Forms/Reports/Queries, oh, my! Confusion reigns - but this can't be that hard?

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5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

I come from a MS Access database background - albeit its been 20 years… anyway - I thought Airtable - being a relational database - was just the ticket and went ahead and set up 3 tables: faculty (demographics), Textbook Publishers, and the actual textbook requests (made by the faculty). Some request 1 set of a single book, others request multiple books for various grade levels.

Once I got my tables set up, and linked the relevant fields, I couldn’t figure out how to create a single form that would allow a faculty member to -

a: add their demographic info if not already in, or select from the one’s already entered

b: add a publisher contact information, or, select from publishers already entered


c: provide about 8 specific details about a given textbook (including copyright, ISBN#, title, hardcover/paperback/digital etc.)

I wound up putting links to each form so if they check the dropdown and the info from the other tables isn’t there yet, the link takes them to that form to enter the missing data, then they can return to the order form and continue.

This is clunky, but working.

But the crucial step - creating and emailing a printable document for each individual textbook order, that includes on each doc, all the textbook info, all the publisher info and all of the demographic info of the faculty member - for EACH textbook order, I can’t seem to figure out!! grrrrr.

We’re a Google Apps school so I don’t have Office/Access360.

My brain is stuck in old Access mode - i.e. Create a form for users to input the relevant data - that populates the various tables with said data, build a query that pulls relevant data from each table, export/mailmerge to a template document/report with the relevant data. This apparently is not how Airtable works.

Can someone help me understand what I need to do to accomplish what - to me, anyway, would seem to be a relatively easy, and standard set of available options for any relational database?

Am I thinking about this all wrong? have I been away so long that a better way has emerged and I just haven’t figured it out? Is there another app that would be better suited for my needs?

Note: I was using Google Forms/Sheets/Docs to accomplish this, but the teachers get annoyed when they have to re-enter their demographic info for each and every textbook order.

OK, thanks.

4 Replies 4
5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Apparently, I’m not the only one.
here’s a few support requests - most have gone unanswered:

No answers yet? Well, that’s disappointing.

4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

I’m after the same solution! Thanks for putting it out there.

This is a highly specific use case. Airtable is all about enabling those, but you either need to get stuck in learning JS for a couple of months or hire someone to do it.

Otherwise, the answer you and the OP are looking for requires at least a day of work. There’s a work-for-hire subforum for those.