top of page
  • Writer's pictureMatt

Best Practices for updating an AppSheet app (when you have offline users)

AppSheet, app development, mobile apps, offline users

  • How can I manage updating an AppSheet app that's deployed if I've got offline users?

  • How can I make sure that I don't break the app for anyone offline?

  • What do I do if I need to make emergency updates to the app, and those updates include adding a column to the table, but I've got users in the field without connectivity?

If you're in anything like the situations above, and you're not using the enterprise license for your AppSheet account, then you don't have access to the Stable Version feature


So if you find yourself where:

  1. You've got users that are offline, who have been offline for awhile now, what have collected enough data that it can't be lost; and

  2. You need to make a critical update to the app, which includes ADDING a column to a table

Unless you've taken steps ahead of time to prepare for this eventuality.... you're going to find yourself between a rock and a hard place

 

There are a few things you can do to help make this situation easier:

  1. Include [Temp] columns in your tables

  2. Schedule when you make your updates

  3. Split off a "development" version, and use the app upgrade feature

------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1 - Include [Temp] columns in your tables ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- One of the easiest things you can do is to add in a Temp column, or an Extra column, into each of the tables you build

  • And by this I literally mean... an extra column (or several) that serve no purpose - Other than standing by, waiting for when you need to add a column but you've got offline users

  • I'll typically include 3 or 4 of these, if I know for certain I'll have offline users

------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2 - Schedule when you make your updates -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Another thing you can do, which seems simple when you think about it, is to manage when you make these larger "app breaking" updates

You'll typically know ahead of time that you need to add a column

  • So you could hold off adding that column right then and there

  • Send out an email to everyone letting them know: - "This Friday at 2pm the app will be broken for about an hour"

  • Giving yourself a window when you can make these updates

------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 3 - Split off a "development" version -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you want to make 100% sure that the changes you're making to the app WON'T affect anyone that's currently using the app - the best method would be to split off a development copy of your app

  • You can copy your app, and un-click the toggles to copy the data source

  • If you do so, the app will be tied to the same data source

    • But... all the changes you make will be isolated into that development version


Then when you're ready, you can go back to your "Live" app and use the App Upgrade Feature to push those updates into your app

  • This essentially takes your live app and makes it a clone of the development app

  • Literally... EVERY setting is copied over

  • This includes things like the "App Name" - You'll need to make sure to change back to what it should be - because the Development app's name was just copied to the Live app

------------------------------------------------------------------------------- BEST OF THE BEST -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Honestly, the best practice would be to combine all three of these strategies together - and make them your standard operating procedure moving forward

  • If you operate with these 3 guidelines in mind moving forward, you'll be covered in any situation you might find yourself

 

You can learn more in the video below:


153 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page