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Better, Faster, Stronger Podio

Today we are releasing two significant updates to the calendar behaviour in Podio. They will for most people seem small in the appearance but the backend architecture work to make this possible has been huge. I am personally really proud of our team for making this update possible.

The overall goal of the changes is to improve the architecture of the calendar events, which has been the fastest growing area of Podio until now.

From making these updates, we will be able to ensure a more reliable and scalable platform in the future - and give a better experience for our customers using Podio every single day to manage their work. 

 

What is different?

1. Updated calendar layout: From today, the calendar will give you a 6 months view of past events. Your data will continue to be available in your apps and from using search, however we are limiting the calendar view to only allow for scrolling 6 months in the past. All future events will continue to be available in the calendar.

2. Updated date field behaviour: Date fields in Podio automatically show dates in the calendar for event apps. We are changing the behaviour for standard and contacts apps - the dates will only show in calendar if you manually enable the setting "show in calendar" from the field in the app template.

 

Next to improving performance and reliability, we also believe these updates will help decrease clutter in your calendar - so the most important meetings, deadlines and projects will be able to stand out more. As an extra tip, we recommend you to check out the calendar colouring feature, to help you customize the colour appearance of your meetings, deliverables and events  for better visibility and overview.

Please also note - we are reviewing the updated architecture in production over the next few weeks and will need to make additional updates in the backend before you will experience the full effect of the expected improved performance.

// Sara,

Product Manager

Sara Høeg Højlund-Rasmussen

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Appreciate the comments all! We appreciate your passion for the platform and help shaping the product. 

@Philipp, for the exporting to external calendar issue you have, we initially export 1000 events however all future events will be added automatically so as you continue to have the export open, the calendar should continue to populate future events (which will then stay for longer than 6 months). So it will not solve your cases initially, unless you already had the calendar exported prior - but it should solve itself in the future as new events gets added.

/Sara - Podio

Sara Høeg Højlund-Rasmussen -2 votes
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I'm going to chime in one more time. The practicality of choosing 6 months as the max increment is redundant at the least. Have it show at least 1 year behind minimum for organization and data tracking sake. It's actually a must.

Matt McDonald 3 votes
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Ouch, this change hurts us too :(

Nothing beats the power of Calendar view for certain tasks - it's what brought us to Podio in the first place! I'd also feel more comfortable with 12 months.

@Sara - I've tried your suggested workaround but the Calendar Export only pushes 1 month of historical events. I've used both iCal and Office365 service. How do I get all the historical events in?

 

Ben Hodge 5 votes
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Hi Ben,

The initial export has a limit of 1000 events - however all new events should be added automatically so this should solve the problem for you longtern as new events are added. I understand this is an issue if you have not exported events prior to this since you lose history. Going forward it should all new events created.

//Sara - Podio

Sara Høeg Højlund-Rasmussen -1 votes
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Hi Sara and all other great people here. I was shocked that my calendar is broken and my first thought was like - its just a new limitation that can be changed somewhere in the settings of the app, dont panic, just find the right settings to get things back how it was before. But the reality is written down in this feed.

We are event rental company mainly working just in the calendar view and going to future and past is just a natural way how we use a calendar at our work. We need to plan, we are doing the same kind of events every year and we need to plan from the past events. This is how calendar works anywhere else in every software I used for about 20 years. I am not happy with this question but I need to ask - what will you downgrade next time? It will be nice to announce this strategy of downgrading the features because we can lose something important for our everyday work. I am really not happy with only 6 months, we need to look more in the past events and check sometimes 2-3 years back in time. 

Is there any roadmap of features you want to add in the calendar please?

Anyway, thank you for a great work you did with Podio, we love the system and I appreciate your answers here. We just hope to see new features more than downgrades. 

// David - founder of Smybox.com and Printka.com

 

David Čeřovský 3 votes
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Søren and David,

Thank you for sharing. We are not planning any additional downgrade of features - we did announce the upcoming change in the maintenance post in public 7 days prior to release, I will recommend you to follow our status page as well for important future announcements: http://status.podio.com/incidents/wnlsk4dyybsw 

I understand this is painful, however we strongly believe this change was required in order to secure a more reliable and better scalable Podio (from a performance stand-point) in the future.

//Sara - Podio

Sara Høeg Højlund-Rasmussen -2 votes
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Sorry, it's me again ;) 

We now have a big trouble already because we can't use calendar work of an event we did last year. It makes so much work so check all single staff bookings in the initial app! It's a pain, really. And will start from now on each month!!!!

We already decided to stop the annual plan. We switched back to free version and need to look for any other platform. It's really sad. We supported Podio since the first day I heart of it.

Philipp Muth 3 votes
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Hi @sara. Comments like, "I understand this is painful, however we strongly believe this change was required in order to secure a more reliable and better scalable Podio (from a performance stand-point) in the future." are dismissive. If the company strongly believes this was necessary than explain in this forum what the quantitative differences between 6 months calendar data and 12 months calendar data would be. Give us a case study or example, something to sink our teeth into. Something that illustrates what the improved performance is. So we can say, 'Oh thank you Podio for making things better,' rather than, 'What's the deal Podio, we've relied on you for years and you are making things worse.' You are asking us to believe in good faith that calendar access reduction is good thing. But so far we can only see pain points. So help us to see the good, not just by repeatedly saying it, but by giving us a concrete example or some data that helps us to understand what your engineering team clearly has figured out. 

Personally, I never experience any performance related issues regarding the calendar (or how fast or slow it populates data). So I continue to think this change is arbitrary. I know you all believe it is necessary. So, can you break down for us what the difference between a 6 month calendar and a 12 month calendar would do to performance? Do we get 60% improvement rather than 80%? Is there a tipping point where 6 months is perfect, but even 7 months breaks the bank?

We are a bunch of business professional using a software that runs our businesses. Please treat us with professional courtesy and be transparent about the data behind this 6-month calendar decision. Please compare it out to a 12 month view, which so many of us are clearly stating we need, bare minimum. Thank you. 

 

Maeve Richmond 2 votes
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I actually use the calendar to scroll back to last summer to see how many events we had and to compare to this years events. I also sometimes scroll back to find a past event to see what we did (not to repeat anything) and calendar is the easiest way to do this. So if it is not a very big operation I would prefer if it was possible to scroll back more than 6 months.

Tommy Sand 3 votes
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This seems like a downgrade. This is not a “Better” update at all.
 
We love Podio as we rely on the Calendar for past events to compare previous data, a year ago or more. This is important to our workflow and a reason why we love Podio so much.
 
Now with the limitation of only seeing 6 months we don’t have a visual aid to guide us. It’s like Podio took a step backward in the user experience. It just doesn’t make sense.
 
Podio was working fine and we experienced no performance issues. Maybe we might have waited for the page to load for a few more seconds but that is not a big deal. Certainly not worth changing a very important feature.
 
We really hope Podio can revert back to seeing all past calendar entries. This is just an expected feature of any CRM and what any other CRM out there provides. Podio is the best but with this limitation…. well it isn’t.
Sophie Zhang 4 votes
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This removes one if not the most used function for our company, we are a wedding studio and we use the past years calendar to deliver albums, online galleries. videos etc... we need to look for past events everyday in order to get clients info. we only use the current calendar to book new events. In the search field we only get the names of our clients, for example: Diana and Pedro, if we have three couples with the same name we have to open each one in order to find the right one, its a waste of time and very confusing.

This is a huge downgrade for us.

if you could customize the search field in order to always show multiple fields like name and date it would be at least a way of find past year clients (active clients).

 

MM 3 votes
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I'm a bit late to the discussion here, but I feel like there should be a couple relatively easy fixes for this:

 

  1. So long as you have your data well structured, you should be able to just use the "Calendar" view option in the app itself. I hope that still works (I'll test and get back to this post later).
  2. The native export feature is limited to external calendars is limited, but the API access to historical calendar entries doesn't seem to be limited. (you can test here by entering any historical dates- I was able to successfully pull all data from 2016 quickly). From here it would be relatively simple for a developer to push this to an external calendar or reporting platform of your choice.

So the good news is all the data is still there, and it is accessible. If anyone needs help in this process, please feel free to reach out to myself at podio@dvi360.com and either myself or my partner Aaron Boerger will reach out in response. We speceialize in doing these types of integrations, and are more than happy to help. 

Aaron Jake Biehl 0 votes
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Well, it looks like the app view is also limited to the last 6 months. That is pretty disappointing.

I've thrown together a very bare bones project as a rough proof of concept, but all it does at this point is make a list of events and when they happen and put them in a format that Tableau can accept easily.

Here's the example with a dump from a dummy app I made with just a few events that are older than 6 months.

I've also published a GitHub Repository if anyone wants to see the code at work behind this (again, very bare bones).

Aaron Jake Biehl 2 votes
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Thx Aaron for your post!

In general I would say that majority of Podio clients are users and no developers. To be honest I didn't understand your explained way to get the data exported. I'm sorry about that ;)

It's good to know that it's possible but what most of clients want is an easy quick handling. I'll drop you an email and I hope u can explain me how to get all data in an external calendar. BTW is that a kind of ago or do we need to export it again after new data have beed recorded?

Sorry if this question seems to be stupid but again i'm just a user ;)

Thx in advance an regards!

Phil

 

 

Philipp Muth 0 votes
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I'm officially giving up on Podio. I'll probably continue with my current apps, but in the future I'll move my apps and development to another platform.

The "we did announce the upcoming change in the maintenance post in public 7 days prior to release" statement is scary.

Some of us are actually using Podio in the real world!

Søren (ekona) 2 votes
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Hi Phil, happy to help how I can. Typically the development we will do will ensure that you have the data in the external calendar on an ongoing basis, and keeps the data in sync if anything is changed in Podio. 
 
I will say that we can do a one time export and that would be simpler. Any tangible project scope would require knowing how complex your Podio calendar is, and knowing what external calendar or reporting software you want to use as well. Feel free to reach out via email, and I'll make sure we get a meeting scheduled this week.
 
All the best,
 
Aaron "Jake" Biehl
 
Aaron Jake Biehl 0 votes
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if Podio will not add unlimited calendar view for past/ present/ future we have to leave the platform as well. Thats really sad!

We already cancelled the payment contract. Hopefully a lot of clients will do same that Podio developers start working on this fixture!

Again: we DONT want to leave but its becoming a pain for our business.

Philipp Muth 1 vote
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I'm with Jeremy on this. Pretty minor updates for an increasingly unstable solution.

Jeffrey de Visser 0 votes
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