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Introduction to data

Our explanation on all the related-data works you can do for your app development with Starion
The data structure is the backbone of your app. It shapes the application's efficiency, performance, and scalability. It determines how data is organized, stored, and accessed, influencing user experience and the overall functionality of an app.
In Starion, we structure data in the format of a table. In this article, we'll explore why Starion has chosen the data table as its preferred mode for data organization. By the end of this read, you'll gain a comprehensive understanding of how a data table can set the stage for app development.

Structuring data with table

Using a table is the fundamental data organization. It is widely familiar to any individuals who start their data management.
At its essence, a data table is a two-dimensional grid comprised of rows and columns. Each row represents a unique entry, while each column signifies a distinct attribute or characteristic of the data. This structured format allows for orderly storage and retrieval of information, making sense of even complex datasets.
Structuring data with a table gives a high degree of flexibility and scalability, giving the ability to adapt to any data type and app requirement. Whether it's a list of users, inventory items, or financial transactions, tables can accommodate diverse datasets. When the volume of data grows, you also can scale the tables gracefully while still ensuring that apps remain responsive and efficient.

Managing data privacy

In any situation where data security is a concern, there are generally two types of data privacy: information that can be shared publicly and information that should be kept private.
Implementing data privacy in Starion, there are two access modes for your table: shared table and private table.

Shared table

A shared table is like an open database. It contains data that is accessible to all users of your app. Shared tables promote transparency, making them suitable for situations where open visibility is crucial.
For general practice, shared tables are ideal for data that is meant to be public or accessible to a broad audience. For instance, tables containing product catalogs, public event listings, or collaborative project updates benefit from shared access.
Users with name card in the same color with access ID can view the the row. In the shared table, all users can view all rows
In the context of internal operation, shared Tables are well-suited for the data that are required for real-time collaboration among multiple users, whether it's a team working on a presentation or a group managing a shared task list.

Private table

When it comes to private tables, data privacy and integrity are highly valued. In this mode, each user has exclusive access to their data within the table, enhancing personalized experiences and safeguarding confidential information. Private tables are the ideal choice when data must remain confidential, such as personal user information, financial records, or proprietary business data. If users interact with the app and generate personalized data, like personal notes, preferences, or private messages, private tables ensure the privacy of these records.
Users with their name in the same color as the access ID can view the row. In a Private table, a user can view 1 row, or more or none.
For scenarios where data isolation is critical, such as in multi-tenant applications or instances where user data should not be visible to others, private tables offer the required data segregation. Overall, private tables provide unmatched security for sensitive data, making them an essential tool in protecting user privacy.

Adding new tables

To add a new table in Starion, follow these steps:
  • Access the Data studio
  • Click the button "+ Add a Table"
Access the Data studio and click button + Add a Table
In Starion, you have two options for storing your data tables: build a native one, or synchronize from online platforms that you're using to manage your data.
Firstly, you can create a table from scratch directly on Starion's storage, which is known as Native Tables. Alternatively, if you have your data file in CSV format on your local device, you can upload it onto Starion and manage it as a native table.
Another option is to synchronize data tables directly from online sources such as Google Spreadsheets, Airtable, and Online Excel Workbook. If you have already prepared your tables, you can use them instantly for app development without worrying about any errors that may occur during the process of transferring the data table to a new base. This is particularly useful if you rely on specific tools for data management.
For more information on how to work with all types of sources in Starion, check out this guide.

Example Scenario: Task Management App

You're developing a shopping app for your business where your customers can visit to see products and place online orders. Common
The first table you need is your product catalog. You will need to provide as much information about the product as possible so your customers can ensure about the product they're purchasing.
In the structure of a data table, each row will be a product and each column will be about one information type of the product. You may consider these rows:
  • Product ID (Unique identifier)
  • Product Name
  • Category (Clothing, Electronics, Home & Living, etc.)
  • Price
  • Stock Quantity
  • Description
  • Rating (for user reviews)
Since the product should be seen by all users, the suitable table access mode is "Shared table". You can synchronize from external sources in case you may have one already.
An example of a product table for the product catalog of the shopping app
The shopping app must be also the place where your customers can manage their orders. However, each customer must only see their own orders they place on the app. Therefore, in this case, build a native table that has the access mode as a "Private table".
In the table of order, there should be the following columns:
  • Order ID
  • Product ID
  • Product name
  • Quantity
  • Price: this is the price of 1 unit at the time your customer purchases the product
  • Total amount: the total amount your customer pays for the order
  • Purchasing date
  • Status of order (such as prepared, collected by carrier, on the way, and delivered)
An example of a table to record the orders placed in the shopping app. Each customer can view only orders with their name in the column "Customer"

Tip for best practice

When it comes to managing your data, it's important to make informed decisions that will support your business in the long run.
Before switching to Starion, carefully consider the scalability of your current tool and ensure it can handle your data storage requirements as you grow. For example, while Google Spreadsheet may be popular and easy to use, it's important to note that it may not perform well when dealing with over 10 million cells per spreadsheet. This can result in data synchronization issues with Starion and jeopardize the stability of your app.