User selection of complex categories

#1

Most entities (records) in a database will have an attribute or two that is used for classification.
Usually when creating a new record the user sets a category using some kind of selection control - such as a drop down list.

Sometimes there is a classification schema that is very very large. For example in the community services domain governments issue schemas that can have hundreds of unique codes. There are ISO classification schemas - eg industry codes - that likewise run to hundreds of pages.

Such complex schemas are usually organised into helpful hierarchies that group a large number of unique codes into groups and groups of groups.

These are usually set up in data bases so that the user can select a group, then a sub-group, then a unique code. Again this is often in a cascading drop-down or nested selection lists.

In these cases the record being classified never records the group or sub-group values - just the unique code at the bottom of the schema’s hierarchy. The groupings are pure meta-data - they are there just to help reduce the cost and time of very large schemas.

I can find no way of using airtable to effectively filter and guide user selection of attribute values from very large lists.

It doesn’t seem to allow for the fact that reference data is sometimes structured and that some metadata is only for managing the interface.

But if any one can help me implement a grouped selection for an attribute value I am all ears.

#2

If you can live with using linked records rather than multi-selects for your choices, this post and the referenced bases demonstrate how to implement conditionally limited selections.

#3

Thanks - A cursory read indicates it might be a solution. And I’m not a purist.

Still don’t know why airtable can’t have properly separated meta-data constructs. Conditional and cascading filtering and presentation should be a doddle - not this convoluted linked-table business. That should be reserved for actual data.