Status Notifications

We are testing Airtable for a solar workflow from the sale to installation, and one of the things we need is for relevant individuals to get alerts when a stage/status is changed. (alerts should be by email and text) We already have all Office 365 applications including teams. Can anyone suggest an alternative in Office to having to sign up for Slack to achieve our goals? I hate to have to get one more subscription.

Hi @Glenn_Felty - how about using Zapier? You can then have an Airtable trigger:

and send this to Teams:

Of course, if you trigger a lot of records or they are more complex than the two step process above, you would need a Zapier subscription, which defeats your purpose, but if they are small in number, a free Zapier account might do the trick.

JB

(Equally could be “send an email” or “send SMS” rather than “send to Teams”)

Thank you. We do have a paid zapier account, but as far as I can see, it doesn’t achieve the objective either. As an example, let’s say the stage is titled “solar permitting”, and I want an alert to myself and our project manager when our installer submits the permit app and again when the status is updated to “complete”. I’d like an email alert and/or a text alert. In some cases and particular stage might need to trigger an alert to 3 or 4 individuals. Any thoughts on that?

We had similar requirements which I wrote about here.

We used the Airtable API, but none of the SDKs because at the time, they had some issues. My approach was 100% native and direct API calls from Google Apps Script and it has worked now for about two years - zero issues and conveyed more than 32,000 alerts for a Los Angeles transit district.

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Hi @Glenn_Felty, using the approach outlined by @Bill.French is definitely an option and I’ve used an external script and the Airtable API numerous times to achieve something that you can’t do within Airtable on its own, so would wholeheartedly support this approach.

That said, I think it could be done with Airtable and Zapier, although this might depend upon how your base is structured and what your process is. Here’s a simple example, which I appreciate might not work in your context:

Let’s say you’ve got a record in AT for each project and each record has a status field with values such as:

  • New Project
  • Permit Submitted
  • Permit Approved
  • Work Started
  • Work Completed

You would create a view on your table for each of these statuses, i.e. each view is filtered where Status = “XXXXXXX”

You set up a Zap for each view and when a record achieves the status that puts it into one of the views, the Zap runs and triggers the appropriate action with the appropriate message, e.g. when the project is created (status = New Project) an email is sent to the appropriate people. Sending to multiple people is an option in Zapier (for an email send I think it allows 5 recipients by name or use an email group if you have more). Recipients could be hard coded in the Zap or could be a field value in your AT record for a more dynamic approach.

One constraint in Zapier is that a given record can only be triggered once for each view so if your process means that a record can go from A to B and back again to A, then the 2nd status A won’t be notified by Zapier as it will have already seen the record for status A.

Hope this helps.

JB

Indeed, this is why I chimed in and suggested an alternative to Zapier. Unless every notifiable record instance stands on its own as a single-state event, Zapier (and other codeless platforms) are unlikely to address the deeper requirements.

In our transit project more than 32,000 notification events have occurred but there are not 32,000 Airtable records. These Airtable data sets include tables/records whose indications move from state to state requiring a fluid approach to notification alerting.

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