Link record based on primary field match with another table

Hi squad,

First of all I swear I’ve googled this, and I’ve seen some answers that indicate the thing I’m trying to do is possible but I haven’t actually been able to make those solutions make sense for my purposes.

Basically, I have two tables. I’m planning a wedding. So one table has our guest list broadly, with columns for “table” and “household” and “category” and “plus one?” and such. The primary field is “Name”

However, we’re using airtable to collect addresses for save-the-dates/invitations/etc. So there’s another table called “Addresses,” which receives form submissions (it’s actually a whole zapier/netlify situation because I wanted the form to be prettier, but basically, it’s a form). The addresses table also has “Name” as the primary field.

All I want to do is automatically link one table to the other. Theoretically the names are the same, and if they aren’t, it usually means I need to update the “guests” formula with the person’s full name, so it’s useful for me to see where the link fails.

Unfortunately, the Lookup and Rollup fields only want to look at linked fields that already exist. Is there a way to do what I’m trying to do? I’m sort of thinking (sorta fake psuedocode, resembling SQL)

Guests.AddressLink = LinkedRecord 
    FROM Addresses 
    WHERE Addresses.Name == Guests.Name

Seems doable but I cannot for the life of me figure out how. Help?

You can’t do it with Airtable itself, but you could do it with a third party service like Integromat.

Anyway, a lot of names could be different: maybe they make a typo, or maybe you simply wrote it different. I would link form entries with me guests manually.

Ah dang. I was hoping it would be built in (seems like one of those things that would be). The form already uses zapier, so maybe I’ll try to build it into the zapier function.

You’re right that the names that I put in and the names in the form don’t always match, but that’s something I’d been hoping an automation would flag (i.e. if the “linked guest” field is blank, that would indicate I need to go back to my guests table and see “oh I wrote Meg but she wrote Meghan” or whatever).

In any case, thanks for your help!

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This is a fundamental feature of SQL databases, and it means that there’s no possible way I can use scraped data with Airtable. I understand that’s not the intended purpose, but it seems like it should be a core feature. Do you know if this is on the roadmap to be added anytime soon?

Thanks