New Feature - Math and String Processing


#1

Hello everyone - we are extremely pleased to release two major new pieces of functionality for Dropsource today: the ability to process text strings and… :drum: …carry out math calculations…! :abacus: :tada: :relaxed:

You’ll see two new actions in the editor: Calculate Math Expression and Build a String. Note that they both use slightly different interaction from the existing actions so may take a little getting used to.

The Calculate Math Expression action allows you to carry out a calculation, building values from your app into it, and retrieving the result to use in other actions. To use a value from your app in the calculation, create a variable, giving it a name (just to use locally within the action), and selecting a value from the input sources in your app (such as page/device variables, user input via elements, API response fields etc). In the Expression box, refer to your variables by name and include them along with any operators you need, e.g. price*quantity. Use the Action Data in other actions you add to the same event in your app to access the result of your calculation.

The Build a String action allows you to interpolate string values - to create strings using values from your app together with string literals. As with the math action, use the variables section to refer to values from the app and reference them in the Template - however when building strings, your variable references should be enclosed in double curly braces, e.g. Welcome {{first_name}} {{last_name}}. As with the math action, you can access the returned string in other actions added to the same event.

Our help center includes some general info in the main documentation section:

As well as the FAQs:

And we have a few new tutorials:



These two actions represent a significant increase in the amount of complexity you can build into your apps in Dropsource. That’s hugely exciting to us because it opens up a huge range of new possibilities for our users to successfully complete their projects without additional customization after download. Having said that, we do anticipate an additional learning challenge in using these actions, particularly for people who perhaps don’t come from a coding background. For that reason we really want to know what challenges you hit, anything you find confusing, or any use cases you’re struggling to implement - so that we can improve on the UX and learning resources on an ongoing basis. :mega: :ear:

My initial goal with the first tutorials is to provide a starting point for learning to use these new actions, by including them in short walkthroughs that implement example use cases - hopefully equipping you with the basics of putting them to use in a way that you’ll be able to apply in your own projects.

With this new functionality there are so many possibilities, in all honesty it’s difficult to narrow down the topics and decide on useful examples - so I’m really hoping to take my lead from you, our community members, to let us know what you plan on making with these new actions, and to share what you discover when you try them out yourself. The above list of tutorials is really just the beginning - let’s build on it together! :building_construction: Whether you take the time to share feedback, a quick tip, a walkthrough or demo, we’ll be delighted to highlight the best community contributions through the Dropsource web presence :medal_sports: (something we plan on doing a lot more of soon - stay tuned for more on that in the coming weeks).

And finally a note that we are not quite done with this area of functionality - we’ll be adding more string processing actions soon. More general info about this release in our release notes.

I cannot wait to see what you build with these actions! :rocket:


#2

Yes! This opens up so many more possibilities!


#3

We’re all super stoked about this too. We’re really looking forward to seeing all the creative ways the community leverages it.


#4

thank%20you

This is amazing.
A very huge step forward.
Add the public plugin system and dropsource becomes the holy grail for no/low code app building.
Thank you guys.


#5

Hi @sue on the release page, under improvements, what does the following mean:

  • The array builder UI has been updated with a new image picker, new color picker, more intuitive button locations, and easier row ordering.

Btw there is a minor typo in the release date name, should be 2019 instead of 2018.

Will find time in coming days to test these amazing features.


#6

I can’t wait to see how you leverage this functionality. You’ve been very cunning in showing what’s possible already. Adding Math and String functionalities should open up a lot of new avenues.


#7

@Nate Can you speak on these updates more? I’m picking up some of the more minor inclusions as well and don’t have enough info just yet to speak on these new line items.


#8

We have made some improvements to the UX the the editors for math expression, alert actions, etc. This is not for actually working with arrays, it is just what we call the action editor.


#9

Thanks @nate for the clarification.
I thought there was some hidden arrays action i wasn’t aware of :smile: