Automation - Update Record

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4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

I have created a form for team members to submit their "updates on contacts" in our Airtable Database. The field updating actually removes previous content from the field and then updates to the new field submission. What I would like to do is have the automation "add" the new submission to the content that is already in the field. How can I do that?

For example, we have a Notes field with previous notes already entered. We would like to keep these old notes but add the new notes to the column when the team member submits the form.

3 Replies 3

Hey @michellemedd

As you've already encountered, Airtable's record update automation action performs what are called destructive updates. These are updates that update defined fields exactly as defined in your automation configuration.

This is in contrast to your desired behavior, non-destructive updates, where the update action appends new data to any existing data.

While you cannot currently change this behavior, you can achieve the desired result by adding the existing values of the field to the automation action.
The easiest way to do this is by adding a new Find Records action prior to your update action. After your automation finds the record to update, you'll then insert the current value of the desired field into your Update Record action along with the new data you want to append.

There are a few interesting scenarios that you may want to plan for. I might recommend wrapping your Update Record action into a condition action group that proceeds only when a single record is found. Should your Find Records action return either no records or multiple records, you can implement a different set of actions (or none) to prevent an automation failure.

Thank you for these details.

I'm not sure I fully understand ... I added the Find Records prior to the update action, but when I select the conditions, it doesn't allow me to choose Nested Options. How can I can search for the "name" or "email" field? If I don't select a condition, what is the other options I have to achieve this?

4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

Anyone able to help fix this automation or offer advice on how to connect properly? The Find Records action is not allowing me to choose a Nested Option field. I need to search the name or email of the contact prior