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Re: Alter a Primary Field without affecting Linked Fields

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Craig_Toohey
5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Hi there community,

I've been using Airtable for 6-8 months now, mainly as a way to keep track of material prices for a prefabricated home manufacturing operation.  Purchase orders and requests for quotes are entered into the system and a cascading set of tables with increasing levels of specificity allow me to view material prices by something as refined as a supplier SKU and something as broad as "dimensional lumber" - by ft2, bd ft, ln ft, or whatever other metric I want to have.  All that to say that the structure is pretty well built out and working quite well for me, but the more I build it out the more I am intimated by changes like the one I want to make (though I do know that I can duplicate a base to play around there and not risk losing key relationships in the data).

We're looking at more heavily integrating this directly with the design software we use (Cadwork), and I've realized that the mechanism by which I've developed my Product IDs - a formula field that combines several fields using a concatenate function - is no longer perfect.  What I'd like to do is change the formula field to calculate the Product ID ever so slightly differently (to match with how the software can generate the same type of Product ID), but I fear that once I change this field, all other tables that reference it will now not recognize the Product ID and all of my data will become useless, as everything ultimately relates back to the Product ID.  

Does anyone have a suggestion for how I might go about changing the formula in the primary field in a table without losing all the references that other tables make to those primary field records?

Thanks in advance!

1 Solution

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kuovonne
18 - Pluto
18 - Pluto

Changing the formula used in the primary field will not change existing linked relationships. Linked records are linked to the record as a whole using an internal record ID. When you change the formula for the primary field, all records that were linked will remain linked. Any records that were not linked will remain unlinked.

However, if you have any automations based on the primary field or the linked records some of them might run depending on how they are configured. For example, the linked record field will be considered to be “updated” when the text in the field changes, even though the actual records linked has not changed. 

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2 Replies 2
kuovonne
18 - Pluto
18 - Pluto

Changing the formula used in the primary field will not change existing linked relationships. Linked records are linked to the record as a whole using an internal record ID. When you change the formula for the primary field, all records that were linked will remain linked. Any records that were not linked will remain unlinked.

However, if you have any automations based on the primary field or the linked records some of them might run depending on how they are configured. For example, the linked record field will be considered to be “updated” when the text in the field changes, even though the actual records linked has not changed. 

Wow that's great to know.  What I did do just to not lose any specificity that my old formula provided, was to just create a new field right next to the Primary Field with the old Primary Field text for reference, just in case 🙂

Indeed I've changed the formula on the primary field and now I can see that all the links remain intact!  What a relief!

 

Thank you!!