Add new columns based on import

I have a base that is designed to be refreshed with data from a CSV file periodically. It has about 140 fields right now and I need to add approximately 50 more. I would like to be able to do this using the CSV Import app, but I can’t find a way to have it load data into existing fields AND add new columns to the base at the same time.

I have field descriptions entered for most of the existing fields, which is a big reason why I don’t want to just start over with a new import to create the new fields. If I could get and set field descriptions via API, that would be another route to my goal, but I haven’t found any evidence that’s possible.

Am I stuck adding the new fields one by one or is there another way?

Thank you for any light you can shed.

Hi Tom, and welcome to the community!

Correct. This is not supported in the CSV import feature despite many requests. [sigh]

Correct, the REST API doesn’t support this either (again, despite many requests). The SDK does (to a limited degree) but that requires you build your import process as a custom REACT javascript custom app - a non-trivial task indeed.

I think you’re stuck, but, you can probably mitigate the effort with this approach.

  1. Import a few rows of the CSV into a Google Sheet; make sure you include the field names row.
  2. Select and copy the header row for the fields you need to add to Airtable and maybe one or two data rows.
  3. Select the first row and cell where the new fields should be placed; paste. This will add the header row to the first data row but it will also set up all the fields (not necessarily with the proper data types) and this makes it pretty easy to copy and paste field names and set data types you really want.

I’m unsure if tools from @openside can help in this regard but it’s worth a mention.

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I ended up doing essentially what you described and brute-forced it, since it was a one-time task. Having your confirmation that there wasn’t really any other feasible alternative made the difference, so thank you for taking the time to respond!

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