Is airtable a good fit for this?

I’ve been asked to include a custom booking platform for a business in their website.

It will need to be somewhat similar to MindBody / Instabook / Pushpress.

After a lot of research I think Airtable might be the best place to start with the “back end”.

Here’s some extra info on the requirements for the website.

  • Allow users to create an account and log in
  • Users purchase various different credit passes - ie. 15 credit pass, 10 credit pass, 5 credit pass, single credit etc.
  • Then add these “credits” to user account
  • When user books into a class it will need to deduct a credit from their account
  • There are two major sides to the business - adult fitness classes and children’s dance classes. The Children’s dance classes are booked as courses of 12 credits for example, whereas adult classes are booked one at a time
  • The website will also sell fitness equipment, so would need to communicate with Airtable here too re stock levels, pricing etc

So my question is, could Airtable do this? I’ve been looking at templates and the AT Universe but haven’t seen anything similar.

No.

Could Airtable manage the data?

Probably.

Almost every requirement you listed needs to be constructed in web technologies. Setting aside data storage, not a single requirement can be addressed in Airtable.

Im sure there are many compelling reasons Airtable is ideal for back-of-house data management, but customer-facing apps are vastly 80% or more of the solution.

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@Tom_Piggott

I agree with @Bill.French. Personally, I think that Airtable is the worst possible platform that you could think about using as the backend for your project. Airtable can’t natively do even a single thing that you want it to do. Airtable is an extremely rudimentary database system, positioned at the low end of the market.

If you really want to use a low-code database platform as your backend, then you should be looking at the high end of the market towards an app like FileMaker, which can do everything that you want it to do.

I’m a Certified FileMaker Developer, but I’m not currently taking on any new FileMaker projects unless they involve Airtable in some way. But feel free to contact me through my website at scottworld.com and I’ll be happy to turn you onto some great developers who can help you with this project.

Hi @Tom_Piggott, I’m looking for similar advice on building the exact same solution as we are currently using Punchpass to manage everything you are looking for. However, Punchpass is way too expensive for our small classes. Both Bill and Scott are correct… to a degree.

I need to build a simple system that will manage our class timetable which will include the number of people that can attend as space is limited. Our customers which will include if they have purchased one of our passes. The passes people can purchase and orders that will list when customers purchase a pass.

To achieve this we are using Webflow to build the website, Snipcart to handle the e-commerce transactions. Memberstack to manage the gated client dashboard (Classes they have booked, passes purchased…etc.). Airtable will be the backend database and connecting all of these together will be Integromat allowing all these apps to work together.

I’m looking for advice on the Airtable setup and everything else I would build separately. Not sure if this has helped you but thought that you might find it useful.

Thanks everyone. That’s good to hear @Andy_Karl - thanks for the intel.

I will be using Webflow and Memberstack too, been trying to work out the best e-commerce solution. This studio offers quite a lot - children’s dance classes that get paid per term (each dance style being a different number of classes and different price), adult fitness classes with a variety of ways to pay, but all credit based, and they also sell activewear.

I would love to see a backend set up in Airtable. I’m going to start building some tests and blindly fumbling my way through it over the next couple of weeks to see what I can achieve.

Do you think the best way to manage credits in a user account would be to assign a number of credits to a clients row in Airtable, and then use Zapier (or similar) to reduce the number by one when they book a class?

Hi @Tom_Piggott have been super impressed with snipcart as an e-commerce as I have used it for another webflow/airtable project Affordable Jewellery Supplies which uses Airable to manage all 1300+ products.

As for my class booking project I’m considering using something like SimplyBook.me to manage the booking and class management as they offer an API so we could connect Airtable & Webflow and create the membership site we want. We currently use Punchpass for class bookings but its way too expensive and they only offer widgets that you can integrate with website.

Since I started using Integromate and learning about APIs and Webhooks and how to use Airtable with other web services the possibilites from a “No-code” perspective have just been amazing.

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