Can I run an App with a Button

I added a timer app to a table. Is there a way to attach it to a button in a grid view record to directly start the timer, instead of opening the app area, running the app and selecting the record? Thanks.

Welcome to the community, my buddy @Jon_Rosen! :slight_smile: Great to see you here! :slight_smile: :raised_hands:

Unfortunately, no. This is one of the many half-baked features in Airtable. Many things in Airtable are disconnected from each other like this.

Buttons are disappointing because they have very limited capabilities & have zero ability to communicate with automations or apps — EXCEPT for the very small handful of apps that are listed in the dropdown menu selection for the button.

Many things in Airtable have to be done on a manual basis only, which can often make it challenging & frustrating to work with the product.

However, 3 cool things that can be done with buttons are:

  1. Buttons can trigger custom JavaScripts in the scripting app.
  2. Buttons can display a record in the Page Designer app, which is a very limited layout tool that you can print custom layouts from.
  3. Buttons can trigger external automations via webhook URLs to Integromat or Zapier. (Integromat is the vastly superior platform to Zapier, because it offers full Airtable support, it has more functionality & features than Zapier, and is cheaper than Zapier.)
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Hi, Scott. Thank you for your comprehensive answer. I wonder if I can write a JavaScript to trigger the timer from a button. I’ll have to research that.

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Unfortunately, that is also not supported. :frowning:

Welcome to Airtable! :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

BTW, here’s an interesting timer solution that might work for you:

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Thanks, Scott. That script worked quite well. The only drawback is that it opens the scripting window when it runs, but I’ll put that on my list of AirTable things to figure out.

Unfortunately, that is how Airtable operates. Whenever running a script via the scripting app, Airtable always insists on opening that screen. :frowning: It is poor user design, I know.

There are a LOT of weird behaviors like this in Airtable, and none of them are modifiable by us. Very different from our FileMaker world, where everything is well thought-out & completely changeable by us. Airtable tends to roll out half-baked features once, and then they never go back to improve those half-baked features later. Sadly, they are also not very responsive to user requests, so our voices essentially disappear into a black hole.

Well, that’s something they have in common with Fileamaker Inc. (now Claris). It sounds like it’s a behavior that they can change without too much trouble, when they are ready.

I’ve always found FileMaker to be extremely responsive to their developers, but I suppose that their responsiveness has ebbed & flowed over the years (depending on who was in charge at the time). And now they’re reaching out even more with those bi-monthly Partner ShareVoice sessions, so they’re really engaging developers more than ever now. But yes, hopefully Airtable will start embracing users & developers soon! :slight_smile:

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