Adding linked columns

I’m an old Oracle DBA. My first day using Airtable and I like it already. Here’s my issue.

I’ve been building my base creating tables and demo data to test my design. When linking tables I included the fields that would provide context in helping me select the right record to link. Looking back, I should have included a few more link fields to give my grids/views better context as well. How can I add these now without dropping/recreating these links and all my data?

Any help would be much appreciated.

Mike P.

Hi @Mike_P,

Welcome to Airtable Community! :slight_smile:

What I usually do in these situations is use Formula fields as the Primary field and make a formula in the other table that would match. Then afterwards I change the formula field to Link to another record.

Of course you can always use the Script Block to look for matches between the tables.

If this answer helps you, please mark it as a Solution so others can see it.



Yes. Thank you !

I created a field of type lookup and specified the table and field that I wanted to be brought into my table. This Is exactly what I wanted to do.

I’m impressed with the quality and timeliness of your response. Yes I feel very welcome by this community, and applaud your talent as an ambassador.

I hope that Allah preserves you and keeps your family save during this COVID19 pandemic.

Mike P.
Ottawa, Canada

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Thanks Mike for your kind words :slight_smile: it is always a pleasure to help !

FYI, @Mike_P, just so you’re prepared for the huge differences between Oracle and Airtable, Airtable is a much more “simplistic” database program with almost NO automatic linking of records between tables.

And you cannot choose which fields you want to create linked relationships between. Every linked relationship is always a relationship to the record itself — not a specific field value in the record.

What you just experienced by converting a text field into a “linked record” field is one of the very few times when Airtable will “automatically” link records between tables for you. And that was just a “one time only” automatic linking during the conversion process.

But the vast majority of the time, all linked records must be explicitly & manually chosen by the user.

As I mentioned above, you’ll notice that all linked relationships ALWAYS link to the primary field in the other table. Meaning that you are always linking to an entire record, not a field value in that record.

The only other automatic linking that you will experience is if you paste in data into a “linked record field” and the value you just pasted exactly matches A PRIMARY FIELD VALUE in the other table. Then, an automatic link will be created to that other record. (And one cool trick is that Airtable will automatically create records in that other table if your pasted value doesn’t match any existing records.)

Hope this helps!! Airtable is super fun!! :slight_smile:

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Thanks for the heads up. I’ve spent some time with other simplistic “databases” (such as Microsoft Dynamics) that use record identifiers (GUIDs) rather than joining through values as Oracle and SQLServer do. A long time ago I was an Oracle Wizard, using CASE/Designer tools to build applications and databases - “models to code and back” and all that. Still I’m impressed how easily it has been to make progress with Airtable.

I’ve spent the past week watching democracy at work in the Los Angeles and other cities in the USA. We live in interesting times.
Take care and be safe.

Mike P.

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