This is the third post in the series about Attribute types in Lumeer. In the first post, we introduced the concept of Attribute types, and in the second post, we focused on Number and Percentage types. Now we are going to look closer at another type: Date.
Let’s start with an example: Consider this table which we use to store information about tasks. It contains a summary of the task, start date and due date. We add the first row – you can of course enter dates without attribute type set and Lumeer will treat them as a text.
Then more people start to collaborate on the table and add new records. If they are guest users, they don’t even see other records (and their date formats) and this can easily result in a situation similar to this:
Obviously, such a situation is not desired and we want to prevent it from happening. Date attribute type does exactly that – you can set the format and also set minimum or maximum value if you wish. There is a list of pre-defined formats and you can even create your own ones (see the list of supported formulas).
Invalid values in the third row are now underlined – that way you or your colleagues will easily spot them…
… and fix them. What’s more, after clicking into the cell, a datepicker will appear. When you select a date, it is automatically saved in the correct format.
So far, we have been looking at the data only through table perspective. However, there are visually more comprehensible perspectives that will make working with time and dates more effective. Let’s look at them!
First, we extend this table with more records. Actually, we will use table Tasks from Lumeer’s Project tracker template:
Switching the perspective to Timeline gives you a much clearer view of the tasks, and, what’s more, you can set and display task dependencies there.
Timeline is ideal for getting an overview of data which have both start and end date and took longer time. But it is not suitable for following data from Candidates coordination template, because:
- Interviews have exact times.
- Interviews don’t have end dates.
- We are usually interested in a shorter timespan when viewing them – e.g. next day, week or month.
Well, if you imagined times before computers, probably nobody would take notes of events (such as interviews) in the form of timeline. Instead, they would use a calendar. And that’s exactly what you can do also in Lumeer! Just switch the perspective to Calendar:
To reschedule an event, you don’t have to go back to Table perspective – drag’n’drop will do that:
Next time, we will look at Duration attribute type.
You might not only be a business offering contractors to have employees working on multiple projects at the same time.
The important question you often need to answer is what skills do you have available and when for you to commit to the next big project.
It would be great if we could find such an answer easily and quickly. Many companies use spreadsheets or some other workarounds to deal with this, however, it brings only a partial relief.
In Lumeer, we can easily manage all the information and have a single source of truth available to everyone.
Let’s start with tracking our team members and projects.
The first unique value of Lumeer is that we can put our data into relations – we can link team members to projects.
There can be multiple relations with various meanings. In our case it means who works on which project.
This is overly simplified as not everybody typically works on a project from the very beginning till the very end. Especially when a project has a longer time span.
To track more details, we can add additional attributes (or columns if you will) to the link. We can add the start and end date of an assignment and also the allocation percentage.
We can easily share only the relevant piece of the linked tables with all team members so that they can manage their part.
Now we can have a look at how to get a quick overview of our team utilisation. We can see that in Timelines.
We need a bit of a preparation. Every table row can be linked to an arbitrary amount of other rows. This needs to aggregate linked table rows which Timelines do not support yet. Lumeer will automate that soon, but for now, we create a helper column in the link that collects the progress percentage and project name.
As we can see, it is now obvious, where we have enough resources available to commit ourselves to a new project.
On the left, we can see the list of our employees and on the right side, there are the time lines representing the assignment of individual employees to the projects. The percentage values denote the assignment proportions out of each team member’s time.
As a bonus, we can see the Projects on an agile Board grouped by their state. We can even easily see projects that are due soon or past due.
With Lumeer, you’ll make your organisation as efficient as possible!
Gone are the days when computers needed all information to be indexed with a number. Well not gone, but the computers stopped bothering us – users – with these boring numbers.
Yet, we still love the IDs or codes to track individual records, or table rows if you wish. This allows us to easily share information with our colleagues, especially over the phone.
So the codes are very practical and can speed up our daily routines.
Most typically, project tasks have their codes. Like
It would not be very convenient for us to search for the most recently used number manually and add it to a newly created task. Let’s have a look how Lumeer can do that automatically .
It is very simple. The desired outcome it as depicted below with the first column to be generated automatically.
We first open the Tasks table configuration.
And on the Rules tab, we create a new rule of type Blockly which allows us to set a value of a table row (also called document or record) upon its creation.
Here we built a simple rule that sets the attribute Code of the newly created document in the Tasks table to a string composed of a prefix
LUMEER- and a value from a sequence called tasksSequence aligned to at least 4 digits.
A sequence is an ever increasing number that gets higher automatically every time it is read. We can save the rule and give it a try by creating a new task. Remember, we do not need to fill in the code.
The rule automatically filled in the code. However, the number is not correct. We already had two tasks, so we want the sequence to continue.
We can fix the added line manually and we want the next task to be assigned the code
LUMEER-0004. Let’s open project configuration.
There we can see all the sequences we ever used in the rules. The counter is the last used number. So we want to set it to 3.
And let’s give it one more try in the table.
Et voila! Problem solved. Now you can easily ask you colleague to help you and carry on some work on the task
Next, we’ll see how to move the task tracking to another level using custom workflows in our newly updated Board perspective.