Please note, I am not asking how to remove duplicates from a column of data.
We are transitioning to a relational database system to store data. But, in the mean time we are using Google Sheets to store data.
Let’s say we have 20 customers and each of our customers has two Google Sheets that we share to them and ask for it to be filled in and we have one Sheet per client which translates the data into a format that is useful to us. (A kind of Translation Layer pattern or Anti-Corruption Layer)
As you can see in my example folder on Google Drive, and in the image below.
We have one Google Drive folder per client (Client Folder). E.g. ClientX
The Client Folder contains, say three Google Sheets:
- ClientOutlineData – Lists Client’s products and other Client Data.
- ProductDesignClientInterface – One tab per client product for them to insert product data.
- ProductDesignsTranslated – One tab per client product. Based on data in ProductDesignClientInterface and ClientOutlineData to create data in a format that matches the import format of a software application that we use.
Since this set of sheets is repeated for each client. Where each tab has the same column structure, conditional formatting rules and formulas as the other sheets – this huge amount of duplication just does not feel right.
Let’s say we want to alter the formula to generate
ProductDesignsTranslated column. We would have to go through and edit all tabs in the
ProductDesignsTranslated Google Sheet for each client. Which could be, say, (20 Products) * (20 Clients) = 400 steps per change (plus testing).
Even Google Apps scripts appear to have to be attached to each spreadsheet independently.
Question: Is this kind of duplication of Structure and Behaviour a ‘fact of life’ in the world of Google Spreadsheets, or are there any ways to reduce the duplication further?
As I say, perhaps Google Sheets are not appropriate for this kind of problem. But, I would be interested to understand one technique to reduce duplication of Sheet Structure and Behaviour in this specific scenario, or if is is possible at all.
I am a programmer familiar with OOP, Design Patterns, Relational Databases, etc. But, not so familiar with spreadsheets.