Need Direction - How to have many users interact with small amount of data

I need direction for this goal…

I have a large list of names that I want a smaller number of users to interact with, primarily, selecting some names from the large list.

The smaller user group are not collaborators; I could never afford that and they don’t really change any data, they make selections.

The large list could be in the thousands, the smaller User Group in the hundreds. People are usually selecting between 1 and 30 names.

I need to be able to embed this name selection process into a website and mobile environment. I’ve tried Google Sheets, but hit a brick wall. I am afraid I’m going to need to develop a formal app and have no idea how to do that. So…

Does anyone have any ideas? Thank you, in advance, for any input.

Interfaces just launched yesterday, you may be able to share an interface to interact with the records they need to. Otherwise a form with automations would work, depending on how you set it up. Field one is the linked record they are going to edit, field two is the person selection, once form is submitted, the automation updates the actual table that needs to be updated with the selection from the form.

A good portion of this made sense, some of the second half did not. I’ll look into interfaces and see its limitations. I sincerely appreciate you making time to comment and might come back to you for more clarity later. Thank you!!!

Of course! Happy to walk you through the form process if interfaces aren’t the right solution.

One of my biggest issues is what to do about so many people needing to interact with the data. Airtable sees each of those people as collaborators who need an account. These are Volunteers and only interact with this small portion of the data. I don’t get the impression interfaces can be shared, so I don’t know what direction to go with that… ?

Yes, it looks like you are inviting them to the base. I can look at a form process, give me a bit.

That would be amazing

Hi Jen. I have to confess, I don’t know where to start with a form to accomplish what I need to do. In my understanding and experience, the Form interface only allows me to interact with one record at a time. In this model I need to view and interact with multiple records. (See my graphic for what I basically need to do.)

Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated. Maybe an example… Anything is better than where I’m at!

Hi @Doug_Gregan sorry, I started to work on it and got sidetracked with some other projects. I started to use automations to take the new form entry and update the liked table (table 1) but was running into an issue pulling the record id’s on linked records in automation. I usually use zapier or integromat for this, but am trying to get away from third party apps in general and I’m sure you want to keep a flat stack for this simple process.

Could use a script for the matching, otherwise integromat is the lowest cost solution. I’ll see if I have an update record script in my possession today when I’m at my desk.

Hi @Doug_Gregan still working on it, running into some issues with the logic. Wish it was a simple answer :slight_smile:

It’s very kind of you to help. I have a zapier account and figured it might come.into play. I find that Airtable, which I love, makes some things a lot harder than they need to be.

I’m just now thinking… Do you know if FREE Users of Airtable can work with shared interfaces? If so, making my Volunteers collaborators might be the easiest solution.

Read-only users (which are free in a paid workspace) can interact with an interface, but cannot make any data changes. They can view the interface but they cannot create records or change values.

You say the large list could be in the thousands. If you could wrangle this list to less than a thousand, you might be able to put the base in a free workspace and have your users be collaborators with edit access. In a free workspace, you have a limit of 1200 records per base.

I also feel like I am missing part of the picture. In your screen shot, it looks like you want users to select check boxes for people. However, I can’t see people scrolling through a list of thousands of names to check 1-30 names.

Could you use a form, where user select who they are in one linked-record field, and then select their 1-30 other people in a different linked record field?

Thank you very much for your input. I sincerely appreciate it. The Volunteers are writing letters to people from the large list they’re selecting their own names from the list to write to. They know nothing about the people they’re writing other than first name last initial. So… That’s why they can interact with such a large list. They will likely just be selecting a range of individuals.

Your information about the collaborators is very helpful. I feel like that might be the way to go for niw

OK! So I was totally overcomplicating.

Here’s how to do it: Loom | Free Screen & Video Recording Software

Base to copy: Airtable - Linking Records/Updates via Form Shared

This is really great, Jen. I understood everything you did and am so thankful for your time. It was very kind of you to work that out. I’ll let you know how things go as I proceed and maybe get a question in if that’s OK.

Have a great day and may you prosper in all you do.

Sincerely, Doug Gregan

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