Circular Reference with linked tables

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This is not possible to do in AirTable.

It results in Circular Reference.


My main table has over 200 fields so I was trying to build a “relief” sister table to take some of the fields and move them. So each table individual records would be linked. Every time I create a record in Main table with 150 fields (filled and computed fields), the sister table would have a linked record created and I would fill in some of 50 fields (some are computed).

It all worked until but now I am at the end of the effort and found out I can’t do that because it creates a circular reference.

From what I see, circular reference in AirTable is different from circular reference in Excel. I paid attention to make sure I don’t create the type of circular reference one would get in Excel. But with linked Tables in AirTable there is another aspect that needs to be taken into consideration, and that is the PRIMARY field of table because that Primary field can’t be computed using a Formula IF the result of the field is computed from another field from a linked table.

The drawing shows my situation but of course much simplified to give the general idea.

The reason I was doing it to have less fields in the Main Table. Yes, I can use Views etc… but it’s just difficult to deal with many fieds in AirTable, because:

  1. Can’t natively find a field quickly (e…g I can’t search the field and have the view to jump to that field)… (except maybe using apps)
  2. Reordering fields by dragging and dropping is a bit sluggish (depends on internet connection and machine speed)
  3. Doing changes to the table while having so many fields is difficult because too stuff to plow through in general (e.g. while having many different views with different configuration, and if new fields were added in the table, the fields will need to be moved around in views manually because new fields are added at the end of fields in these various additional views … and I can’t copy the “order” because each view has a different order)
  4. Trying to keep the field names short and having so many fields with short names makes it hard to distinguish them when naming changes in the table.

Anyhow, I am not complaining about it, I am just explaining the reasons I was going to build this structure to have that sister table to way I have designed it.

Solution: There is a solution to this where I would use Automation in TABLE_AAA to COPY contents from Field_51 into another “staging” field, let’s call it Field_51_staging_field. then Automation would copy the contents from Field_51 into Field_51_staging_field. Then I can use the formula in Field_1 to point to Field_51_staging_field.

It’s a crazy work-around but I don’t know what else would be a solution… other than move the fields from the Sister table back to the Main table.

Let me know if there is anything else that could be used to resolve.


OK, never mind. I gave up on this setup and have merged both tables back into one. AirTable is not Excel and what I was trying to do is not how AirTable works. So that’s fine.

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