Can't find an automation that will work

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4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

Hello!  I've been working with Airtable for a year and have built lots of automations and formulas. I'm stuck though and hope someone can point me in the right direction! 

I've got a base with Table A and Table B. 
Table A is a list of todos which are linked to clients who are listed in Table B, so each client has multiple todos linked.
Table B also has drop-down list of all of the stages that the client goes through.
Table B's primary field is their unique client number. 
Table A therefore has a linked field with that identical number in it. 
Table A also has another field with the same unique client number.

I am trying to write an automation which will do this:
- When a record in Table A is marked "done" (or other trigger depending on the type of todo)
- The drop down for that client in Table B is updated. 

This seems like it should be simple...
- Create the trigger in Table A's Todo record
- Use Find Record to find the record in Table B where the primary key = the client number from Table A
- Update the record found in the Find Record step of the automation.

But it won't let me create such a thing!  I have tried numerous ways to set triggers and Find Records, and no matter what I try, the client number fields in Table A are greyed out as "not valid" to be the dynamic lookup for the "Find Record" step. I cannot figure out why!

If I choose a different field in Table B to look in (not the primary key field), it'll let me select the client number field from Table A to lookup. That doesn't work of course because the client number isn't in any of them... but the client number field of Table A is indeed an option. But as soon as I tell it to look in the primary key field of Table B, all of a sudden the client number field of Table A isn't a valid option. 

Why is it doing this? What do I need to understand about how Airtable automations work? Why is it not simple to use one record to update a separate field in a linked record? 

1 Reply 1
4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

Well, I finally figured out that selecting the record ID is backwards from common sense (and how older Airtable tutorial videos that I'd found) dictates. Instead of selecting the record ID step, I had to go backwards and find the field I wanted to update on Table B, and then follow that trail UP to the record ID of it. 

The automation is now sometimes working. It fails about half the time and then when I test the exact same automation on the exact same trigger record, it works. I'm contacting Airtable support about it though since it doesn't seem like anyone on the forum here knows about this.