Link to other base


#147

Extremely impressed and 100% on board with Airtable so far. This is my first foray into relational databases, so I’m learning as I go along. The videos and help articles have been stellar. The only snag I have run into in converting our spreadsheets into AT bases is the lack of ability to either link bases (or subdivide a base into groups of tables as others have suggested).

My job is managing information relating to individual aid projects undertaken by a humanitarian aid org. Each aid project has its own location, implementation partner; donor(s); reports, contracts, beneficiary lists, and other documents; photos; budget, disbursements, and other financial tracking; timeline; and outcomes. Currently it’s all in one giant base (except for the financial accounting), and it’s amazing–for me and my team.

However, the rest of the org is using their own systems to manage information that overlaps and interacts with this information–there’s a lot of time wasted finding and sharing info (and occasionally crucial information is not known due to lack of coordination).

In dealing with emergency aid, projects can change focus mid-stream. New numbers of refugees can mean a change in budgets. Infrastructure problems can change timelines. A large fundraising campaign in response to a crisis would involve all of these teams. Communication is often fragmented, delayed and/or tedious due to separate databases managed by each team.

We are planning to migrate everyone over to AT from various other apps, so each team can maximize their efficiency. But we really need to be able to link records between bases and/or group tables for the entire org to really function smoothly.

Here is our setup, for context:

Programs manages all the planning, execution, and information for all aid projects. Comms team needs photos and up-to-date information on outcomes, but also needs to plan and track email blasts, blog posts, social media updates, etc–which not everyone needs access to. Finance needs the budgets, disbursements, start and end dates, contracts, but cannot have the whole team mucking around in their accounting. Devs coordinates donors for each project and needs budgets and outcomes, but access to donor information needs to be limited. The empowerment team manages refugee-run businesses that sometimes provide products for aid projects. The refugee-run businesses also provide some, but not all, items for sale in their online store.

Tables for every one of these teams in a single base is just not feasible. Setting up different views and filters for each person who needs each group of info is pretty tedious, and we haven’t even added the other teams’ tables.

We will figure out workarounds for this with Zapier and slack notifications and whatnot in the meantime, but any solution to address these issues would be worth all the marbles.


#149

I think it’s unlikely that we’ll see this feature implemented.

Why? Probably because they would have far fewer paying customers if the free tier included unlimited linked bases :-/

Unfortunately, that might also make Airtable harder for everyone to use - paying and otherwise. I probably won’t be able to use it for what I had planned. (and I was going to get the lower paid tier!)


#150

I suspect it would be a ‘pro’ feature.


#151

This seems like a great idea.


#152

I won’t speak for anyone else, but I’m personally not expecting linked bases capability to be free.

I would be happy to pay pretty much whatever they ask for this feature, because Airtable is hands down the best small-org information management tool we have tried, and linking bases would seriously solve every info management problem.

And I’m pretty sure they know linked bases would be a huge selling feature for a pro version, should they offer it.


#153

I agree. If linked bases could solve granular access to data I would gladly pay for a premium plan.


#154

+1 (or more) from here.

Still, I’d much rather have a full set of granular access rules to every facet of Airtable: Tables, Columns, Views, etc.


#155

My team and I at Smarter Business Processes would really like Airtable to Link bases and are very happy to pay for the pleasure. There is a huge gap in the market so if you guys at Airtable can make it happen then you will delight your users and win lots of people like us who are waiting in the wings for such a solution. We literally have dozens of our clients who could benefit but at present the lack of functionality is holding you back. Pleeese progress this?
In the meantime we have found other ways to satisfy demand using Appsheet and Smartsheet to create… wait for it… the effect of a Relational Database. Come on guys we need you?
Richard Rymill


#156

Happy to pay and/or be guinea pigs or whatever if it means that you can link data from one to another. :pray:


#157

+1 for me too.

I would like to see this happen for simple task management for using Airtable to manage projects.

I am assigned tasks across multiple bases, without the ability to centralise all ‘my tasks’ it is very difficult to know what I have in my workflow/todo list at a global level. I have to check half a dozen bases every day to know what has been allocated to me, and to my team.

Also, it’s quite concerning that this has been a popular feature request for almost 2 years now, with no progress.


#158

On board with the rest of the folks on the thread. New to Airtable and really diggin it so far, but would appreciate the ability to link across BOTH tabs and bases.


#159

I like this concept of having a global base (or even just a global table) that could be used across multiple bases. Having a single base that contains all related information gets too cumbersome when there’s only a few relationships between various tables. Conversely having say a half dozen bases with a few linked global tables (as essentially the connective tissue between such) would be a much better solution for my users. I’ve tried to replicate this approach with duplicate tables using Zapier to try to keep them in sync, but this feels like a LOT of wasted effort and multiple potential points of failure.


#160

How are we coming on this, @Andrew? This would be a game changer!


#161

@Katherine_Duh I’m not sure if I’m too late to the game here, but since we don’t have any changes reflecting those 3 questions I’m assuming it’s still in the works?

  1. Permissions are a big deal for me. I use airtable as the master brains/organizer for my artist agency, and I would like for each artist to only see records relevant to them and to be notified when changes are made to their records. Hidden/redacted tables, views, etc would make it much more functional for us, thought linking multiple bases would be a more complete solution.

  2. It makes sense for us to have a master base where we can work out of that can populate the other bases. Of course that master base could also be updated from the other bases depending on what is linked between the two.

  3. Absolutely! My base feels bloated and unorganized (ironically). I have about a dozen tables that relate to each other - My artists (pricing info, availability, booking information, logistics), Schools and Venues who I book for (over 1,000 with information about their institution which is linked to Contacts and their information, Projects that I am managing for each of the artists, Promotion for each, Bookings, and Accounting, just to mention the primary linked tables. I could do with far less columns as well in each table if I didn’t have to cram every possible scenario of data that I need into one base.

Other considerations: I would allow for various options in the setting. Personally, I would allow for any Base B data that’s linked to be viewable but not editable if they don’t have permissions for it. Another alternative would be to give editing power to data that is linked, but allow for giving contributors only permissions to view or edit certain Views and not the entire base. Part of it is just going to come down to people being smart setting up their bases.

I LOVE airtable, but I’ve been beating my head against the wall, search for 3rd party integrations, and everything else for hours and hours over the past several months trying to solve some crucial problems in our work flow. @Airtable if there is a work task force on this, sign me up! And definitely for the beta as well. Thank you for your hard work!


#162

That’s almost exactly what I’m seeing altho my environment is quite different (healthcare). I’m tracking documents across multiple companies, hospitals, doctors, and state agencies with the normal contact information, etc. My base is now around 40 tables and since there is quite a bit of linking, each table carries the additional linkage fields. I know I can cut back using views but it would be far better to segregate the different areas-of-concern into their own bases and provide cross-base linking.

Of course having a well-honed set of permissions would also be critical.


#163

This would be a great feature! I’m novice with Airtable and really in love with it.


#164

SUB-BASES & Linking to reports in a Main Base…please! Otherwise I don’t think Airtable will work for our company :frowning: I am trying to figure out a way to utilize it, because I think it is amazing, but we have over 500 unique events a year, pulling from the same inventory record/table, each having multiple tables of their own inside their base. If they could all live in a Master base… Perhaps this can be done and I am just too new to figure it out? Seems like if people have been asking for this for two years, welll… :):grin::sunglasses:


#165

This is really a necessity for us in order to continue using airtable


#166

Yes to #1 and #2. The first reason to link across databases is for more granular security control. I like your other approach with table and even field level access control. That would be preferable. The second reason would be for reporting sometimes you want to keep bases separate but integrate for a more holistic view.


#167

+1 vote for this feature! @Airtable_Team @Katherine_Duh @Airtable_Support can you please provide an update on this?