Keeping Links to Archived Customers


We are using Airtable as a Storage Company.

This means that we have a set number of units with different information and another customer table too. If a customer is in unit 1 then we will show that relationship. However when a customer moves out they become an archived customer.

We need a way of the customers being sent to an archive whilst still keeping the unit number and unit price. Its almost like taking a snapshot of that field and its relations and saving them, is that possible at all?


Could you create an Archived field (a Checkbox for instance), and the filter it out?


The only issue then is that the links that they have to the units will remain.
So if they move out of unit 1 and I mark them as archived, the archived customer will still show in the units table as a link


Count only the “not archived” ones :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


You could insert start/end rental date fields into your customer records to filter non-current customers out of any given view. This would also allow you to create “Timeline views” for particular units or customers.

IE: Show me records for which ‘this link’ exists and ‘end date’ is after ‘now’.


You can find code that does essentially what @Brad_Attaway suggests in the [Out] table of my Wardrobe Manager base.[1] I wanted to be able to have an item referred multiple times to different responsible parties without having to rely upon the manual ticking or unticking of a checkbox. Instead, I declared by fiat there could only be one valid referral (‘out’) for an item at a time: Therefore, the one with the latest referred-out date must always be the most recent valid one. I could easily see a similar algorithm being used to determine who was the current tenant of a storage space.

Something to keep in mind, as well, is a little-known Airtable secret: Rollup fields can have aggregation formulas as well as aggregation functions. This greatly enhances the usefulness of rollup fields — especially in comparison with such ‘one-note’ fields as the count field. For instance, here’s what’s configured as the aggregation function for the {Dupe} rollup field in version 2.0 of my De-duplication demo base:


Without using this ‘enhanced’ aggregation function, my de-duplication base required the field to be de-duplicated for every record in the main base to be rolled up into one massive field — which then was replicated back to the main table via lookup.

In other words, every record in the main table included a field containing the target field values from every other record in the table.[2] For a 1,000-name base, this works out to a field 13,000 characters long — that’s 13 million characters, or roughly four War and Peaces for the base as a whole. (The 18,000-name base I tested dragged around nearly 235,000 characters per record; that’s like appending a copy of C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe — in an academic edition, containing an introductory essay and a biographical note on the author — to every record.) With the aggregation formula, in contrast, while the mega-field still must be created, it no longer must be replicated throughout the table.

I mention this because, although I can’t give you an example, this just feels like a place where an aggregation formula might come in handy.
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  1. On second thought, it might be easier simply to write your own routine than to adapt one of mine. Still, it’s there, should you need a reference.
  2. As I know nothing of Airtable’s internal workings, I don’t know whether the value of a lookup field is actually duplicated to the record doing the lookup or merely accessed by reference. I do know, however, the revised version of the de-duplication base seems to operate noticeably faster and more responsively than did the original.