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 understand 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 individual who starts 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, allowing the ability to adapt to any data type and app requirement. Tables can accommodate diverse datasets, whether a list of users, inventory items, or financial transactions. When the volume of data grows, you can scale the tables gracefully while 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.

When implementing data privacy in Starion, your table has two access modes: shared and private.

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, shared access benefits from tables containing product catalogs, public event listings, or collaborative project updates.

In the context of internal operation, shared tables are well-suited for the data 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

Regarding private tables, data privacy and integrity are highly valued. In this mode, users have exclusive access to their data within the table, enhancing personalized experiences and safeguarding confidential information. Private tables are ideal 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.

Private tables offer the required data segregation for scenarios where data isolation is critical, such as in multi-tenant applications or instances where user data should not be visible to others. Overall, private tables provide unmatched security for sensitive data, making them essential to protect user privacy.

Table sources

To add a new table in Starion, follow these steps:

  • Access the Data studio

  • Click the button "+ Add a Table"

In Starion, you have two options for storing your data tables: build a native one or synchronize from online platforms you use to manage your data.

Firstly, you can create a table from scratch directly on Starion's storage called "native tables." Alternatively, if your data file is 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 while transferring the data table to a new base. This is particularly useful if you have already been using specific tools for data management.

For more information on how to work with all types of sources in Starion, check out this guide.

Data sources

Scenario: Task management app

You're developing a shopping app for your business where 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 data table structure, 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 all users should see the product, the suitable table access mode is "Shared table." You can synchronize from external sources in case you may have one already.

The shopping app must also be where your customers can manage their orders. However, each customer must only see the orders they place on the app. Therefore, in this case, build a native table with 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)

Tip for best practice

When managing your data, making informed decisions supporting your business in the long run is essential.

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.

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