Is it possible to create a form that creates multiple records?

Hi! I want to be able to use something like the Forms feature to add multiple records in one go for non-licensed viewers, but the forms feature is limited to one record at a time and the editable shared view does not support copy and paste.

For example:

  • I have a Project name record I want to add (view #1)
  • x number of tasks records linked to the project name (view #2)
  • and x number of project collaborators records linked to the project name (view #3).

Rather than submitting the form multiple times to add:

  1. Project name
  2. Task 1 description + link to project name
  3. Task 2 description + link to project name
    … etc
  4. Project collaborator 1 name + link to project name
  5. Project collaborator 2 name + link to project name
    … etc

I want to be able to add this in one form. Is it possible with a scripting block/app or in a separate front-end interface?

You’re calling these things “view #1”, “view #2”, etc. However, I’m guessing these are actually tables, not views. Views are individually-configurable arrangements of records, and you can have multiple views on a single table. Tables are the tabs across the top of the interface, and these sound more like tables: a project table, a tasks table, and a collaborators table. Is that accurate?

If so, you can get what you want via the automations feature. An automation can be triggered by a new record added to a table (i.e. via your form). That automation can then create the task records in the [Tasks] table (guessing the name) and link the project record to them, along with linking the project to collaborators in the [Collaborators] table. Depending on how many things you want this automation to do, you might be able to fit it into a single automation using individual “create record” action steps. I suggest checking the automation support pages first, though, to see what the limits are. If you can’t fit everything into a single automation, you could probably split it up into two: one that builds the tasks, the other that does the collaborator linking.

Thank you for the reply! I have thought about the automation feature, I just am unsure how it would fill in the details of the newly created records.

  • e.g. I submit a new project (form 1), then I submit 3 tasks (form 2, three times), then I submit 5 collaborators (form 3, five times).

I’m not sure how the automation would help. If it just creates a pre-defined set of records in another view or table and links them then it would not be helpful because the amount of tasks/collaborators varies project to project. Ideally, one form to fill everything out and then have it be created in order in the back-end of airtable would be really helpful.

Our form supports adding line items. Which allows you to create projects with their tasks in one form.

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Is that workflow the type of flow you want to have, or is it an example of what you don’t want to do? I’m not certain that I’m clear on the requirements.

I believe that Airtable’s automation features can help, but without a more clear picture of your end goal, I can’t offer much specific advice.

That’s my understanding of how to do it right now with the my knowledge of Airtable. So that segment you quoted is how I’ve been doing it now, not necessarily what I want, but ignorant of other methods haha so open to possibilities

End goal: add multiple records line-items at once just as @Moe linked, which is awesome

Gotcha. Are there any patterns in this process? For example, are there always three tasks to add? If so, are they always the same tasks? Are the same collaborators always being added? If there’s some consistency to the process, it’s easier to build an automated system around it. If it’s different every time, it’s not impossible, but just trickier.

The only consistency is that there is always one unique project record with some tag fields (autofilled date, submitters initials, and project name) . The tasks and collaborators will always be variable (5-20 tasks, 5-10 collaborators) except for some tag fields (autofilled date, same submitters initials, task description/#, collaborator name) that get concatenated in the primary record formula for easier searchability when adding the tasks and collaborators in a different submission form.

With that kind of variability, it would get waaaaaayyy too messy to try and pull that off with a single Airtable form. Other form systems like JotForm are more robust, with features that could let you enter variable numbers of tasks and collaborators for a given project. However, that form’s data couldn’t be fed into Airtable without some help from tools like Zapier or Integromat.

Another option would be to not use a form at all, and instead build a custom project-entry system as a script in the Scripting app. That approach could even be taken further with a custom app, though that would take a lot more time to develop.

Hi Justin. I’ve taken some time to think it through and utilized the Airtable automations to build it out. What I did was cap the max amount of Collaborators and Tasks at 15 and 20 respectively. Then I created 15 fields for Collaborator (e.g. Collaborator 1) and 20 fields for Tasks (e.g. Task 1). Then in the form I had the fields as conditionals based on if the prior field was empty or not so it seemed like you were adding a new Collaborator/Task as needed. Then I used the automation to create a new record in another table for Collaborators, and another table for Tasks. Works great :slight_smile:

Glad that you got something working that you like! Based on how I work, that feels like it leans on the messy side that I talked about because you end up with table fields that are only used for form input, with the final usable data ending up elsewhere. However, if it works for you for now, I say run with it!

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