Pricing - Scripting App No Longer Free

I don’t suppose anyone has heard any rumors about the scripting app being further extended past March, 2021 under the free plan? I am just learning Javascript and starting to tinker with how I can use it in Airtable and I am bummed that it won’t be available for free. I use Airtable for personal uses and one not-for-profit membership tracking so I cannot justify paying $20 per month for the pleasure of tinkering. :frowning:

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They have extended the Scripting App’s availability on free plans once already, it was originally supposed to end sometime in Fall last year. I don’t believe they’ll extend it again.

If you work for a nonprofit you can apply for a special discount (50% off): Airtable for Nonprofits Application

Thanks, Kamille! I appreciate the information. I will look into the nonprofit application.

I’m thinking exactly the opposite. :wink: I will bet you a fine sandwich of your choice they will not only extend access but they will announce that’s it’s free and will always be free.

If I’m wrong …

  • I will owe you an expensive sandwich but you’ll feel somewhat indebted to me when I ask a really tough React question sometime in the future.
  • Users will revolt; many will openly weep. Some will need therapy.
  • Many thousands of solutions and utilities will go dormant as will the databases that depend on them. It will not be one of Airtable’s better days in the support group.
  • Hundreds of users will begrudgingly upgrade, but they will remember this and question the adoption of any new features in the future.
  • Vastly, Airtable users and consultants will collectively give the company the middle finger for increasing the total cost of ownership to perform processes that are impossible to achieve through usual and customary no-code processes and for which these capabilities should exist without code workarounds.
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Originally Scripting was going to be free until “September 2020”. It wasn’t clear if it was the beginning or end of the month, but free access continued during the month. Then, in mid September 2020, I noticed that it would remain free until March 2021.

Another extension is possible. Making it free is also possible. Or Airtable might come up with a different scenario, such as making scripting free but placing limits on it. We won’t know for sure before hand. Airtable tends to not leak this type of information.

I agree that $20/month is a lot to spend for the pleasure of tinkering. However, when you get to the point that scripting (or any of the other pro features) greatly enhance your workflows, it is well worth it.

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I’ll honor that bet. I think it would be nice if they keep Scripting free, but I can also see them gating the most useful features of their app to paying customers.

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I’m really hoping it stays free as well. I’ve got a couple of scripts running in both my bases (free plan) and if it becomes restricted to Pro plan or above, that’ll be a kicker. While I can foresee that I might have to upgrade to Plus at some point because of record and storage limits, there’s no other factor that I would outgrow that would justify upgrading further to Pro. I’d be paying extra just for the scripting app, basically.

Hi @Kris_Wigness

Any updates on this from Airtable.

Thank you,
Mary

I haven’t heard anything. Scripting still seems to be working for me but I wonder what will happen at the end of March. To be continued, I guess …

Airtable extended the deadline another six months. It is now free until September 2021.

For those keeping track:

  • February 2020. Scripting block was released, temporarily free for all users until September (7 months).
  • September 2020. In the beginning of the month (not sure exact date), the end date for free access was extended until March 2021 (6 months)
  • March 2021. Friday, March 19 or earlier, the end date was extended until September 2021 (6 more months).

Does @Kamille_Parks or @Bill.French get the sandwich?

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Wonderful. Thanks for letting us know, Kuovonne!

I just noticed (May 20, 2021) that this support page says that Scripting App will be available only to Pro and Enterprise accounts after September 2021.

Scripts are free on all plans until September 2021. Afterwards scripts will be a pro and enterprise feature.

and

Custom apps are free on all plans until September 2021. Afterward, scripts (sic) will be a pro and enterprise feature.

I hope the moderators of this forum will keep this thread open until at least September 2021, or until the issue is resolved (whichever comes later).

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Thank you moderators for keeping this thread open. I look forward to seeing what happens tomorrow (September 1, 2021).

Hey friends! Just a quick note to say that we’re extending the free period for the scripting app (as well as the blocks SDK for creating custom apps) for another 6 months. For those wondering why we don’t just make the decision to have it be free or put a price on it, the answer is we’re still in the middle of some planning that affects this outcome. BUT - we wanted to make sure that in the meantime, everyone in this thread knew that they could continue to use both the scripting app and the blocks SDK for free for another 6 months.

Sorry we couldn’t settle the sandwich bet. :sandwich:

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Thank you so much for this update!

Lol. Thank you for reading the entire thread.

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Yes - Jordan, thanks so much for the update. I’ve been working on my JS skills and and really happy to try some things out on Airtable scripting. Sandwich bet to be continued …

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image

Thanks for the update; several clients use scripting to create bases for their clients, but of course, they develop free bases and need to have the Scripting App included to add some extra features.

I think it´s a win-win as it´s a way to introduce more people to use Airtable.

I just wanted to point out that some use cases add to Airtable bottom line when leaving the scripting app for free.

Thanks for the update !!
Best
Sergio
https://devblocks.agency

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Jordan, I also appreciate your deep read of this thread. Always nice to see Airtable folks take the time to be really well versed on these topics.

Scripting is not just about the functionality of the platform; it impacts a lot of people and their jobs which depend on Airtable however little or great it has been augmented to be more than it could be without a little code.

I think this ship has sailed and docking it again would have profound negative impact on almost every user and vastly all significant business apps. The irony of a no-code/low-code platform with deep dependencies on – wait for itcode, provides me a daily dose of chuckles.

But I get it - integrated scripting is critical and especially the case with a platform that has so many unfinished features. For users who adopted Airtable in the previous decade, scripting was necessary in many cases; perhaps not as much in this decade and that’s a testament of the product’s progress.

Now comes the challenge of recouping the cost of the scripting feature(s) but it’s really like a genie; one that is not easily put back into the bottle. The scripting genie has granted us many wishes and the environment was so well-received, the capabilities that scripting provides are no longer “optional” for effective solution-building with Airtable.

The magic that this genie has granted us all cannot be easily tied to a fee because there are [in many cases] tiny but vastly impactful scripts that make the difference between using Airtable and using a competitive solution.

Scripting is tantamount to formulas. In fact, formulas and functions are simply meta-scripts. Can you imagine a pricing model that enables some or all formulas? That would be just as silly as a pricing model that prevents customization through scripts.

Taxing customers for their own customizations is a very bad idea.

I think it’s time to hand out a few sandwiches because Airtable is the really the winner of this bet - it chose to do the right thing when it mattered, and now it doesn’t matter because it has no pathway to make scripting anything but free forever.

To the most prolific contributors of this community - Jimmy Johns all around! I think you [Jordan] can make that happen. :wink:

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Just recording screen shots of the updates today (September 1, 2021), in case we eventually need a timeline to settle the sandwich wager.

From the Scripting App Overview support page …
image


From the marketplace
It looks like the change was implemented on August 27, 2021, although the app description has not yet been updated yet.

Thank you for letting us know that pricing changes are in the plans.

I think that Scripting is hugely powerful and I would like to see a model where limited access to scripting remains free, but full access to scripting becomes a paid feature.

It is extremely difficult for users without experience with scripting to understand the value of scripting without experiencing it first hand themselves. I also find that Airtable scripting is an amazing platform for the code curious to develop coding skills.

Running scripting automations is a paid feature. In a free workspace, I cannot create a scripting automation. If I move a base with a scripting automation into a free workspace, I can edit the script, but I cannot test or run it–I get an error. I suggest a model where creators in all bases could create and test scripting automations, but not turn them on. If a base is duplicated or moved into a free workspace, any scripting automations would be turned off. Zapier has a similar model where a free account can test multi-step zaps but cannot turn them on. This lets users see the value of a scripting automation with their specific base before having to pay for it.

Scripting app would be a bit trickier to keep it both free and paid. One option would be …

  • if a free base does not have any instances of Scripting app, allow a creator to install a single instance of Scripting app
  • if a free base already has any instances of Scripting app, do not allow new installations and do not allow duplicating existing instances, but let existing instances run.

This would allow existing free bases with scripting to continue to function after the deadline (and avoid suddenly having a bunch of upset users whose scripts stop working). It would also allow users to try out scripting with their bases and recognize the value before upgrading. Students could also continue to develop their coding skills for free, which they will then bring to their future employers. Plus, I find that once users have one script, they often find other situations where additional scripts would be very useful.

There would be the opportunity for abuse by duplicating bases or moving bases between free and paid workspaces. However, I find that using these methods often introduces more headaches than they are worth.

(I actually like this idea of limiting the number of instances of apps per base as a pricing model. For example, free bases could have only one instance of one app per base. This lets users try out every single app before deciding that it would would be worthwhile to pay to not have to constantly delete, install, and configure a new app whenever they want to switch out apps. The two week pro trial is barely long enough for new users to learn how Airtable works, much less experiment with apps.)

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