is there any reason this feature can’t be added for non-text fields.

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  • Mike Gerrity

    I read your comments above and immediately thought this was the answer to my problems. We use Quickbase to forecast our sales, and I would like to have a trail that shows when the estimated amount of the sale changes,when the sales probability field changes, and when the close date changes. To my dismay, I quickly discovered that becuase these are all numeric or date fields, the append feature is not available. Is there any reason this feature can’t be added for non-text fields.

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  • George Carvill

    It does work, I just tried it. And it may be useful in some applications. However, it doesn’t help me with my applications.

    I use a field called “status” quite a bit. I would LOVE to be able to track who changed a status and when. However, I also use a lot of formula text fields that are based on the value in the status field. As soon as I change my multiple choice status field to append, my formulae are dead meat.

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  • George Carvill

    It does work, I just tried it. And it may be useful in some applications. However, it doesn’t help me with my applications.

    I use a field called “status” quite a bit. I would LOVE to be able to track who changed a status and when. However, I also use a lot of formula text fields that are based on the value in the status field. As soon as I change my multiple choice status field to append, my formulae are dead meat.

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  • Keira Bromberg

    I have been using this feature for long time for Status fields in situations like George mentions. I usually call the Append-only one something like “Status Update” and use that for the Edit Record form. I then create a formula field called “Status” that figures out the last status entered. For example, if the field is “prepend”:
    Trim(Part([Status Update],3,”[]“))
    I then can use the formula Status field in other formulas that depend on Status as well as for grouping Views. The only downside is if you want to prompt users for a specific Status choice at view runtime, it doesn’t give you a multiple-choice list, just a type-in box.

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  • Keira Bromberg

    I have been using this feature for long time for Status fields in situations like George mentions. I usually call the Append-only one something like “Status Update” and use that for the Edit Record form. I then create a formula field called “Status” that figures out the last status entered. For example, if the field is “prepend”:
    Trim(Part([Status Update],3,”[]“))
    I then can use the formula Status field in other formulas that depend on Status as well as for grouping Views. The only downside is if you want to prompt users for a specific Status choice at view runtime, it doesn’t give you a multiple-choice list, just a type-in box.

    [Reply]

  • Mike NElson

    Why doesn’t it stamp the time as well?

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  • Mike NElson

    Why doesn’t it stamp the time as well?

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  • Anthony Rivera

    I use append/prepend quite a bit, but I’m disappointed that you have no control over the tag for each post. I think it would be great to have better customization options for appended text. What would really be perfect would be a appeded forumla. As an example for the way it currently formats the text the formula would be something like

    [[date_modified] & “,” & [user] & appended text]

    I would like to be able to just show the date or just show the user or have the option to show neither one or whatever I wish. Sometimes the date coupled with the username is information overload and takes up too much space, especially for one quickbase where I am using the field to track ticket numbers. The date and username take up 3-4 times as much space as the apppended text. This makes the view extremely cluttered.

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  • Anthony Rivera

    I use append/prepend quite a bit, but I’m disappointed that you have no control over the tag for each post. I think it would be great to have better customization options for appended text. What would really be perfect would be a appeded forumla. As an example for the way it currently formats the text the formula would be something like

    [[date_modified] & “,” & [user] & appended text]

    I would like to be able to just show the date or just show the user or have the option to show neither one or whatever I wish. Sometimes the date coupled with the username is information overload and takes up too much space, especially for one quickbase where I am using the field to track ticket numbers. The date and username take up 3-4 times as much space as the apppended text. This makes the view extremely cluttered.

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  • Ethan

    It would be really nice for my application if the (Date and User) stamp could itself be appended to the _end_ of the multiple-choice text entry rather than the beginning. I use a Pipeline field (pretty similar to a ‘status’ field as mentioned by others above), and lots of my views sort by Pipeline. This sorting gets completely screwed over when I start using the append/prepend function because it starts sorting by the (Date and User) stamp rather than the actual pipeline multiple choice options.

    I agree with Anthony Rivera, a completely customizable append/prepend formula would be best… but absent that could we at least have an option to put the (Date and User) stamp at the end instead of the beginning of the field?

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  • Ethan

    It would be really nice for my application if the (Date and User) stamp could itself be appended to the _end_ of the multiple-choice text entry rather than the beginning. I use a Pipeline field (pretty similar to a ‘status’ field as mentioned by others above), and lots of my views sort by Pipeline. This sorting gets completely screwed over when I start using the append/prepend function because it starts sorting by the (Date and User) stamp rather than the actual pipeline multiple choice options.

    I agree with Anthony Rivera, a completely customizable append/prepend formula would be best… but absent that could we at least have an option to put the (Date and User) stamp at the end instead of the beginning of the field?

    [Reply]