Can't link basic tables - frustrated

First time I’ve used airtable.

It;s the free version.

I have 2 tables

Customers
Assets

There is a common unique ID in both tables - so I assume I can use this to link them.

However when I try and change the ID by customize field type to link to another record the other table isn’t an option.

Thanks for any assistance

Phil

Hi @Phil_Waring

It can take a bit of practice to link records/table.

Start with the table that you want as the main table.

Then go to the other table and setup your fields, including the field you want to link, once the fields are setup, then go to the first table.

Choose the field that you want to link and select “Link” field option and link to the second table (the field that has the unique key/ID.)

Then you should see in the link field option table names. If you are linking from the first table, you would select the second table name (the opposite table.) Then go to the second table and select the field you want to link, and select “Link” option and do the same set up, except select the first table.

Then when you do the actual linking, go to the main table (first one) and select a record, you will see an option “Link All Records” select that option and it should link the record to the second table.

Here are some help documents that might help and of course @ScottWorld has great advice too.

Here are some screenshots of a linked database with a linked field. These are screenshots from a mobile device, but the options are the same on the desktop version.

1 Like

Welcome to the community, @Phil_Waring!

It sounds like you’re coming to Airtable from the relational database world. Airtable is not a full-blown relational database system. It is a spreadsheet program with some fantastic database features built into it, but it is not a complete relational database system.

In Airtable, you can’t automatically link tables based on field values nor based on formulas. Airtable requires the human to MANUALLY & EXPLICITLY link records to one another.

This is done by creating a “linked record” field which points to the other table, and then you can MANUALLY choose which record you want to link it to in the other table.

In Airtable, you are always linking to the entire record as a whole based on its PRIMARY FIELD VALUE, never based on any other field values.

And this is always done MANUALLY in Airtable.

There are only 3 exceptions when this linking is done AUTOMATICALLY for you:

Exception #1: If you convert a text field to a “linked record” field, that is one of the few times when Airtable will “automatically” link records between tables for you — as long as the contents of the converted text field match the PRIMARY FIELD VALUE in the other table. But this is just a “one time only” automatic linking during the field conversion process. (Airtable will automatically create records in that other table if your converted value doesn’t match any existing records.)

Exception #2: If you paste (or type) 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. (Airtable will automatically create records in that other table if your pasted value doesn’t match any existing records.)

Exception #3: If you group all of your records by a “linked record field”, adding a new record to the group will automatically populate the link field with the same value as the group, thus linking you to the same record as the other records in your group.

Hope this helps! If this answers your question, could you please mark this comment as the solution to your question? This will help other people who have a similar question. :slight_smile:

Hi

Thanks for your help

The problem is in yellow:

Hi @Phil_Waring

It can take a bit of practice to link records/table.

Start with the table that you want as the main table.

Then go to the other table and setup your fields, including the field you want to link, once the fields are setup, then go to the fist table.

Choose the field and select “Link” field and link to the second table. The second table is not listed so I can’t pick it

Here are some help documents that might help and of course @ScottWorld has great advice too.

Hi @Phil_Waring

Sorry, there was no image showing.

Mary Kay

Hi

I think I’ve figured it out…

I uploaded two (worksheets) - what I would describe as ‘tables’ from Excel to the Airtable homepage.

I didn’t realise that Airtable sees them as separate ‘bases’ not individual tables so I needed to change to a table.

Thanks

Phil

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