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5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Hello Everyone!

I am currently designing a product manufacturing pipeline on airtable. My company manufactures a variety of products, each with a different process. I want to be able to fill out a form that allows me to specify which product I want to manufacture, and based on the inputs in the form, it automatically generates a base that contains all the steps needed to manufacture a specific product. The steps would be generated based on the different inputs in the form.

5 Replies 5

Hi William, and welcome to the community!

I’m almost certain this is not possible. It may be possible to build a table programmatically, but likely only through a Custom App (a decidedly deep effort with React Javascript). This organizational approach is not effortless in Airtable because so few want to do it this way. Vendors don’t roll out the red carpet for fringe ideas.

Whether it’s wise to build a base for each product is a deeper subject, but I must assume you have reasons for compartmentalizing your data in Airtable this way. But if you proceed with such a data model by separating product development information in bases, you create a few other challenges such as (but not limited to) -

  • There’s no way to search across bases.
  • Comments about product (a) could never be seen by users in product (b).
  • There would be no way to easily roll up the product information or development status in a unified report.
  • I could go on for about an hour…

My reminder is simply that information in a database is typically more useful when it can be aggregated and Airtable bases are more like databases and less like spreadsheets.

Thank you so much for the elaborate reply. I recognize that having a whole new base created might be a lot to ask for.

What if I wanted to do the following instead.

I would create a form that contains multiple drop down menus. In one dropdown I can specify product type, in another I can specify certain embellishments the product will have. Depending on the items I choose it will return to me a duration of the project + cost + who I need to involve in the process.

Is this feasible or equally as complicated?

Yes, this is a more practical way of thinking about your data.

This will result in a unified data model where at any time, you can group by embellishments or product type. Furthermore, you’ll be able to create separate Airtable views by type and apply filters that rule in (or out) records based on other data attributes or the embellishment fields for example.

If you keep everything in one base, you could run a Scripting automation that creates new records in a “steps/tasks” table based on the inputs of the form.

You would need three tables: one for the intake form, one table of task templates with information on the steps/tasks involved, and a third table for the actual steps/tasks generated by the script.

Even though the tasks for different product instances would be in the same table, you could group them by product instance.

5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

You guys are awesome!!!

Thanks :grinning_face_with_big_eyes: