How do I organize a base with lots of tables? (Justified Design)

Hi. I have created a “master base” for an client. This base has many tables (~30) that all reflect entities that are important to the clients business/workflow and I’ve applied normalization as much as possible. I have tried using Airtable’s sync feature to split out related information into separate bases. However, after using sync, data becomes read-only so no edits can be made and data is no longer available in “real-time”. I am using miniExtentions for the client’s project (since line-item entry and other features are needed) and they always need the ability to edit and add data wherever possible (directly from miniExtentions forms, grids or cards). As a result of the clients needs, I have always resorted back to the single base design with many tables since separate bases with sync doesn’t work for the clients use case.

Considering the above, what is the best way to organize a base with many tables (~30)? It’s super annoying to have to scroll through so many tables! #FeatureRequest — It would be nice if there was a way to visually group common tables together within the same base. Any ideas on how to better organize the tables? I assume I am not the only one facing this problem as a result of client needs and I believe people that are creating client portals or forms using miniExtentions, Stacker, Softr, or a similar tool are facing the same issue.

Please assist. Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

Hi @Jermaine_Prince and welcome to the community!

My max is only 15, so I’m no help with 30-ish tables. Stupid question maybe, but do you use the ctrl+J shortcut for selecting tables? It seems dumb to ask, but it makes a h*ll of a difference, especially as they now also added “fuzzy” searches to most search bars :slight_smile:

But being able to group tables, like you can with tabs in Google Chrome for example, would be a useful feature.

Thanks! Didn’t know about the ctrl+J shortcut, but I did know about the table menu. 15 is still enough to cause a need for scrolling to the right… at least on my monitor so maybe you can still feel my pain a little lol. To make matters worse, the client and other employees still need to access the
Airtable for kanbans, gantts, etc. that are not provided in other tools so they feel the same pain of dealing with so many tables. Someone out there – PLEASE create a visual way to group common tables together within the same base!!! I think it would help a lot of people.

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Only 1 true solution :sweat_smile:

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Hmmm… good deal. Thanks.

Dear Airtable, Please do this!!

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The Airtable team doesn’t seem to follow this community for product suggestions, so if you want this feature added on their list, you’d better sent an email to support@airtable.com.

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They do, but they seldom comment on suggestion threads, and when they do it’s typically only those in the official Product Suggestions category. I’m not sure if there’s an existing thread in that category on this topic. If so, I recommend showing support there. If not, let me know and I can move this thread into that category for others to support.

There seems to be: Grouped tables for better view of primary and secondary tables

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Hi,

one of my tasks including cleanup of a base including ~50 tables with a lot of links.
I’m totally agree that group tables functionality would be useful. And maybe some extended options with show/hide fields, e.g. filter by type., because sometimes their number can exceed 100, and it’s hard to control.
Useful suggestions?
If you have tables with the same primary field units and partically similar other fields, you may consider
[Combining multiple tables into one table with multiple views – Airtable Support]
also, i wrote a topic here about ‘base schema app’ filtering result schema to only linked fields, because full schema is not very useful for huge bases. I beleive that using ‘create custom app’ feature for little changes doesn’t require pro developer skills, just a bit more, than ‘power user’.
There was some 3rd party tool mentioned in comment to it.

You may also think in other terms:

  • divide data into ‘dynamic’ and ‘static’ part (or define ‘historical data’ part)
  • divide to ‘data source’ (with the kind of ‘star’ schema with a minimum possible links, containing mostly raw data, without formulas and lookups), which synced to the ‘interface’(containing many lookups, redundant fields, other types of appearances of source data + forms/tables, where data can be added or edited, with some defined way ‘how to add it to source’, means syncing to some ‘transit table’ in source, where data validated and put to source tables in ordered way).
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