Skip to main content

Creating A Shared Logging System

This is an approach we've used and re-used a number of times. Imagine you want a group of people to share some information using a Google Form. But although you don't really want to share the spreadsheet of the collected data, you do want people to use a subset of it.

In this example, we will create a "Research Logger". Here's the first form, go fill it in.

The Confirmation Page of the Form has a link to a web application made earlier, like this.

The web application uses a Table Chart visualisation to show a subset of the data but has really nice filters so that you can drill down on the information. It looks like this.

The code to display a table like this is...

 function doGet(e) {    
  var spreadsheet_id = 'YOUR_SPREADSHEET_ID'
  var ss = SpreadsheetApp.openById(spreadsheet_id)
  var sheet = ss.getSheetByName("Form Responses")
  var last_row = sheet.getLastRow()
  var last_column = sheet.getLastColumn()
  var range = sheet.getRange(2, 1, last_row-1, last_column)
  var data = range.getValues( )
  var dataTable = Charts.newDataTable()      
        .addColumn(Charts.ColumnType.STRING, "Added by")     
        .addColumn(Charts.ColumnType.STRING, "Department")      
        .addColumn(Charts.ColumnType.STRING, "Researcher")  
        .addColumn(Charts.ColumnType.STRING, "Funder")  
        .addColumn(Charts.ColumnType.STRING, "Name of Call") 
        .addColumn(Charts.ColumnType.STRING, "URL") 
  for ( r in data){
    var row = data[r]

    var username = row[1]
    var department = row[2]
    var researcher_name = row[3]
    var researcher_email = row[4]
    var tags = row[5]
    var notes = row[6]
    var funder = row[7]
    var name_of_call = row[8]
    var deadline = row[9]
    var research_title = row[10]
    var folder_url = row[21]
    if ( researcher_email != '' & typeof researcher_email != 'undefined' ){
      researcher_name = '' + researcher_name + '' 
    folder_link = 'files'
    dataTable.addRow( [username, department, researcher_name, funder, name_of_call, folder_link ])    
  } );
  var chart = Charts.newTableChart()
      .setDimensions(1200, 500)
      .setOption('allowHtml', true)
  var name_of_callFilter = Charts.newStringFilter().setFilterColumnLabel("Name of Call")
        .setLabel("Name of Call")
  var departmentFilter = Charts.newCategoryFilter()
     var funderFilter = Charts.newCategoryFilter()
   var dashboard = Charts.newDashboardPanel()
       .bind(name_of_callFilter, chart)
       .bind(departmentFilter, chart)
       .bind(funderFilter, chart)
   var app = UiApp.createApplication().setTitle("Research")
   var panel = app.createVerticalPanel().setSpacing(10)
   panel.add(name_of_callFilter).add(departmentFilter).add(funderFilter).add(chart );

   var label = app.createLabel().setText("TOTAL: " + data.length + " research bid projects").setStyleAttribute("color", "#442233").setStyleAttribute("font-size", "18px")
   app.add( label )
   var link_to_form = app.createAnchor("Add a new Research bid", "https://LINK_TO_YOUR_FORM/viewform")
   link_to_form.setStyleAttribute("color", "blue").setStyleAttribute("font-size", "18px")
   app.add( link_to_form )
   return app

One added useful feature is that when someone submits the form, a GDrive folder is created for that item and they are added as an Editor to that folder. A link is then added to the table for ease of access.

The code automatically create a GDrive folder when the form is submitted is...

function onFormSubmit(e) {            
  var ss = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet()
  var sheet = ss.getSheetByName("Form Responses")
  var row = e.range.getRow() 
  var values = e.namedValues
  var department = values['Department']
  var researcher_name = values['Researcher name']
  var researcher_email = values['Researcher email']
  var name_of_call = values['Name of Call']
  var funder = values['Funder']
  var folder_title = department + " - " + researcher_name + " - " + funder + " - " + name_of_call
  var destination_folder = DriveApp.getFolderById('CHANGE_TO_YOUR_FOLDER_ID')
  var folder = destination_folder.createFolder(folder_title)
  var folder_url = folder.getUrl()

  sheet.getRange( row, 22).setValue( folder_url ) 

This collection of a Google Form, a Google Spreadsheet and a Web Application means that staff can easily add information and be able to easily browse the information other people have added. I think although calling a Table Chart a visualisation might be a bit grand, they are incredibly useful ways of presenting information in a navigable and filterable format.


Popular posts from this blog

Inserting A Google Doc link into a Google Spreadsheet (UPDATED 6/12/2017)

This article looks at using Apps Script to add new features to a Google Spreadsheet. At the University of York, various people have been using Google spreadsheets to collect together various project related information. We've found that when collecting lots of different collaborative information from lots of different people that a spreadsheet can work much better than a regular Google Form. Spreadsheets can be better than Forms for data collection because: The spreadsheet data saves as you are editing. If you want to fill in half the data and come back later, your data will still be there. The data in a spreadsheet is versioned, so you can see who added what and when and undo it if necessary The commenting features are brilliant - especially the "Resolve" button in comments. One feature we needed was to be able to "attach" Google Docs to certain cells in a spreadsheet. It's easy to just paste in a URL into a spreadsheet cell, but they can often

A Working Booking System In Google Sheets

Working with Andras Sztrokay we had another go at a booking system. This time it was to enable staff to book out a number of iPads over a number of days. You select the days you want, then select the Booking menu. Andras did an amazing job. It even creates a daily bookings sheet so you can see who has which iPads. To see this in action, go  here  and  File > Make a Copy (I won't be able to support you this is just provided to maybe give someone else a leg up, good luck!)

One-To-Many Relationship in a Google Spreadsheet

It's often the case that you want and need to be creating a database to store your data, but Google Spreadsheets are just so handy aren't they? But Google Spreadsheets are very good at relational data. Here's an example where, you want to have one column for the name of your recipe and another for the ingredients ( comma separated ). How you use this script is you click on the cell you want to be relational and choose the Admin > Show Relationship Editor. This opens up a dialog window showing you all the options included so far. You then alter the ingredients and it saves a comma separated list into the spreadsheet. Here's the spreadsheet . Use File > Make a copy to see it work and rummage around in the code. If anyone can help make the UI prettier I'd be grateful, thanks.