One form, multiple tables

I’ve setup a beautiful multi-table Airtable database system for one of my clients, and we’ve got 5 different tables that are all linked to each other & working perfectly. :slight_smile:

But now — we’re interested in creating a form where our volunteers can be in the field and submit brand new data into the database. In other words, this submitted data is brand new data that will need to be spread out across the multiple tables & linked across multiple tables.

I know that none of this is currently possible with Airtable’s built-in form capabilities, because Airtable forms don’t currently support:

  1. Creating new linked records from a form.
  2. Adding new data into a linked table’s fields via a form.

So, I know that this can’t be done with Airtable’s native form tools.

But I’m wondering if anybody has their “personal favorite solution” for automating this process? I’m thinking of a few different solutions, but I was wondering what you guys have found to be the best solution on your end! :slight_smile:

Some of my ideas are:

  1. Build a form in Airtable that just dumps all the new information into a brand new table that is created just for collecting form submissions, and then have people manually copy & paste the data into the appropriate tables.

  2. Same as above, but come up with some sort of a JavaScript that people can manually run to script the process. (The big problem here is that I don’t currently know Javascript, so it would be a challenge for me to build & troubleshoot that script.)

  3. Same as above, and then trigger an automation in Integromat or Zapier to put the data into the appropriate tables.

  4. Build a form in another platform (such as JotForm or FormStack or TypeForm), and then use Integromat or Zapier integration to put the data into the appropriate tables.

I suppose that #1 through #3 are all pretty much the same concept (using Airtable’s built-in form builder to dump raw data into a different table), and #4 involves switching to another platform for the form building capabilities.

Any bright ideas on this topic? Am I missing something here?

Thank you! :slight_smile:

My go to solution is #3

Hi @ScottWorld - based on our discussions yesterday, you know I’m going to go for option 2, right? :slight_smile:

IMO:

  • Option 1 is fine, but manual
  • Options 3 & 4 aren’t what I would go for in this situation as it sounds like the full solution can be contained in Airtable. I’m a big user and fan of Zapier, but usually when I want to connect Airtable to X or Y. If I want to connect Airtable to itself, then, with the introduction of the script block, this feels like a better solution.

But, that said, Zapier or similar would work fine. On the script front, yes, definitely a bit daunting when you’re new to Javascript. Even if you don’t go down this route now, worth trying to get into this over time if you can - I’m constantly finding solutions to problems that either formulas could not deal with or I had to go outside of Airtable to solve. The scripting block is a really great addition to Airtable. IIRC @Bill.French was offering a script-coding service - $1 a line, I think - so that might be an option too if you want to go the scripting route.

JB

Hee hee, absolutely! :slight_smile: And I think you make a very strong argument for this. If it can be done within Airtable, best to keep it within Airtable.

And you’re right — for now, I can outsource this job to a JavaScript expert in this community, and over time, I can continue to learn JavaScript and build up my JavaScript skills. :slight_smile: I’ve already started learning it on Codecademy, since it IS the language of the web!

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I guess you already found the answer, Scott!

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