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Are the record's previous values available in the "when record is updated" trigger?

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craibuc
6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

Are the record's previous values available in the "when record is updated" trigger?  I'd like to be able to compare the previous values with the current values and act accordingly.  Does this require a code step instead?

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kuovonne
18 - Pluto
18 - Pluto

No, the previous values are not available in an automation. This is also true of Airtable scripting. Only current values are available.

One workaround is to use a second editable field in conjunction with the automation to store the "previous value". Set the initial field of this "previous value" field with the current value. When the field is updated, the automation reads the "previous value" field to see what the previous value is, and then the automation copies the current value to the "previous value" field. The "previous value" field and the original field will have the same value, except in the few seconds between when the original field changes and when the automation copies over the value. Because this system does not work well if you need to watch several fields, and it doesn't work well with frequent updates, and it requires more fields, I rarely find it worth implementing.

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kuovonne
18 - Pluto
18 - Pluto

No, the previous values are not available in an automation. This is also true of Airtable scripting. Only current values are available.

One workaround is to use a second editable field in conjunction with the automation to store the "previous value". Set the initial field of this "previous value" field with the current value. When the field is updated, the automation reads the "previous value" field to see what the previous value is, and then the automation copies the current value to the "previous value" field. The "previous value" field and the original field will have the same value, except in the few seconds between when the original field changes and when the automation copies over the value. Because this system does not work well if you need to watch several fields, and it doesn't work well with frequent updates, and it requires more fields, I rarely find it worth implementing.

Thanks.

It would be really helpful to be able to have "before record updated" event (or similar) that had previous and new values for the monitored fields.

ScottWorld
18 - Pluto
18 - Pluto

@craibuc 

As @kuovonne mentioned, the only way to do this in Airtable is through automations, but it is generally problematic as Kuovonne mentioned, so it is not typically recommended. 

if you really need this feature, you would need to switch to a more advanced database app that natively supports this feature as a built-in part of the app, such as Claris FileMaker.

I used to be a FileMaker Developer for almost 30 years before becoming an Airtable consultant. Feel free to reach out to me through my website if you’d like me to turn you onto some excellent FileMaker developers.