Access to bases on mobile devices while offline


#102

I need off-line access, as I’m at the point where I’m going to need to use another solution. I’m often in areas with no internet connection, and I’m trying to get adoption from colleagues, but they too are in places where they’re off-line, and it is frustrating to have spent 30 minutes updating to discover that most of the changes have not been saved. Build into the software they need to have a timed token of offline use (say seven days), and then after that, they need to go online.


#103

How would you want to use Airtable offline?
I’m a Parish administrator at a large urban church. I’m using airtables as our main database and directory of Parishioners. For it to be usable for the Priest when she is traveling around to see people, she needs to be able to read and search records for phone number/address etc while offline. All of the editing and merge features would be great, but we could get by with just being able to view and search the last saved copy.

Do you use Airtable alone, or with collaborators?
I’m the sole editor but other people are able to view the bases or certain views in the bases and need to be able to view while offline.

How much do you need to be able to do in Airtable while offline?
I need to be able to read and search the bases. Editing would be nice but isn’t mandatory for usability.

For how long do you need to be able to use Airtable offline?
Ideally being able to see the bases offline for up to a month without wifi would be great, I think all of the users connect to wifi daily or nearly daily so if it was only daily that would probably also work.

How tolerant would you be of having to resolve merge conflicts manually?
It would be fine because I’m the only one editing most of the time.

Would you primarily be using offline mode on desktop or mobile?
Mobile


#104

I just found Airtable and after looking around at other options, I REALLLY want to implement this for our business.

We work on an aircraft and we need contact information for 1000’s of numbers across Canada to communicate within our company and others. We currently use a brutal microsoft access database that is such a pain, and requires a laptop to work. Airtable is THE PERFECT solution if it had a read-only access mode through the iOS apps. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE implement this feature or someone reading this please show me an app with the functionality of airtable that has offline capabilities.


#105

I should point out that offline access is potentially even more important on non-mobile devices. The main situation I run into a lot is being on a flight and needing to update some bases but being unable to.


#106

A solution is to use a cached offline database, so all modifications are made offline and later synced with the cloud. This is Afaik also how it works with Trello, Evernote etc.
Another idea is to cache the changed DOM elements on the client and sync them later with the cloud/database. This could work with using json to serialize the data and write them to a file.

Because this is a very often used feature by a lot of apps, I think some researching will show different/easier solutions for this offline caching of data on Android/iOS.

I think this offline caching is only important on mobile devices, where the chance is big that you have no internet connection. So it needs only implemented in the Android/iOS apps.


#107

How would you want to use Airtable offline?
i work with colleagues who track diseases. We use a database that is used in all sorts of configurations based on the disease. In some situations we have server-client-web model where lots of people enter and update data through a browser to a database in the cloud. But in some situations, there is no coverage and no network. Maybe it’s for days, maybe just hours. But data are entered while offline and then synchronized when back on the grid. This is typically done by running a client on a laptop or tablet with all data stored locally. When you have 5 people working on a single database, synchronizing them can be quite challenging. For example, person 1 gets back in signal on Mondays, person 2 on Tuesdays, etc. They all have to push and pull and resolve conflicts. Typically they don’t work on each others records, but it happens sometimes.

To add to this, I sometimes have a data manager who is working on quality issues related to all the workers data. So being able to edit and track versions is important. (eg, someone entered a symptoms date in the future)

So I would want to read, add, and edit records offline.

Do you use Airtable alone, or with collaborators?
Usually with collaborators.

How much do you need to be able to do in Airtable while offline?
Read and search. Make adds and limited edits.

For how long do you need to be able to use Airtable offline?
As long as my local device has memory and disk. Typically only a few days, but could last for long periods of time.

How tolerant would you be of having to resolve merge conflicts manually?
This is fine.

Would you primarily be using offline mode on desktop or mobile?
Desktop, but willing to switch to mobile if it helps.


#108

I REALLY hope I am wrong, but seeing the lack of answers from Airtable’s employees on this topic makes me wonder if they care about addressing offline mode at all.

Probably more a business model decision than a technical one I suspect.

Still, it’s VERY unfortunate. And again, I really hope I’m wrong here.

Thank you Airtable for this fabulous software you’re bringing to us. Please make it even better. Would gladly subscribe for a pro plan with offline mode !

Cheers


#109

Yes? No? Please help.


#110

This is a must have feature!


#111

+1
Offline access would be a really useful feature for me.


#112

Offline access would be a useful feature for my delivery business


#113

I am in Mexico and Internet coverage via my cell phone is spotty. Sometimes I need to access the information while not having Internet access and I have to return to my Excel tables.
Many apps have an offline mode and bases sync when Internet access returns.
Hope we get this soon.


#114

Keeping an eye on Notion.so. Tables have been added and while not as robust as Airtable currently, it is a one stop app for Notes, Tasks, Projects, and Tables. I post this only to say it has offline mode abilities but they are limited. Airtable, please add an offline mode soon.


#115

I travel extensively. I need to be able to use either on my laptop or a tablet while I’m on a flight for 3 - 18 hours. I prefer using on a laptop than a tablet. I could live with manual merge conflict resolution - but my needs are quite simple without a lot of records or colaborators.
#1 - Read only version offline - Quite Important
#2 - Edit contents offline - Would be really nice to have that
#3 - Edit schemata - Not really needed


#116

Joining the cry for offline database access.

I’m a solo user, running on Windows (laptop). I don’t care about mobile access, or collaboration.

I would pay money for a good app, but I live in a rural location with satellite internet which goes out from time to time with some regularity.

I can’t even save a local file manually. How can I possibly rely upon this for a reference database when I can’t count on being able to even refer to a local file? How would I backup it up locally, or add it to my Dropbox cache? How can I ensure that the file(s) will survive, after pouring a lot of database effort into the content? By periodic CSV dumps? Puh-lease…

I don’t invest my time and data into products I can’t backup and run offline. That’s crazy.

This is pretty much a showstopper for me. And there doesn’t seem to be any answer about a future path forward from Airtable folks. Solve this for the local single-user crowd – how hard can that be?


#117

How would you want to use Airtable offline?
Using it to check things whilst I’m out and about instead of having to use my computer, I don’t really have to change anything most of the time, it’s more of an issue of it taking a long time to load sometimes so it would be helpful if the data was stored on my phone so it loaded quicker with shitty coverage.
Do you use Airtable alone, or with collaborators?
With collaborators
How much do you need to be able to do in Airtable while offline?
Read-only would be fine.
For how long do you need to be able to use Airtable offline?
as long as possible.
How tolerant would you be of having to resolve merge conflicts manually?
I don’t see this as an issue, just don’t allow edits to be made in offline mode.
Would you primarily be using offline mode on desktop or mobile?
mobile


#118

Hi all,

I am in exact same position as many.

I travel a lot and also live in a rural area with poor internet so must have some offline access…yep a deal breaker for me too.

I have the Mac app and when I tried to open it offline…nothing won’t bring up anything.

The Airtable Mac OS app can’t open anything while offline.

Hope the Airtable team are listening and get onto an offline solution, until then it’s not going to work for me sadly.

Regards,
Scott


#119

How would you want to use Airtable offline?
I have field technicians that would need to enter data while at some pretty remote construction job sites. I would need them to be able to create new records in a table, scan barcodes into Barcode fields, and add photos to Attachment fields

Do you use Airtable alone, or with collaborators?
Both

How much do you need to be able to do in Airtable while offline?
Minimally, the ability to create new records and fill in fields of all types would satisfy me.

How tolerant would you be of having to resolve merge conflicts manually?
Not terribly tolerant. I have 40-50 field technicians. It’s not likely that many of them would be attempting to merge offline data at the same time, but if the possibility exists, it’s best to avoid it. I shudder at the thought of having to resolve a web of conflicts. If offline work were limited to the creation of new records, I think conflicts would be fairly minimal.

Would you primarily be using offline mode on desktop or mobile?
Mobile - my field technicians would be using mobile phones to scan barcodes and take photos.


#120

I am so disappointed! I only recently downloaded Airtable and I love it, and I spent a good number of hours creating a base for a project I’ve been working on. Then I opened it up to work on a train, and I found out there is no offline mode! It didn’t even occur to me that this feature wouldn’t be available because it seems like such a no-brainer, or else I wouldn’t have even started using it in the first place. What a waste of time that will have been if there is no offline mode, because there is no way I will use this product without the ability to work offline :frowning: which is too bad because I really like it!

  1. How would you want to use Airtable offline?
    I want to be able to work with my databases even when I don’t have internet access—for example, when traveling on planes and trains where there is no internet, or working in any place with weak internet access/no internet access. I use Airtable to keep track of legal research, I basically treat it like a spreadsheet in a lot of ways. I want to be able to update and add to my work even if I’m in a place without internet.

  2. Do you use Airtable alone, or with collaborators?
    Alone

  3. How much do you need to be able to do in Airtable while offline?
    Everything. I want to make edits to my bases, as much as I want, and then have it sync next time I’m online. Similar to the user experience when editing documents in OneDrive—I work with the document in offline mode, then save it and continue to access the saved updated version for as long as I’m offline, and it syncs next time I have internet without much if any intervention from me.

  4. For how long do you need to be able to use Airtable offline?
    as long as possible.

  5. How tolerant would you be of having to resolve merge conflicts manually?
    Not very.

  6. Would you primarily be using offline mode on desktop or mobile?
    Desktop


#121

Having the ability to work offline is an essential must have. Please Airtable guys. I’ll be the first to upgrade to paid when you do.