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Files With Multiple Parents

Started by arlo, November 25, 2015, 04:09:21 PM

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Would you miss the ability to attach the same file to multiple parent records if that ability went away?

Yes, I use this feature or can imagine good reasons to use it.
1 (33.3%)
No, it would be better to eliminate this and streamline the app.
2 (66.7%)

Total Members Voted: 3


Currently, you can add files (documents and recordings) to your BandHelper account, then attach those files to parent records (songs, and soon events and transactions, too). This structure allows you to attach the same file to multiple parent records if needed. However, it also creates a many-to-many relationship between files and parent records that is confusing for some users and requires more steps when setting up your data.

I could simplify the structure so that files are only associated with one parent record. For example, a document attached to one song could not be attached to any other song. It would live completely within the context of that one song. In this structure, you would add files directly to the parent record rather than adding them to a separate list. For example, you would add a recording directly on the song edit page, or add a document directly on the event edit page. This would surely make the setup process more intuitive and faster.

However, would you miss the extra flexibility the app currently has? Do you ever attach the same document or recording to more than one song, or would you attach the same document to more than one event or transaction when that functionality is available?

In the simplified structure, you would still be able to attach more than one file to a parent record; this question is about attaching a file to more than one parent record. Also, you would be able to attach the same file to more than one parent record by uploading it separately to each parent record, in which case your account would have two copies of that file.


While adding the ability to attach documents to events, transactions and contacts this month, and after contacting some of the BandHelper users who are currently attaching the same documents to multiple songs, I went ahead and reworked the structure for attaching documents and recordings. Here are the relevant sections from the release notes:

- Changed the workflow for attaching documents and recordings. You can now upload a document or recording file directly from the parent's edit page (e.g., the song edit page), rather than uploading a file on the Documents or Recordings pages and then attaching the file to the parent. However, this means you can no longer select a file that you previously uploaded to add to a new parent; if you want to add a new parent with the same file as an existing parent, you will need to upload the file again for the new parent. Also, you can no longer upload individual files from the Documents and Recordings list pages, but you can still batch import and batch update documents and recordings from those pages. Finally, if you remove a document or recording from a parent, the file will now be deleted from your account rather than merely unlinked from the parent.

- Changed the batch import function for documents and recordings. When you perform a batch import of document or recording files, BandHelper now looks for existing files with the same names and replaces them with the newly imported files. If it doesn't find an existing file with the same name, it looks for a parent record (e.g., a song) with the same base name and attaches the file to that parent. An example of a matching base name is that a document named "Freebird - horns.pdf" will be attached to a song named "Freebird." If no existing file or matching parent record is found, the file will not be imported.

In short, BandHelper now only lets you attach a file to one parent (a song, event, transaction or contact), but for backwards compatibility, any documents or recordings that are attached to multiple songs now will still work as they do now.