Automatically linking a record from a different table


#1

I’ve seen this question asked but not answered, so here’s my try at it.

I am emailing over 300 authors an update to a contract and collecting their e-signatures. I made an airtable form for this (e-sig as a check box). I would like my “Authors” profile table to update automatically as responses roll in from the form. I didn’t include a dropdown linked to “Authors” because I don’t want everyone to see who else is enrolled. But otherwise, I have to manually link each new record to the ‘authors’ table. Is there a way to use a unique ID (their email) to automatically link the record? Screenshot:

I then have the Authors table pulling from the Agreement Responses. Essentially, I want to be able to quickly determine who has signed the contract and who hasn’t.

Any help is much appreciated. Thanks!


#2

Hi

This can be done - but not with Airtable on its own.

What I have done in this type of situation is to use Zapier (triggered by a new record in the table the Form populates which should be a different table) to search for a matching record in the main table and then either update the main table with the result of the form (the e-signature) or update a Link field in the table the ‘signature’ is captured in to the main table.

The advantage of the latter is that you can hold a history of the responses if you need to go through another similar exercise.

To do this requires a paid Zapier account because the Zaps require more than 2 steps.

Hope this helps.

Julian


#3

Just an observation on the architecture that Julian suggested. My opinion is that it works, but it can be dangerous, especially for newcomers in the database world.
Using Zapier to modify data when an event happens is basically what databases do already, and it’s called “triggers”:
Triggers are difficult to work with (just search for “triggers are evil” on google), and it can lead to inconsistencies in data.

What would be needed is simply the option to automatically link tables based on a shared value in two fields, which is what is called “join” in real databases.

I find the lack of joins in Airtable discouraging serious use of this promising platform.