How to make AirTable useful for 100+ external users?

Bottom Line Up Front: I need help sharing my AT data with external users in a simple and meaningful way.

Background: My organization is a nonprofit with over 100 active members, but a team of 2 managing the AT database. We share information and resources with our members using a password-protected web page, this saves us from sending tons of emails each week/month because people can just check the password-protected Team Site, which has all the latest information. We share things like:

  1. A list of team members and contact information
  2. A list of team members grouped by their cohort/small group
  3. A form for submitting appointment information
  4. A form for submitting technical difficulties
  5. And the list goes on!

Problem: It is wonderful to have a sleek design, linked tables, and other benefits of AirTable, BUT I do not know how to share all my tables, bases, forms, etc. in a meaningful way with 100+ stakeholders. I could just add a bunch of hyperlinks or URLs to our password-protected Team Site, but it’s not ideal because with pop-ups, and multiple links it can be confusing and too much. Is there any way to give my 100+ external users a list of links AND a frame that it populates within? A sort of “app” like I can access in AirTable? I wish I could share something like the AirTable Universe’s Side Bar so people can go between multiple views without having to login to AT, but I don’t think that’s an option.

Hey @M_L

If you can change the code of your password-protected website, what you could possibly do is embed a view using private link. At the same time, you can create a sidebar (kind of what Airtable Universe has), and change the URL of the iframe that you embedded upon click on the link in the sidebar using JS. This would require you to do some custom coding on your website, but it shall be pretty straightforward in my opinion.

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There are many ways to share Airtable data with external people.

  • Do your external users need the ability to edit data? Or is it okay to limit user input to filling out forms?

  • Do your external users need to be limited to accessing only information that applies to them? Or is it okay for them to see all the data in the base?

  • How much budget and time do you have for creating an experience tailored to your situation?

If users only need view access and can view the entire base, the simplest method is to embed the entire base in the website. This provides access to all the data in all the tables at once. You do not get the pretty sidebar from the universe, but users can switch views on their own.

If users need the ability to edit their own data without access to other users data, you need a 3rd party portal, such as miniExtensions or Stacker.

Hi @M_L and welcome to the Community !

You would take a tour on these links:

with some limitations that will always exist as long as you don’t write a full custom app yourself.

olπ

Thank you for the response, Vladimir. At this point, doing our own coding isn’t a good option for us. I was hoping that there’s more of a ‘plug-and-play’ kind of solutions for sharing multiple AirTable sets of data in a simple, meaningful way.

Hi kuovonne,

At this point, external users need “read only” access only, limiting it to form input only works. BUT we limit their access so they can’t view all the base’s data. I’m hoping to share a handful of views with them in an easy format so they can get the information that they need. I’d like to do something better than a list of URL links for them to view through pop-up windows.

We do have a basic budget for IT systems, but I was hoping we could use a system like AirTable to build our own apps without needing expertise. Our needs seem to be unique, so it’s difficult to get commercia-off-the-shelf products that fit.

You can embed the views directly into a website so that users do not need to click a list of links. The embedded views will still have Airtable branding and all of the views will be the same for every viewer.

Thank you, I’ll look into this!

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