Remote Data as source

I am building a new project where users will enter details about book titles and submit them for approval. The official list of titles lives in another database with a decent API and also contains some reference numbers and dates about the title that is required for the approval.

Purely in the sense of end user engagement what would be the best way to manage this?

  1. Pull all titles and reference details into a holding table and let the user link to the record with look ups pulling in the details. This will consume about half of the available records in the Base.

  2. Let the users free type the Title then have a script check the API for a match on the title, if only one match update the record, if multiple have the user pick the correct one.

  3. Have an app that lets the user search the API and add the selected record.

The latter two probably involve the user navigating away from the record (expanded view) to find a titile.

Other ideas?

I’d like to put in a vote for 1 as it would be the smallest number of steps for keying in data:

  1. Open expanded view of details record
  2. Select the book via a linked record field
  3. All the lookup fields populate automatically so that I can review them
  4. I scroll down and key in the details needed

How about 1, but with the interface designer? That would make the UI even cleaner as you could put the linked record details on the right (and potentially even the book cover?) while they keyed in stuff on the left

Apologies if you already had the interface designer in mind when you mentioned 1!