Will there be a desktop app?


Are there any plans for a real desktop app? I am not very happy with this absolute dependence on the internet. If the internet goes down or there is no internet, you can’t access your data.
I envision an app that can open a base file (*.dtable) on the desktop computer or notebook and thus allow network-independent research.
Synchronisation would not be so important for me personally, but offline access to my existing data.

Hi! I don’t think we’ll have a plan to develop a desktop app in the near future. But to use SeaTable completely offline is quite possible - you can install it in your own instance.

The self-hosted SeaTable has two versions: Developer Edition and Enterprise Edition. If your team is not more than 3 persons, the Enterprise Edition is free for you. Details see here:
SeaTable Enterprise on Premise - SeaTable.io

Thank you Karlheinz!
If an installation on a separate server (in the office or at home) works, then an installation on a normal computer should also work. Or?
As I said, it would be enough for me to look at the data offline if necessary.

You are welcome! Installing on a single PC works perfectly fine.

That’s good to hear. I’m a bit overwhelmed with the versions, though.

  1. I now use “SeaTable Free Team”. The Enterprise is also free for up to three people. Why are there two free versions? In addition, there is a Plus version and the term On-Premise.

  2. I am a freelancer and work alone with SeaTable. Then the Enterprise version would probably be the better choice for me. Or? Is the free limit there also 10,000 rows and 2 GB?

  3. I understood you to mean that with the free Enterprise, I can also use Seatable offline. Would I need to create a new account for this or could I convert my account?

  4. I’m afraid the setup for offline use is too complicated for less savvy users, like me. Or?

Please excuse the many questions!

Sorry for confusing you: the on-premise installation is just an option for people who don’t want to put their data in the cloud.

But it also requires you to use Linux and have some basic programming knowledge, as the installation is not done with a graphical interface, but rather a command line.

There’s no row limit and storage limit in the self-hosted versions. Your computer’s storage capacity would be the limit for it then.

If you switch to an on-premise installation, you don’t really need to convert your account, and it’s also not possible. The on-premise installation is completely your own system, you can do anything with it as a system administrator (for the cloud.seatable.io we are the system administrator).

Further information are to be found here:
Prices from SeaTable

When you have decided to install the SeaTable Enterprise Edition on your own computer, there’s a very friendly article to guide you through the process:
How to Install SeaTable Enterprise Edition on Ubuntu Server 20.04 LTS

Ok. I have now understood it like this: The Enterprise version is installed on its own server. But I don’t want to install SeaTable on my own server. I just wanted to know if there is an additional possibility to view the data offline on my computer or notebook. The reason is the security aspect. In the event of a network failure or in areas without a network, I would like to have at least read access to the data. But, as it looks, that is not provided for at the moment.

Alternatively, I could export individual tables and view them offline as Excel spreadsheets. However, especially the columns of the type “formatted text” are difficult to read because all the control characters for line breaks and formatting are displayed there. An unformatted export is apparently not possible.

The browser is the desktop app! We don’t intend to change that. In the same vein, offline support for SeaTable is not available and there are no plans for adding it. Sorry!

Karlheinz’s idea is a good one: If you want to be fully independent of internet access, you can host SeaTable on a local server. HP Proliant, ASRock Deskmini or Intel NUC are all inexpensive platforms for home use. You can also install SeaTable in a Linux VM in Hyper-V on your Windows 10 Pro desktop/laptop, though I do NOT recommend that.

You can export tables into Excel. That provides some degree of independence, but sure, it’s not convenient and Excel is not SeaTable. (Meta)Data is lost in the export.

Hello rdb!
Thanks for the enlightening info. It’s a pity that offline access is not planned. But it can’t be helped. When I was researching apps with database functions, I came across apps that can do that. “Zenkit”, for example. But I haven’t tried “Zenkit”, so I can’t say anything about it. “Zenkit” has other disadvantages from my point of view, so I made friends with “SeaTable”. Now I have to cope with the lack of offline functionality.

I think that a server installation would be too complicated and too time-consuming to set up and maintain for me as a freelancer. So all I can do is backup the dtable files from time to time, export tables and hope that “SeaTable” exists for a long time :slightly_smiling_face:.

If I may ask two more questions about the table export:

  1. You said that metadata is lost in the process. By that you mean rather special column types like selection and links. Correct?
  2. When exporting, “SeaTable” generates control characters for line breaks and formatting (column type “Formatted Text”). Are these characters (#, * etc) interpreted correctly by other databases?

Running a server of your own comes with a lot of responsibility. I think your judgement is good.

When you export a base in a dtable file, all current information is saved in this file. When you reimport the dtable file, the base will look just like the base you exported.

There is some data loss though. The history of a base is not exported. Nor are comments exported.

My comment was more in the direction of an Excel export. When you export a table into CSV/XLSX, a lot of data and metadata is lost. Images cannot be exported in these file types, same thing for geolocation, … Metadata is also lost because the links between tables, formulas, … are lost.

The formatted text column stores text and content in the markdown format: Markdown - Wikipedia That’s a very popular format (i.e., Github uses it). When you copy-paste the content in a markdown editor (i.e., typora), the editor will interpret the “control characters” like SeaTable does.

But just to be clear: You cannot simply import a markdown text into another database. The support of markdown in the base editor is a feature of SeaTable.

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How can anyone answer this question if you don’t specify which databases? :speak_no_evil:

Thank you rdb!
Your answers were very helpful :slightly_smiling_face:.

Thank you Karlheinz!
My question was intentionally general. I wanted to know whether databases can cope with this type of control character by default. I didn’t know they were Markdown characters. rdb answered this question very well.

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