Advanced rules for data input and validation

#1

Hi, I discovered Airtable just a few weeks ago and instantly fell in love with this application. It’s so cool! I am still new to it, but I’m learning so much.
However, as a former Access user, I’m surprised it doesn’t feature almost any advanced rules for data input and validation in fields. I’m even more surprised that so very few people are asking for them.
Data validation is important. For a solid database, it’s a core feature. Say I want to record a customer’s IBAN for money transfers. An IBAN always has exactly 27 characters; it’s not all right if someone by mistake inputs 25 or 28 characters or puts spaces into it. I need to set the IBAN field’s lenght to 27 characters and request that you fill out those 27 characters, not one less, not one more!
Same goes for zip/postal codes, or tax codes. Validation rules are needed for such fields. A lot of stuff can get messed up if this kind of data is not recorded correctly, such as payments, shipments, fees. It’s a serious matter!
Phone numbers and email fields should be validated, too, because they should not accept invalid characters.
I should be able to set Date fields to accept only certain ranges of data. Such as: “you cannot input a delivery date that is before today”.
I can’t even find such a thing as setting a field to “required”.
Even though the application is fantastic, these shortcomings are a major kickback for Airtable. Please consider introducing these features, I’m sure many users will be grateful!
As I said, I am new to the application so pardon me if I’ve said something wrong or I missed out on issues that have already been addressed.
Love :heart:

37 Likes
Improved Task Management Features
#2

Here’s a similar request:

Add your “Like” and your input there :grinning:

3 Likes
#3

No required field is absolutely not acceptable for a relational database.
Data integrity is crucial for a successful database.
I love airtable but you can’t not have data integrity, it doesn’t make sense.

We are in july 2018 and nothing so far.

7 Likes
#4

Has there been any update on this? I’m shocked that Airtable doesn’t offer this.

2 Likes
#5

Seems to me like the issue is being largely ignored. Sniff

1 Like
#6

+1
It would be great to have some inbuilt validators. Also, the option to write custom (javascript) code that can be used for validation. Essentially, something like conditional formatting in Excel.

2 Likes
#7

I would also like built-in validation. But you can do a DIY version. Add one or more formula columns that display an error message or an ✘ or something if a value in the record is missing or has the wrong format. Create a view for invalid records that filters to records where the error column(s) is not blank. Finally use an integration to send notifications when records appear in that view, or use a block to display a count of records with errors.

2 Likes
#8

Bummer, I signed up for a trial of the service in order to test for a large project with a lot of data collection. I like everything about the service, but not being able to (confirm - validate ) an email entry is a deal breaker. I thought it would come with the Pro version, but no. I would like to say contact me when it does, but I have a deadline and need to move forward. :tired_face:

1 Like
#9

I want to add my agreement that data validation is definitely a serious shortcoming. I also wanted to point out for others who may not have noticed yet that there is one specific feature that truly shocked me.
When setting a field type you can select Single Select which provides a field with that has a dropdown where you set a number of predefined selections. That is a useful feature. However I have found that when the user is later using that dropdown field if they in error simply type anything in that field it will be accepted and ever more shockingly what they typed will be automatically added to the dropdown options.
I would have expected that the only valid options were what had been previously added when setting up the dropdown. But even if it would allow an invalid entry it would not also add the invalid entry to the selections for the future.

Improved data validation needs Airtable focus and improvements.

Chris

2 Likes
#10

Agreed. I very much want to be able to use AirTable to manage the theater festival I produce (33 plays written by kids 9 to 18 in five days!), but I can’t risk someone forgetting to enter some critical piece of data, or fatfingering something and causing trouble with unmatched data.

I can imagine that the Required Field bit might be tough to code on a tool like this? Dunno, but I can draw that scenario in my head. But the fact that there’s not a way to turn off the ability to add lookup items on the fly is silly (and that control can be seen in tools like ZenKit).

In any case, I do love how lightweight this tool is, and I wouldn’t want it to be burdened by more code than it needs, but having required fields is pretty durn important.

1 Like
#11

+1 on this one. Jesse_Hallet’s work-around sounds good, but would not work in a form view, and that’s where we need to validate the input from outsiders

Allow formula fields to be included in forms
#13
  • 1

Like the OP, I’ve only discovered Airtable in the last few weeks and I love it and it has drastically improved my ability to manage different projects and initiatives.

Surprised to find though that data validation for fields doesn’t exist. The ability to specify, for example, an email address from a certain domain or a country dialing code in a telephone number I would have thought would have been integral in a database application and hopefully we’ll see it sooner rather than later.

#14

I don’t understand why this isn’t available :woman_shrugging:

1 Like
#15

This makes absolutely no sense. I use Airtable to take surveys from the students in my course. I ask them to rate themselves on a scale of 1-10 so I can see a weekly rolling average. I can give them multiple choice, but then I have to calculate the average myself. Or I can give it to them as a number field, but then that one student will put in “132” or “1000000” and it totally screws with the figure.

Shaking my head. This is a MAJOR issue, Airtable.

#16

You should be able to set up your table to take care of the average for you. Can you describe how your base and its tables are organized?

#17

Ditto. Airtable folks, please add data validation ASAP

1 Like