Re: Formula is slow to calculate

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6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

I have a formula set up to calculate and display whether a customer has paid for the product they’ve taken in full, and, if not, how much they still owe. It looks like this:

IF(SUM({Cases Out}*60-{Money In})=0, “Paid Up”, “Owes $” & SUM({Cases Out}*60-{Money In}))

It works, but the problem is that Airtable seems to take a long time to calculate the answer. When I update the Cases Out field for instance, it’s common to see the output from this function go through two or three “intermediate” answers, where it will display one number, then another, until finally it gets to the right final result. It isn’t a big deal, but it takes a few seconds and makes the user initially feel like it isn’t working right at all. It’s also strange: why is a simple calculation taking so long? I’ve never seen a function output be anything less than instantaneous in Excel or Google Sheets. Is something about the way I’ve written this taking an outsized amount of processing resources?

3 Replies 3

This may be a result of server-side processing. Airtable has to send your input to the server with each keystroke as you enter digits, process the formulas, and send the results back to populate the formula field. And now you’ve already entered the next digit.

Excel, being a local app, does not have to send any of your input across the internet to a server, so the results are able to be displayed much more quickly. Plus, Excel has the advantage of nearly 30 years of iterative optimization, being such an old piece of software.

Google sheets is also server based software, but Google is… Google. They have the advantage of about 1000 times the development resources and server potential that Airtable has.

Aaaaah yeah. That all makes sense. I’ve taken Google’s raw resources for granted.

That does not make any sense, a simple sum cannot be delayed in any way. If in Airtable you do something as simple as a sum in a field it is very slow.
There are platforms that are not Google and that work in real time, Notion to name an example.