Strategies for Building Complex Calculators in Zano and Airtable

In this meeting, the State Changers discuss the challenge of an incoming project requiring a transition from a complex spreadsheet-based calculator to a more robust system like "Xano" or "Airtable". A participant received a client's 12-page spreadsheet filled with calculations and wasn't sure how to reproduce it in a structured query language (SQL). The group provides advice on handling this situation, asserting that one doesn't necessarily have to do the math in SQL. Rather, the math can occur after the data is pulled out from the SQL request, and then a new request can be made.

The group suggests a three-step approach: first, make it work (even if it's slow), second, make it fast, and finally, make it pretty. They insist that understanding the logic within the spreadsheet is of paramount significance, as converting it accurately to the new platform is the primary challenge. When addressing the vlookup operation seen in Excel (a method to look up and retrieve data from a specific column), it's suggested to consider this as a table, which can be reflected as a "GET" request in an SQL oriented system. Instead of doing vlookup, one would pull out data, do the math in their application, and then make another request. The dynamic values in Excel, which can effectively act as code, also brings in the complexities of data vs code dynamics, which require careful consideration while transferring to a different platform. The meeting also emphasises the importance of testing at various points of the transition to ensure that the logic being transferred is adequately mirrored in the new platform. This systematic approach can help break down complexity, and lower the difficulty over time. Finally, they discuss the importance of responsible data handling and a commitment to not exposing any sensitive data or keys during the process.

(Source: Office Hours 10/4 )

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