Pave the way
This minor release doesn't bring new features. Instead, it will be focused on improving and revamping the code while we pave the way for the next features.
This version introduces the new tool Forward installments. The tool forwards credit card transaction with installments in the format "d+/d+". To use the tool, select anywhere within the table of a month, or select a range of rows, from "day" to "tags", to restrict the forwarding.
Now it is easier to find a description for your transaction: this release allows the spreadsheet to suggest a description for the transactions. The suggestion is based on the previous description: - it is a simple list of previous descriptions already used - there is no analytics or IA.
Improvements, fixes, privacy
You can change the financial year in a restore process.
In addition to formatting the whole table, the tool Format table now can format a selected range within a table.
Bug fixes and improvements.
This release adds encryption to backups: when you request a backup of your budget spreadsheet, you must make a password to encrypt the backup file before the add-on send it to you. You use the same password to restore the backup to a new spreadsheet.
It is strongly recommended that you use a password manager to generate and store unique, random passwords for each backup. If you lose your password, you will not be able to restore the backup.
New Restore Method
We're introducing a new option to start a budget spreadsheet: Copy your data. You can use this option to copy all transactions, data, and settings from an existing budget spreadsheet into a new one. This option is handy if your current budget spreadsheet is somehow messed up and you need a new and clean budget spreadsheet.
This option is compatible with budget spreadsheets at version v0.36.4 or later.
Version v0.36.4 of Budget n Sheets introduces the use of Developer Metadata: it allows the add-on to access and modify (add, edit and remove) metadata (small pieces of information) to the spreadsheet. It also allows the add-on to access and modify metadata from other spreadsheets. The metadata is not in use to track the user. Instead, it will be used in the next feature "Copy your data.
The budget spreadsheet details and settings stored in metadata are:
Number of accounts
Budget n Sheets signature
The information listed above is stored with limited visibility as well: only the add-on can access and modify the metadata. The add-on doesn't allow other add-ons and scripts to access it either, and the add-on does not access metadata other than its own.
The Developer Metadata was introduced as part of the next feature "Copy your data: this option allows you to select an existing budget spreadsheet in the setup process. At the end of the spreadsheet build, the add-on automatically copies all transactions, accounts, cards, tags, and settings to the new spreadsheet.
This version of Budget n Sheets is introducing a handy new feature: backup and restore! In short, you can backup all transactions and settings of a budget spreadsheet in a file. The archive is then attached to an email and sent from you to yourself - more in detail below. To restore the backup, upload the archive to your Google Drive and create a new spreadsheet. In the setup process, there is now the options to "Set up as new" and "Restore your data.
Now, because the restoration process needs access to your Google Drive, the add-on will require your re-authorization to run. At first, this sounds like a big "NO, but the section "Access to Your Google Drive" below explains "how" and "when" the add-on will be accessing your Drive and how Google reviews the scope of permissions to protect users data.
Another new feature is "decimal places": you can choose how many decimals places to format the numbers automatically. For example, in regions where the currency doesn't have decimals places, the numbers are formatted as "$0" instead of "$0.00".
The add-on is also migrating from the Rhino to the V8 runtime: it translates into more performance and enhanced reliability for the users!
Access to Your Google Drive
OAuth client verification
Update 2020-12-08: The OAuth App Verification is now complete.
Permission to access your Drive is something Budget n Sheets didn't have - or needed - so far. With its introduction in Backup and Restore, the add-on must go (again) through OAuth client verification by Google. This process typically takes 2-3 business days. In the meantime, the add-on re-authorization will show a "This app isn't verified" warning message: you can wait for the verification before re-authorizing the add-on.
How and when
To be more specific, the access is limited to read-only since the add-on doesn't need to modify anything in your Drive. The add-on only accesses your Drive when you are starting a new budget sheet and select "Restore your data. Then, the add-on starts Google Picker to list only files that you own. Once a file is selected, the add-on tests if it is a Budget n Sheets backup, its integrity, and finally shows a summary of its contents.
As a continued compromise with your privacy, the source code of the add-on is up-to-date in the GitHub directory. The add-on only accesses your Drive when it needs to and only files that you own.
Although the add-on could save the backup directly in your Drive, it was preferred to follow a less invasive approach by emailing it to you.
During the start of a new budget spreadsheet, you can choose how many decimals places the numbers should be formatted. You can change this option later in the Settings sidebar.
Rhino to V8 runtime
The Budget n Sheets' script migration from Rhino to V8 runtime wasn't straight forward: there were a few incompatibilities (now fixed), and V8 itself had a few hiccups at the time. While V8 is enabled from now on, many changes are coming to Budget n Sheets to take full advantage of it!
Backup and Restore
The Backup and Restore feature is an ongoing project for Budget n Sheets. In this release, the add-on can archive all the spreadsheet data in a file, and you can restore it later. That is one way to do it, and it is available right away.
The other way is to select an existing budget spreadsheet during the setup of a new one, so the add-on automatically copies all data to the new one. That last option is coming in a future release.
Regarding the restore from a file, you need to upload it to your Google Drive and start a new budget sheet - you can't import data from a backup into an existing budget spreadsheet.
You can create backups as long as the add-on is active in the spreadsheet and you are the admin of the spreadsheet.
To create a backup, click Add-ons > Budget n Sheets > Change settings > Backup. Click the "Back up now" button to start a backup.
A backup contains the following data:
transactions from Jan, ..., Dec,
transactions from Cards,
all your tags from Tags,
accounts and cards information,
All the data is encoded and archived in a file. Then, it is attached to an email that is sent from you to yourself. Notice here that "Send email as you" is part of the scope of permissions for Budget n Sheets, and the name of the sender will appear as "Add-on Budget n Sheets.
The approach of using your email to email yourself was chosen to avoid relying on third-party services to simply send a file.
Now, a few important notes regarding your backup file:
It is NOT encrypted! So keep your Google account secured.
The backup is a text file, and changing its content can impact the integrity and corrupt it.
You can restore a backup as long as you are the owner of the spreadsheet. You can only restore backups in a new spreadsheet.
To restore a backup:
Upload your backup to your Google Drive account.
Create a new spreadsheet.
Click Add-ons > Budget n Sheets > Start budget sheet.
In the "Let's get started" section, select "Restore your data.
In the "Restore from backup" dialog, click the button "Select backup.
Use the Google Picker to locate and select your file.
Review the summary of the backup and click "Restore.
In this release, the Summary chart now shows the average income and expenses in a line so you can review how each month is performed compared to the average. Now, the coming months that are still not accounted for in the stats are greyed out.
Other small changes are:
Added a "Support" section to the Quickstart.
The Accounts & Cards panel now shows account details in the listing.
In counting the number of bank transactions, parentheses were replaced with brackets in the table header.
This release introduces an optimized spreadsheet load by suspending recalculations of months old activities.
Optimized Spreadsheet Load
The budget spreadsheet has to recalculate everything whenever you open it. The time the recalculation takes to finish depends on the specs of the budget spreadsheet, like the number of accounts, cards, and tags, and it only increases as the year goes on because of the increasing amount of the data from each month.
Since months old activities (month sheets, cards, and cash flow tables) tend to be less and less revised, the recalculation on open becomes unnecessary. To cut this burden, the add-on is now replacing the functions behind those (re)calculations with a static value.
The replacement occurs during the monthly maintenance and only for 3+ months old data.
The "Optimize spreadsheet load" setting is disabled for existing budget spreadsheets; it is enabled for new spreadsheets. The setting can be changed in the Settings sidebar.
You can always restore the recalculation whenever you need to revise a previous month's activity: select a month sheet and click Add-on > Budget n Sheets > More > Resume month.
This release standardizes how the add-on works with the tables of Wallet, Accounts, and Cards. It also brings a new view mode for a compact table header, and enhancements to the tools.
The tool Sort registry was renamed to Format table. This tool, along with Add blank rows, are now compatible with the sheet Tags.
Note The accepted charset for tag code and card code is: 0-9, a-z, A-Z, _
A new view mode for compact table headers is available. You can change the view mode in the settings of the add-on.
In previous versions, everything within a table range would be processed by the many functions and tools of the add-on. Every filled row in a table would be included in the accounting, regardless of blank rows between two statements. The tool Format table would sort everything within a table as well. On the other hand, the tool Update cash flow would stop at the first row with a blank cell in the column value, so any remaining filled rows were not posted in the Cash Flow. This lack of standard can potentially lead to confusion and damn the add-on with unexpected behavior.
From now on, a row with a blank cell in the value column indicates the "end" of the table. This change brings a few advantages and flexibility when updating the budget sheet.
"Migrating" to the new format
All of your budget sheets built with the add-on will be automatically updated. You can manually update the spreadsheet in Add-ons > Budget n Sheets > About the add-on.
Now, run through every table in the spreadsheet and look for any blank cell left in the value column. If there is a blank cell and the rows below are meant to be accounted, simply add a 0 (zero) in the cell. See the example below.
The new rule also applies to the tools Format table and Update cash flow: they stop reading the rows at the first blank cell. To make sure the desired rows are processed, move the rows upward and fill the rows between the statements with a 0 (zero) in the value column.
Tips and tricks
This new rule allows you to quickly review what the balance, expenses, and stats were like before the entry of new statements. Simply delete the value of the first new statement entered. See the example below.