Confusing Base Design with Ambiguous Linked Tables

I keep getting closer to remembering the difference between a spreadsheet and AirTable, but I have a Base design that is just eluding me.

Initially I have a 2 table Base that need to be linked.

Table 1 has a list of people in my organization along with critical information. The primary field will obviously be the members name (we are small enough that I am not concerned with duplicates, or can handle them if necessary).

Table 2 will be continuously built through form input by the organization members. Primary field will be a date/time stamp as that is really the only unique identifier on this Table.

I want to link the two tables through the name field, but I am not sure the best way to do it, particularly since there may be some mismatch between the name in Table 1, and the name entered on the form for Table 2.

I was originally considering having people entering First Name and Last Name, and then using concatenate to join them, but I couldn’t find a way to have a field be both a linked field and a formula field, so I think I will just go with having the whole name entered.

Is there a way to design the Base such that I can somehow link the tables by either:

  1. There is an exact name match
  2. There is a close name match, and is there a way to determine that and make the link to Table 1
  3. Undetermined match that I can hand adjust later (although I hope this will be minimal.

Any advice appreciated!

Airtable doesn’t do automatic linking of records based on values in text/date/formula/number fields. All linking is done manually through linked record fields only.

So, on your form, you could add a linked record field and have people choose their name from the list in the linked record field.

That would be the easiest way to do it.

(You also don’t need to worry about duplicate names — Airtable can distinguish between 2 records with the same name.)

I wondered about that. Not my first preference, but I guess people are used to it by now.

Let me try it, and if I can get it to work, I will come close this topic.


Ok, I created it. There is actually a very nice (unplanned) feature that came with this. It is quite likely that the event being reported in the form will involve multiple people, and now all involved can be entered on one (or two) forms!


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(just an aside) Oh, that’s great if Airtable can distinguish between identical names. I don’t think my people can!

Fantastic! Glad to hear that this will work out nicely for you! :slight_smile:

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