Re: Bug with duplicating events holding linked 1:1/many:1 relationships

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6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator


I think there is a bug with how duplicating records works:

  • I have a two tables linked together as many:1 - let’s say an “staff” table and a “role” record - where each staff member can only have one role, but the role can have many staff members assigned

  • I duplicate a role record

At this point I would expect the new role record to have no staff assigned as by having staff assigned it would break the rule of the staff record only having a single role

Instead what I find is that any staff members assigned to the original role now have two roles assigned - this should not be possible as “allow linking to multiple records” is turned off.

I can see why Airtable does it but it is bad and should not happen.

3 Replies 3

“Under the hood”, or rather in the Blocks API, the option for Record Link fields which controls whether in the Airtable environment (data view or Interface) you can manually add multiple records is called “prefers single record link” rather than what is displayed to users in the Field Config panel as “allow linking to multiple”

The under the hood terminology is more accurate. Airtable will only stop you from adding multiple records if you are manually doing so from inside Airtable’s table, expanded record, or Interface views.

I’m not sure what Airtable’s recourse here should be. You could have a dialog warn you that x number of Link Fields won’t carry over because they have “select one” turned on, but that won’t work for records created via Automations or API.

6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

Thanks - I must say Airtable seem to have made some very questionable decisions in some places - this being a great example. The fact that I have no way of stopping a user linking a record to multiple other records seems crazy, it breaks a load of my reporting and makes the whole system fragile

I feel it should break automations as - as far as I’m concerned - this behaviour breaks my model. If it is important that some users for some reason can break this then add an extra option but at least as a default the system should follow the rules you set

Just to add - there is never a circumstance that I know of where I would want to break this linking - the 1:1 and 1:many model is integral to the design of relational databased and the fact Airtable doesn’t properly support this seems like madness!