It's time to add Databases now that Tables are fully supported - Time to overthrow Notion!

Ability to create Notion-like Databases using locally stored information with Obsidian Tables

This is the only thing mostly that is missing which “notion” does better - Having dynamic Databases that allow -

  • Multi-select properties - adding text based selection options which can be used in one row at each cell

  • Search option to search for text based information and show only specific rows in a new view

  • Sorting cells by ascending\decending values (numberic\alphabet\time created\custom date\last edited and so on)

  • Checkboxes with information

  • Formulas that transfer from each cell (Things like Multiply\Divide from 1 cell and show equal to another cell)

  • Calculate Table Row Values into Sum at Bottom of table row

  • Url support (automatic shortening\clickable)

  • Creating new tabs with specific filters which will show you only rows with specific information based on row property

  • File\Media Embed within Table Cells and allow special View Modes with only media blocks and some information based on related rows

  • Ability to embed multiple Database tables in one Overview Note

Obviously there are much more features which i haven’t included

Proposed solution

Use already new and working Obsidian Markdown Tables and take them to a new level of complexity! all inside a locally stored offline MD file.

Current workaround (optional)

  1. Database Folder Plugin exists but it’s bare-bones, slow and lacks features
  2. DataLoom Plugin Exists to have 1 note information using relations - probably best option here
  3. Dataview obviously which has 1.5 million downloads
  4. obsidian-database-plugin allows editing of Dataview

I have switched to Notion specifically for Table Databases but my heart stays with obsidian!

In my opinion this should be a top priority focus to take obsidian to a new level of knowledge and information storing application, there are 2350 requests related to dataview alone.

Cheers!

Related feature requests (optional)

7 Likes

I have forgot something obvious -

  • Table row headers - Allow giving each row a unique title which can be used to change property type to the entire row - Allow adding icons\emojis to each title - Freeze the top row in place if the table is a database

  • Ability to change Multi-Select text background colors

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Here’s a quick example for this request!

2 Likes

It is on the roadmap and nearing the top - Obsidian Roadmap - Obsidian

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This FR is too broad. We prefer more focused FR. Please add your support to the already existing FR or create new ones that are scoped.

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Do you know if there is somewhere where it explains a little more on what they actually means with “Dynanic views”? In theory this could be the ultimate replacement of Dataview & co, and then again it could be a much simpler tool with a different focus altogether.

I’d love hearing some more details as to what they aim to include in this roadplan item…

4 Likes

Recently, SiYuan launched this database feature which I think is the ultimate replacement for Notion. It is fully open source and also supports PDF annotation, one of the most requested features in Obsidian. I’m thinking of completely switching to it.

siyuan-note/siyuan: A privacy-first, self-hosted, fully open source personal knowledge management software, written in typescript and golang. (github.com)

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I would as well; salivating actually. I have no inside information. But the road map is a clue, as are recent pulls on the datacore git; gearing up with table functionality. And there is a deliberate logical order in the building of this - properties first, tables next, and followed up by data views.

It is extraordinary what Obsidian has pulled off while maintaining the markdown centrality. Most folks don’t “get” this aspect; I appreciate it.

4 Likes

I’ve also seen some of these, and I can’t help wondering/hoping/… for an integration of datacore/dataview to be integrated into the core Obsidian… But then again that would also mean no more option to provide pull requests like I’m currently doing.

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That would seem to be a logical outcome; the dataview/datacore effort is well thought out. Nobody else is as knowledgeable or fluent about doing sql like querying of markdown data using the Obsidian api.

I expect that whatever the toolset, it will be great; we’ve had a pretty sweet ride so far. I also have to realize that it will not everything we wish for, all at once.

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Unfortunately Tables might be fully supported but they are VERY SLOW when there are more than 50 rows…

I literally have to wait a minute or more for the live table to be displayed, and editing a large table is super laggy… imagine what it’d mean to have a database of such slow tables :roll_eyes:

Even with all plugins and styles disabled, it’s still super slow on large tables and I’m still looking for an alternative :pensive:

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Doesn’t the DataLoom plugin already do most of this? It was created explicitly to get as close to Notion tables/databases as possible.

you’re talking about ~siyuan~ being very slow with 50 row tables?

No, I’m talking about Obsidian since this is Obsidian’s forum… ?

It’s an Obsidian forum, but we can discuss all germane products, developments, and features related to PKM, especially comparing and contrasting to obsidian. Maybe you didn’t catch the previous part of this thread where @TheAd referenced the issue of siyuan database feature. Unfortunately I conflated your reference to table slowness as a reference to database, which it wasn’t.

Siyuan notes are JSON, so that’s a massive drawback, in my opinion.

1 Like

Regarding format, I think that in the end you at least need one piece of software to render your notes, either be it Windows Notepad or Obsidian itself. Provided the speed of JSON to render database as compared to markdown, I think I am ready to sacrifice the markdown format for JSON. If required, we can export to markdown format as well. Enlighten me if I’m wrong.

With the features suggested by @amitkilo, we also need something similar to Instapaper and Notion Web Clipper for storing web articles locally in the Obsidian Vault. I love using Obsidian, but for storing web articles, I still depend on Instapaper for saving web article. If @obsidian is reading my reply, I highly advice you to please introduce this feature to Obsidian as a core plugin

The devs have a strong commitment to formats that will survive obsidian and can be used by other apps. Sqlite is public domain and the devs have a commitment not to change the format through 2050. It is widely used as the store in Android and many other apps. Sqlite can return query results as markdown or html. To me this seems the ideal base for database in obsidian. But the table rendering performance issue mentioned above is a key barrier. I wonder if the HTML rendering of output from sqlite would suffer the same problem.

2 Likes

@holroy @writtenfool

https://www.reddit.com/r/ObsidianMD/comments/18qpznd/who_else_cannot_wait_to_see_databases_natively/

To clarify, since there seems to be some confusion in the comments… This does not mean supporting SQLite or switching from Markdown files to a database. It simply means being able to create dynamic views from your notes, using data from YAML properties.
Similar in some ways to Dataview, but hopefully more user-friendly. Renaming it to “Dynamic views” in the roadmap to clarify.

I’m worried that it’s just another dataview… but I want database like Projects.