Released: Find records based on a view (Automations)

You can now toggle “Find Records” actions between searching by views and by conditions. Previously, this automation action was only able to find records based upon conditions.

As noted in this new support article section, there are many cases where you may have already taken the time and effort to set up conditions in a view that you’ve set up, so rather than recreating the same conditions in the find records automation action, you can simply choose to find records in that view.

Additionally, when rendering these records in an action step that follows the “Find records” action such as a “Send email” action, you can choose to include a link to your view at the bottom of the rendered record output.

findRecordsRenderAddLink_6_9_21

We hope this helps to further improve the efficiency of your automations!

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Always shipping!

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Thank you for this new feature. Will the records in the grid be in the same sort order as the view? If so, this would finally give us a method of controlling the sort order of data in the emailed grid.

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Pretty cool new feature! :slight_smile: However, the old problem still remains that the only 2 possible actions that can be performed after this are “Send Email” or “Run Script”. It would be nice if we could perform all of the other actions after this step.

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Good news. I’m thinking: even more views… Luckily we got sections for views now :slight_smile:

YES!

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@kuovonne

Great question. I investigated and the rendered output does not match the view’s order. I had some internal talks with a colleague about the current shortcoming. I’ll follow up if and when I learn more. Thanks for surfacing this again!

@ScottWorld

I don’t know of any internal plans at this time to change that behavior, but I’ll be sure to bring attention to this the next opportunity that I have.

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Thanks for following up the view column order issue @Adam_Minich - it’s great to see that at least the rows are now sequential and controllable with the view - and having the view also control the column order will make life much - much easier. Column width would also be a worthy discussion point with Airtable Devs too, as we’re needing this option desperately when sending a HTML grid via email.

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Hi @Adam_Minich,

There are several inconsistencies with the “Find Records” action, and the order in which it sorts the records for sending an email:

  1. “Find Records Based On View” respects the sort order of the view, as long as you aren’t grouping your records.

  2. “Find Records Based On View” DOES NOT respect the sort order of the view if you group your records. If you group your records, Airtable will sort your records in some random order that I can’t figure out.

  3. “Find Records Based On Condition” NEVER respects the sort order of the view under any circumstances whatsoever. It ridiculously sorts the records alphabetically by Record ID, which is the LEAST useful way that records could ever be sorted. The Record ID is simply a random text string that has absolutely no meaning whatsoever — why would Airtable sort by a completely random string of characters & numbers that have no meaning & no chronological order whatsoever?

It would be great if:

  • All of this was cleaned up to work as expected, meaning that the user should have 100% complete control over how the records are sorted.
  • The support article(s) for this feature should clearly document the 3 issues that I outlined above.

Thanks!
Scott

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How are they not thinking about these kind of things while developing, that’s what I’m curious about… :expressionless:

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Hi @ScottWorld,

Hope your Wednesday is going well!

This post outlines the flaws as well as the needed feature enhancements in a very clear way. Thanks for sharing it. I’m working on some things internally in order to have more concrete guidance on expected record ordering in our support documentation. I’m also working to highlight your feedback to the right people to see what might be possible here.

I do want to note that when @kuovonne initially wrote back we did not offer any sort of view order matching with the rendered output of records found in a view, but we do have some functionality there now (so long as they aren’t grouped, as you mentioned).

Hope to have more to share down the road…

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Thank you very much for (1) taking note when a community member brought an issue to you attention, (2) investigating the issue yourself, (3) advocating within Airtable for improvements, and (4) keeping us informed of the status of developments.

While these smaller changes don’t really warrant “what’s new” status, it would be nice if there were a log of bug fixes and similar smaller improvements. (For example, there is a publicly available change log for the custom apps SDK.) Do you in support have access to such a log for the Airtable interface itself? If so, would it be possible to make at least some of it publicly available? Consultants are often blindsided when clients call up describing behavior that is different from what we’ve experienced in the past, and we always want to know the latest fixes so that we can stop using hacky workarounds.

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I second this! #FreelancerLife

Thanks so much, @Adam_Minich! :slight_smile:

And I second what @kuovonne has said about your excellent ongoing advocacy on our behalf! Thank you! :slight_smile: :raised_hands:

I also second the need for a daily change log, for the same reasons that @kuovonne mentioned!

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@ScottWorld

I confirmed that conditionally found records are rendered in ASCII format based upon record ID. I know that isn’t ideal, but the best practice at this time would be to:

  • Create a new view that filters out records based upon the condition set in the automation
  • Sort the records in that view to achieve a matching output (Again, grouped record ordering is not supported at this time)

We’ve updated our support documentation in a few places to highlight all of your feedback in order to make expected output behavior a little more clear. Thanks again for the suggestions and wishing you a happy 4th of July!

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Why not echo the sentiment in this thread a bit: props for the initiative, the only thing really left to do is figure out how to Object.assign() yourself a clone, your super powers might be needed elsewhere afterward. :sweat_smile:

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Thanks so much for this follow-up, @Adam_Minich!

And happy 4th of July to you as well! :cowboy_hat_face::us: