Representing recursive relations

In some apps, I have type A that is a parent to type B, which is in turn a parent to type A.
It would be nice if it was possible to represent this in some way (like in whiteboards, smart folders, and/or the newly released hierarchical lists :slight_smile: )

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Actually, I also have some apps where type A is a parent to type A, e.g. org chart. It sort of looks OK in whiteboard view, but it’d be good to be able to visualise this in hierarchical lists as well :slight_smile:

@Chr1sG If I understood you second post correctly, I think that is already possible with the smart folders and the new hierarchical lists.

However, there are still a few issues and limitations to this. I’ve documented some of these in this clip. I was hoping the hierarchical lists would address this, but I’m thinking the problem is not as easy to solve as appears.

[UPDATE: should have watched your video before posting. I hadn’t realised that I needed to select the recursion symbol when configuring the list. It works fine, thanks]

Yeah, I had been using it in Smart Folders, but it wasn’t working in hierarchical lists. Think it might just be a bug for me:

It looks like a bug, we should fix it

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No, just PEBKAC (problem exists between keyboard and chair).
I hadn’t clocked the need to enable recursive nesting with the little icon :crazy_face:

Thanks @mdubakov, I know you have a lot of priorities :slight_smile:

I was wondering if there will be a possibility to also look into representing the more complex entity relationships like this:

I am able to setup the relations and add the entries, but when it comes to setting up the smart folders, it seems having the “contact” entities at both levels (i.e. under “Organization” and “Organizational Unit”) is not supported:

Is this at all possible?

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Will send the text here as well, maybe that would be helpful for other users to check.
The paradox if anything is that an entity can have two parents in such situations.

And it’s like with many to many - a lot of questions rendering. By the way, we can formulate the limitations of our hierarchies as follows: there is only one parent for an entity. This also explains why only the top type can be self-nested.

Your certain case is also limited by our lack of polymorphic relations, as far as I can see your child Entity can have only one parent at the same time, but there is a possibility for another one as well, so we treat it like it has (can) two parents at the same time. Curious case to think about.

We understand that such cases were pretty common, but we just don’t have a good solution in mind. So now we are collecting all of them and later will have a fresh look at it :slight_smile:


I’m very glad to hear about Polymorphic relations again, I really think they will help a lot of problems I am having in Fibery as well with trying to create folder-like hierarchy, but instead of being able to just add an extra individual item on a lower level, I need an *entire level because I have to create a whole new child Type to do that.


Just wanted to add another example of this type of nested relation in the area of project management (as defined by PMBOK):

  • A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken by a company or organization (such as the creation of a new product, service, or result)
  • A program is a group of projects that are similar or related to one another, and which are often managed and coordinated as a group instead of independently
  • A portfolio is a group of different programs and/or projects within the same organization, which may be related or unrelated to one another

Portfolios will be the top layer, but then both programs and individual/stand-alone projects would be nested inside the portfolio. The programs in turn would have some nested projects. I’ve modeled it in Fibery like this:


It would be great to be able to view this type of relation in the UI.

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Am I correctly interpreting that only top-level types within a hierarchical list are allowed to be recursive? Would it be possible to allow nested types to have recursive relations as well?

I’ve got two types, ideas and tasks (it’s sort of a simplified GIST approach). Ideas can have sub-ideas and sub-tasks. Tasks can also have their own sub-tasks. Currently I’ve got a list that shows nested ideas, but I can only make it show the first level of sub-tasks.

Unfortunately not (but you’re not the only one hoping that this will change :wink: )

If tasks could have either an idea as a parent or another task as a parent, then tasks can’t be shown recursively in a hierarchical list at a sub-level.

Polina said it best:

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Ah, that makes sense. Thanks! Definitely hope it can change it the future :slight_smile:

I can relate to that also from the PRINCE2 perspective.

There is the workaround as used in other SWs and Excel sheets in Excel managed organizations :slight_smile:

Using the basic setup of:

– Programme
---- Project

You create an “empty” programme for the cases of projects being directly in the portfolio.

You just need to agree on the broadly accepted name of such “empty” programme.