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Merge 2 fields to another to keep a record of changes

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Chris_Messina1
4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

Hello!

I’m trying to merge the data from 2 separate fields whenever they are updated into another field to keep a history of those changes.

The first field is date and time, the second field is a single select of location. Ideally, this information would just automatically copy to the next line down of a long text field whenever it’s changed.

I have no idea the best way to go about this. Thanks for your help in advance!

32 Replies 32

This should work normally…
Is the three dots in the fields input set to “Field values”?
formating2

It sure is. Is that correct?

Yes it should be “Field values”.
Can I copy an example of your table?
-Can’t figure out what went wrong…

I don’t think so. There’s too much confidential information in the table that I’d have to remove, even if I don’t include the records. Maybe @Rebecca_Elam will be able to chime back in and see an issue. Thanks for your help thus far.

I see…
the only thing I can think of is the little gap in your formula-
formating3
-but I tried it this way and it worked too…
hope you’ll find a solution… good luck!

It’s always scary to see so much activity regarding an extremely simple requirement. It suggests Airtable may be missing something very basic, and surely it is missing many very basic things; change logs is one of them.

This is a good approach but it has some downsides -

  1. The context of the change history is external to the data related to the history. This can be overcome with linking as pointed out, but even so, this can be disconcerting and less than an ideal UX for every-day people.

  2. Complexities and volume created as a result of logging relationships can create a number of performance issues depending on the velocity of change.

  3. When it comes to sorting, reporting, exporting, and a variety of possible compliance objectives associated with the logs, it’s a double-edge-sword. What if the log data needs to be tamper proof?

@Chris_Messina1 asked for a very simple approach; I’m not sure there is one and I wonder why the folks at On-to-Air don’t have a tool for this?

Thanks for chiming in, Bill. I was very surprised Airtable didn’t already have this feature, but ,for all of it’s power, I’ve been surprised at what it’s lacking quite a few times

The formula and automation @Rebecca_Elam came up with works perfectly in our test Tables. So it’s a great option for other people needing this feature. We’re just having an issue with the automation in my table.

is ‘out to history’ populated in your test record? it will need to have a value to pass testing.
Is Rich text turned on for the out to history field?

It is not populated as not every item has an “out to history” yet. Do I just need to fake something in there for the calculation to run and then undo it?

Rich text is not turned on. Should it be?

Thanks!

Yes to both of those questions. You really only need to populate it on the record you’re testing against. do you know how to see the record your trigger is using to test? If not I would just add any Emoji, word, letter, number, symbol whatever to every record that field is empty in. Make sure whatever you use to fill the empty cells DOES NOT look like your real data or you wont know which ones are real and which ones are fake to go back and undo the fake ones.