Some issues and suggestions


I’ve been trying SeaTable for a couple of weeks now and I’m probably going to stick with it.
I really like its versatility and the fact that you can run it on your own hardware (as opposed to “someone else’s computer” :wink: ).

A few (mostly minor) issues have come up where I believe SeaTable could be even better, plus a couple features that would be useful in my opinion. I’m currently on SeaTable EE version 2.3.5 (on prem).

External links
When cookies are disabled, external links only show a blank page.
Ideally, password-less links would not need cookies at all. At the least, users should get an error message that cookies are required for viewing the table.

Expired links
Expired links don’t seem to be purged from the global list automatically (System admin → External links → View external links).
Only when I try to visit that link, I get the message “Share link has expired”.

I have such an expired link in the list, but I don’t know where it pointed to. No external links are listed (any more) for that base or any of its tables, so the expired links only seem to stick around on the global list.

Adding entries to link columns
The preview in the “Add link” dialog does not show the content of formula columns in the linked table.
In tables with many formulas and links, this can make it a bit hard to select the needed entries.
Oddly enough – but luckily! - the search field does find text from formula columns (i.e. text that is not actually shown in the dialog). On the other hand, that could also get confusing, since you may not always see why suggested entries match your search term.

German translation/localization
Date formats
For people who aren’t used to the slash notation, SeaTable’s “European” format (DD/MM/YYYY) is fine for reading, but it’s not very practical when entering dates:

  • You can’t paste dates in period notation (DD.MM.YYYY) into date columns.
  • Manually entering dates is a bit of a pain: On German keyboards for example, the rarely used slash usually requires 2 key strokes, vs. 1 key stroke for the period.

It seems like a minor issue, but I can see that become annoying really fast for users in one of the many countries that don’t have slash notation.
When you want to enter a date more than a couple months into the past or the future, it’s often faster to type it manually instead of clicking through the date picker (and even more so to paste it).

Email notifications
In German, the email subject for table notifications says “New notification for table [Site Name]” (“Neue Benachrichtigung für Tabelle …”).

I’m not sure if that’s intended, but it’s a bit confusing, since there is no table with the name of the site.
I’d love to have the word “SeaTable” in the subject (or - even better - an email prefix customizable in the system settings), plus the actual table name that triggered the notification.
That would simplify tagging or filtering SeaTable emails with inbox rules.
Since I’m relaying SeaTable messages through a local MTA (without authentication), neither sender address or subject contain any particular patterns indicating a SeaTable email.

System settings
The global “Settings” under “System Administration” should have a different name than “Persönliche Einstellungen”.
“Personal settings” already exist in the in the top right menu.

Maybe something like “Systemeinstellungen”, “Globale Einstellungen” or simply “Einstellungen” (we’re already under System Admin, so there should not be any user specific settings here)?

Order of row coloring rules
Being able to re-order the rules would be nice, for example with handle bars similar to the view list.
At the moment, if you’ve created the rules in the wrong order, you have to delete at least some of them and start over.

Email sending log
The email log under System Admin is always empty, even though emails are being sent (table notices as well as system notifications).
I can also see outgoing dtable notices logged in email_notices_sender.log.

Feature "wish list"
Background colors for columns
I’d like to be able to highlight certain columns with different background colors.

In tables with many formula columns, it can be hard to see which columns you actually have to fill out, as opposed to those that are filled/calculated automatically.
Column background colors would be helpful to guide users and visually “structure” large tables, I think.

External links with custom permissions
Linked tables are a powerful and essential feature. But when it comes to sharing tables or views externally, linked tables/columns a bit problematic at the moment.

When you share a table, any columns that are linked from other tables will simply show empty when the recipient opens the share link.
In my opinion, that limits the usefulness of external links quite severely at this time.

“Personal” views
With multiple people working on large tables, not everyone will focus on the same columns and/or rows. Customized, saved views are extremely useful in that regard.

However: At the moment, every saved view seems to be visible to every table user, even if they probably don’t need all the views. I’m afraid that, over time and with expanding tables, the list of views might become too long to be practical.

Separating “personal” and “public” views could reduce the “clutter”.

Hey Kai,
thanks for your feedback. Give us some time to evaluate your points and we will keep you updated about any news.
Best regards

Sorry for the wall of text … the post got a bit longer than I had expected.

Thanks for the wall of text! I find them very sincere and useful. For the external links’ cookies and expired links, display of strings on linking dialogues, translation/localization issues and so on, I will list feature requests/bug tickets accordingly.

For the following matters I would like to comment/discuss:

I think this is a configuration thing, as normally we receive such emails with customized titles (that one with [Stage] is sent from our testing installation):


This is already on our development list and will be available in a very near future release.

Yes, the background of the limitation is that the records from another table that’s not accessible for the current user are not shown. So these linked records, whichever string they have, are not shown on an external link. It’s a structural limitation of SeaTable but also, on the other hand, a security feature. Anyway, in an ideal world, the linked records should be displayed as a string on the external link. We are looking for a solution to this!

“Private views” will be delivered in a later release in SeaTable 2.4!

But in the meantime, another advanced feature in the Enterprise Edition can do the same for you and your team players: the custom sharing permission (CSP). In the CSP, the owner/administrator of the base can define in full detail, who can see/edit which view and which table.

And for each shared user who only has access to certain views, they won’t see a long list of views in the view list, but only the views they have permission to.

Of course I understand, this does exactly the opposite of amount of work for your case: If you only want yourself to see view 1, then you have to disable everyone else from seeing view 1, which would be a very complicated job for the base’s administrator. That’s why we are developing the private view!

Hi Karlheinz,

very nice to hear that some ideas are on the roadmap already :slight_smile:

Concerning the email table notifications:

I just tried it, and it’s definitely adding the site name at the end of the subject.
My SeaTable site is called [Company Name], so the email subject reads

Neue Benachrichtigung für Tabelle [Company Name]

In my opinion, a more useful subject would be for example:

SeaTable: New notification for table [Base]/[Table]
SeaTable: Neue Benachrichtigung für Tabelle [Base]/[Table]

Are there any config options allowing customization of the email subject? I did not find anything relevant in the Admin Manual.

This is different than what we get as the title of email:

New table notifications on SeaTable

Did you change other customization settings e.g. system templates?

I’ve not changed any system templates.
The settings/config files I’ve edited are those listed under Server Configuration and Customization in the Admin Manual.

As far as I can see, the notifications are sent from seatable-server-2.3.5/dtable-web/seahub/notifications/management/commands/

Line 202 is:

send_html_email(_(‘New table notifications on %s’) % get_site_name(),
‘notifications/dtable_notice_email.html’, c,
None, [contact_email])

I don’t really know Python, but that command does appear to insert the site name into the email subject :wink:

Thanks for posting this. Now it seems to me that the “English” version is OK, but the German version might be problematic. I will check it!