Adding user but restricting from deleting fields (it's too easy deleting fields by accident)

Topic Labels: Base design
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Is it possible to add users to the base and restricting them on a more granular level - prevent the user from deleting fields (columns) in the table. All other editing functions should be unlocked, that is creating views and deleting views even deleting records.

I know at least in theory I could achieve something like this idea by using synced tables (?Right?), but I believe the synced tables add too many restrictions. I am wondering if there is any other way around the security setup for the user.

To be honest I haven’t look too much around, just looked at the collaborators dialogue settings hoping I could see something like that there but it’s not there. Collaborating is something I haven’t used yet, so maybe I am missing something here?

Basically I this is to create the limited user for myself. I am always concerned deleting fields by mistake. The menu option Hide and Delete are so notoriously close to each other. It happened to me a couple of times already when I clicked Delete instead of Hide the field and only found about it later.

I wish there was a same warning for deleting field as it is for deleting whole tables. But I understand some users may find this annoying if adding and deleting fields often. Although I believe Airtable is a database and should not be used in such a way that I would need to delete fields often. The database should be setup well and then using views to be able to filter out what is needed.

This is the warning that would be needed for deleting fields.

4 Replies 4

Hello @itoldusoandso!

Truthfully, I think that a simple Ctrl-Z is your solution to most issues or hiccups in base/table configurations.

The other thing to point out is that Airtable has a solid base history management functionality that allows you to easily restore fields, views, tables, records, etc.

I don’t exactly remember how long Airtable stores your revision history.
My account holds a three year revision history, but that’s overkill.
I think the lowest that they offer is something like six months.


Sorry for all the blurs - possible PII :slightly_smiling_face:

Usually this is accomplished by granting the user editor permissions, but not creator permissions. Editors can add/delete records and create personal views, but not add/delete fields.

On the other hand, it is not possible to demote oneself from creator to editor in your own workspace without using a completely different account.

One technique to avoid accidentally deleting fields is to always hide fields from the toolbar, and not in the grid view.

@Ben.Young I think you are on an enterprise plan. Most of us don’t reach that high :winking_face:

Yes that is helpful, I have 1 years of history no the Pro account and that saved my skin already a few times, without a doubt the best feature of Airtable, no kidding. But it’s not fun when I deleted it and don’t even know when deleted. Good luck going through 3 years of history. I know, better than licking the wounds, but it’s just walking on the eggshells when it could be made just a bit more secure easily by tweaking things, optional of course, who doesn’t like can disable the prompt.

However, @kuovonne this may solve this issue, I will look at the separate account even if I need to pay 2 accounts, whatever, just to avoid deleting the columns, it’s driving me nuts.

So 2 accounts … and I share the whole workspace with another user and I set the users as Editor. Good. I’ll check it out.

Just a quick note, it looks to me the Field is the only thing that can’t be locked within the same account. I can lock adding/deleting records and lock pretty much anything in the view from changing it. But deleting field can’t be locked. So for now doing the 2 accounts is the only solution.

When locking fields it would make sense to lock the Fields from deleting too. If the view is sorted by that field, or grouped or filtered, and the field gets deleted, the whole view gets messed up. So there is no point locking all other things in the view without also locking the Fields from being deleted. I guess it is an oversight by Airable team.