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Update Record From Form Automation: Don't delete data if form field left blank?

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Anxious
7 - App Architect
7 - App Architect

Okay, so it's 2023. Is it possible to update information in a record via a form and not delete data if the form field is left blank yet? I wish to allow users to update database information via a form, but I do not want the existing data in a field to be deleted if the user leaves a form field blank.

Is there a way to achieve this in the Airtable UI and not third-party apps?

Is it possible to add to the photos via this form submission instead of replacing all the photos with the update form? For example, photos 1, 2, and 3 already exist in the data. A user used the update form and uploads image 4. So it would update the data to have photos 1, 2, 3, and 4. As it is not, it replaces photos 1, 2, and 3 with just photo 4.

Thanks for reading!

Airtable Account: Free Plan
Records: 1,200/1,200 1000/1000 (I might have to find a different solution soon)
Automation Runs: ??/100
Extensions: 1/1 (TinyPNG Compression Script, looking for free alternatives)
2 Replies 2

My workaround for this involves creating a form link with all of the current data prefilled, allowing the user to update the fields they need to while leaving the existing data there.  Each of these submissions is linked to a single record in the "Data" table, and I use a rollup field with `MAX(values)` to identify the latest submission and display the data from it.  This data is what's used for the form prefill as well

You wouldn't be able to display the currently attached files with this method I'm afraid, but with reference to your example of a user uploading image 4, if, in your data table, you added a lookup to the attachments field, you'd end up with a lookup field displaying photos 1, 2, 3 and 4

Anxious
7 - App Architect
7 - App Architect

Prefilling a form is impossible for me because my table is so massive and would exceed the 16,000 character limit. But, I think I found a workaround. A very tedious workaround, but it works.

As far as I can tell, you are allowed to create as many views as you want. This gave me an idea.

I started creating a form for each field. Each form only has one field on it. When the form is filled out, it only updates the one field that is in the form and leaves the other fields' data untouched! Yay!

Basically, if the field is NOT on the form, the update automation will leave that field alone. 🙂

The cons:

  • This eats up the 100 automations that are allocated per month (free user), as you need 1 automation per field. (Unless someone has a better idea?)
  • You have to create a link for each form, doubling your fields. You can group like fields together I guess and have a few fields on each form. Maybe I can figure out how the button field type works?

I have a few more ideas, but I do not see them working out. 😅

Airtable Account: Free Plan
Records: 1,200/1,200 1000/1000 (I might have to find a different solution soon)
Automation Runs: ??/100
Extensions: 1/1 (TinyPNG Compression Script, looking for free alternatives)