Writing Formulas in Excel vs Stackby

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By Anjali Daga

updated about 1 month ago

If you're an excel or google sheet user who just loves formulas, and are just getting started with Stackby, this article is for you! 


While the fundamentals of formulas remain the same, there are some differences you can learn as you become a Stackby Formula Expert. 


Terminology       


Excel 

Excel Use 

Stackby 

Stackby Use 

Workbook 

An Excel file 

Stack

A stack is like a file, containing any number of tables 

Worksheet or Sheet

Separate sheets within a workbook 

Table 


N/A

Views not available in excel 

View 

One of the most powerful features in Stackby, views allow you to visualize your table data in different ways (Kanban, Calendar, Form, Gallery) 

Column

Vertical collection of cells (Eg. Column C) 

Column

Different column types that display data to all cells in that column. Eg. Single option for status, Attachments for files 

Row 

Horizontal collection of cells (Eg. Row 7) 

Row 

A single record that contains all information stored within columns 

Cell

Individual cell referenced from column + row (Eg. C7, A4, B3) 

Cell

An individual cell that is part of a row 


Stackby is like a spreadsheet and a database 


Excel = traditional spreadsheets, Stackby = Spreadsheets + Databases 


In a spreadsheet (like Excel or Google sheets), you can only structure information in a grid with expected formats (Number, Text, Date/Time) within columns, rows and cells. In a database, you can create relationships between different rows across tables to create powerful data links that opens up more capabilities for data structuring, entry, auto-calculations and more. 


Stackby also allows you to visualize your table information beyond a grid, with powerful views like Kanban (Pipeline), Calendar, Drag and Drop Form Builder, Gallery and more. 


Stackby formulas reference entire columns, not specific cells 

In a spreadsheet (like Excel or Google sheets), you can put a formula in any cell, and have it reference any other cell in the sheet. Stackby is a relational database so formulas are applied for the entire column so that the same formula applies to every row in that column.


Excel


In excel, any specific cell can be referenced in another cell.


For example, to identify the source of each purchase in a table, you would write a formula that referenced each cell - like A2 - to check for the type of source it is.


Example: =IF(A3='Online','Web','Store')



Stackby


Whereas in Stackby, a formula is always applied to an entire column, rather than specific cells. For example, to identify the source of each purchase, you would write one formula to reference the {Purchase Type} field, and the formula will check that field for every row in the table.

Example: IF({Num1}<{Num2},"Yes it is", "Not it is") 

Stackby formulas work within a table, not across a stack 

Similar to the above, Stackby formulas by default only reference columns within the same table. However, there are ways to bring over a value from a different table such as (lookup, aggregation) in order to reference it in a formula field.


Excel

To reference a record in another table, you have to write specific references to the other table using a format.


Stackby

To reference a row in another table, you can first link them by using the linked column type. Once a row in one table, like Campaign, is linked to a row in another table, like Content, you can reference either column from either table by using a lookup, aggregation, or lookup count. 



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