I have read this thread with interest - my background is a ‘database developer’ - always with tools like Access, Filemaker and most recently Access Web Apps.
There’s a lot to like about Airbase but also some issues which this thread encompasses. The suggestion of cross-base links is perfectly sensible and would be useful - but it sounds as though it would be very difficult to achieve. For me the biggest win would be the ability to control access in a better way so that one could deal safely with different use-cases.
My main expertise is HR software, a business I have been in for over 25 years - 15 of which as founder and CEO of an HR software supplier here in the UK which I sold. HR is a great example of how the same database needs secure access for different groups of users:
HR Users - these users generally have access to all data for all staff
Managers - would have access to some of their own data plus their team members
Employees - Only have access to some of their own data
Each user group would need their own User Interface with just the items they have access to showing - and with data secured (to field level) appropriately. The latter can be done by using some read only fields on the forms they have access to - or through the database itself if possible.
There are also processes which are unique to each type of user - for example employees can request leave - to be approved by others. In this example, the Approval field(s) would only be available to approvers.
Translating this to Airtable and this conversation, I think the most suitable approach at this point is to build out a security model which allows the UI to adapt to the user logging in, hiding options that aren’t available etc. Note that generally you would NOT want most users able to change ANYTHING in the design of the app or it’s views - just use it.
Another aspect of HR applications is that they have a LOT of tables - our current HR app in the Microsoft Store has 80 - there are many other examples which would have even more. To make this usable in Airtable there would need to be a way of hiding tables from the table menu bar and only accessing them from view of other tables (or buttons on those views), some other menu option (a table manager perhaps) - possibly only directly accessible by a Creator user type.