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Introducing Dynamic Filtering of Linked Records

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carla
Airtable Employee
Airtable Employee

Hi everyone, I’m Carla – a software engineer at Airtable and I am really happy to share that we’ve added the ability to dynamically filter results in linked record pickers!  You can now limit the records that can be selected on a linked record field by configuring a filter based on the value from another field from the same record. 

For example, when assigning People to a Task, instead of browsing through the full table of People, you can now filter the linked records available for selection based on another field on the Tasks table, in this case we can use the value of the Skills Required field to filter the list of People to only those that have the relevant Skills:

001-demo-final.gif

How to configure

  1. On a linked record field configuration, toggle on the option to Filter record selection by a condition.
  2. Select a linked record field from the linked table and click the cog on the right to switch to a Dynamic condition.
  3. Select a linked record field from the current table, and Save.

002-filter-setup (1).gif

 

We’re rolling this update out over the course of this and next week; if you don’t see it reflected in your base just yet, hold tight, you will get the update very soon! This feature is available for Teams, Business, and Enterprise Scale plans. 

Check out this Help Center article for more details and instructions on how to configure dynamic filters on your base.

Let us know your feedback in the comments!

20 Comments
ScottWorld
18 - Pluto
18 - Pluto

WOW! THANK YOU! THIS IS FREAKING AWESOME.

It is truly impossible to understate how HUGE this is, and how many years that we have all been patiently waiting for this!!

This is arguably the #1 most significant and #1 most important Airtable update in the entire history of Airtable.

Okay, automations and interfaces were pretty huge, too. 😉 So let's put this in 3rd place. 😉

But seriously, this is GIGANTIC.

This completely changes the entire landscape of Airtable for the best, and elevates Airtable to the same playing ground as other serious database languages!

THIS. IS. A. GREAT. DAY.

THANK YOU!

And, while we're on this topic of new features and linked record fields, there are a few smaller feature requests that my Airtable consulting clients would love to see as well:

(1) Linked record picker — the ability to search for a record based on any field, not just the primary field.

(2) Linked record field — the ability for the linked records to automatically sort within the linked record field by a specified value in another field.

(3) The ability for column headers in the grid view to wrap text so we don't need to have super-wide columns for just a checkbox field or a number field.

(4) The ability to conditionally color cells. (Currently, we only have a vertical bar of color in the left margin.)

Thank you for a fantastic product release and a fantastic day! 😃🙌

What a great year 2024 is shaping up to be for Airtable! 😃

- Scott Rose, Expert Airtable Consultant

———————————————

APRIL 2024 UPDATE:

Unfortunately, the Airtable community quickly realized that this feature was not as great as expected, because it is way too limited to be used in the majority of business needs.

For those of you who have been struggling with Airtable’s limitations on dynamic filtering of linked record fields — such as no support for formula fields, no support for single-select fields, no support for multi-select fields, no support for date fields, etc. — I wanted to let you know that there are at least 2 external products that can solve these problems for you:

1. Fillout’s advanced forms for Airtable.

Fillout is 100% free, and it is an advanced form replacement for Airtable that offers hundreds of features that Airtable’s native forms don’t offer, including the ability to dynamically & conditionally filter linked record fields based on ANY field type in your Airtable base and any data that was typed into your form.

Additionally, Fillout gives you the ability to update Airtable records from a form, the ability to display Airtable lookup fields & Airtable rollup fields & Airtable attachments & formulas on forms, the ability to perform math or other live calculations on your forms, the ability to accept payments on forms, the ability to have multi-page forms with conditional paths, the ability to create new linked records on a form, the ability to display as many fields as you want to see in a linked record selection list (including attachment fields), the ability to connect a single form to dozens of external apps, the ability to limit the number of linked records that can be chosen, the ability to upload an unlimited amount of attachments simultaneously, and much more.

2. Noloco’s advanced interfaces and portals for Airtable.

Noloco is an expensive product, but it offers extremely advanced interfaces and customer portals for Airtable, and every part of the entire product — from linked records fields to views to buttons to reports — can all be dynamically & conditionally filtered based on any Airtable fields that you would like. Noloco even offers conditional coloring of cells.

Personally, I love using Noloco with my Airtable consulting clients.

I give a brief demo of Noloco on this Airtable podcast episode, and I gave an entire one-hour webinar on Noloco called Building a Client Portal on Noloco powered by AirtableThe CEO of Noloco also gave a demonstration of his product on this BuiltOnAir podcast episode.

Hope this helps! If you’d like to hire an expert Airtable consultant to help you with anything Airtable-related, please feel free to contact me through my website: Airtable consultant — ScottWorld

Sho
11 - Venus
11 - Venus

Congratulations Airtable and Community and @ScottWorld !

It's nice to know that the Team plan can be used as well.

I have tried it on a test BASE and use still seems very limited.
Could the type checking be the same as Automation?
Currently formula fields cannot be used.
Automation can be used as long as the output type of the formula field is the same.

The workaround is to update the field with the same type in Automation.
Please consider this, and thank you Airtable team.

 

Karlstens
11 - Venus
11 - Venus

Hello @carla and thanks for sharing, I've been waiting for this feature for approximately 8 years now 🥳.

Testing out Dynamic filtering in my sandbox base, may I ask what the consensus is for not allowing Single Select or Multi-select fields as dynamic filter fields? It's an unnecessary and big limitation to this amazing feature, so would like to understand why they're not currently working.

I had anticipated (and even programmed my own dynamic filtering using single/multi/linked fields with the Scripting Extension whilst waiting) the dynamic input field to support Single Select and Multi-select fields, along with Linked Fields and Lookup fields.

Are they still being considered for inclusion? Otherwise I suspect a lot of base administrators may have to convert their Single/Multi-select fields into tables to support this new feature... but with that, we lose all the features that Single/Multi-select fields bring to a base that are not found within a Linked Field (such as colours).

Karlstens
11 - Venus
11 - Venus

Second round of feedback, as I'm really starting to sink my teeth into this feature.

Focusing on numeric trickery for Dynamic Filtering, supported numberic Filter Dynamic Fields include;

  • Look Up
  • Count
  • Number

When I use a Dynamic Filter with a Number filter, the Linked Field returns the expected records via their lookup filter value. However, Number Fields are not for my intended usage here, and are only used to cross check expected functionality.

So I change my Dynamic Field from Number (which has the value of "2") to the Look Up field which also returns a number value of "2". However, the Dynamic Field filter fails to parse this as a numeric number or is silently failing via some other means and either way does not return the expected dynamically filtered records (none are returned so none can be selected).

Frustratingly, I note users can't use a Calculation Field nor a Rollup Field for this Dynamic field check - but I don't understand why? Without these fields, a Dynamic Filter is absolutely limited in advance usage cases. Many of the things users had hoped to do for the past decade still effectively can't be done.

ScottWorld
18 - Pluto
18 - Pluto

Thanks for the deep dive into this, @Karlstens

My bases don't have this new feature yet, so I haven't been able to test anything out yet — so thank you for testing on behalf of all of us! 😊

Sounds like you have discovered a few disappointing limitations with this new feature, and they sound like things that I would be disappointed by as well.

Hopefully, Airtable will take your feedback to heart and implement these feature requests. 😀

I also hope that Airtable will take to heart my 4 feature requests above, which are some of the features that my customers have been hoping for (in regards to linked record fields and the grid view):

(1) Linked record picker — the ability to search for a record based on any field, not just the primary field.

(2) Linked record field — the ability for the linked records to automatically sort within the linked record field by a specified value in another field.

(3) The ability for column headers in the grid view to wrap text so we don't need to have super-wide columns for just a checkbox field or a number field.

(4) The ability to conditionally color cells. (Currently, we only have a vertical bar of color in the left margin.)

Karlstens
11 - Venus
11 - Venus

Good morning,

Further problems that need addressing. If the referenced field is deleted (in my case, the # Number field), then the Linked field referencing that Number field as a dynamic filter flags a red alert symbol - which is fine. But when I go to address the error and remove the offending filter, Airtable crashes with the message "An error has occurred". The error message encourages the user to refresh the page, and upon doing so they lose the ability to undo the deletion of the previous fields, and now the field is corrupt, with the only way to fix it is to delete the Linked field with the corrupt Dynamic Filter and all its entered inputs.

dilipborad
9 - Sun
9 - Sun

Hello All,

This is huge. Big 👍 to all community guys.

After reading some of the comments, I see that there are still some options that are not there OR it needs to be polished more. But at least they implement it.

Looking forward to testing it and enabling more use cases based on it.

David_Derby
4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

Thanks, but when will this feature be available within AT forms?

Allen_Moldovan
7 - App Architect
7 - App Architect

Nice, change, I first asked for this in 2018. I designed a script to accomplish this but was unsatisfied with the UX.  Alas, I've since moved on to another low code platform. This release 3 years ago would have had me stay with airtable, but it will take more than this to bring me back. All the best. 

dsolimini
5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Because of the way synced linked record fields are handled, this sadly doesn't work if the two linked tables in question are synced from somewhere else. We have a core base that syncs out People and Organizations (M:M btw them) to more special-purpose bases, so this does not address that case because the synced linked records are treated as text fields and so can't be compared.