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One Base or More?

Topic Labels: Base design
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5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

I am a solo lawyer but I collaborate on some of my cases with other lawyers.

I need to be able to see all of my cases in one place, but I need to share information with the other lawyers only for the cases that they are involved with and they need edit-level permission.  “Views” are not sufficient to share information in a usable format, so I have created “interfaces” to do that.  The problem is that interface sharing seems to require base-level collaborator access, but all of the cases are currently in one base and based off one master table with several related linked tables for specific things.

Under this arrangement, some of the data for cases that are not associated with a given collaborating lawyer may be visible to those nonaffiliated lawyers, but it is impossible to know or to control that easily.

I don’t know whether to divide the cases into bases according to the co-counsel or not.  If I did separate the cases into separate bases, I would still want to have one interface that only I could consult for a global overview, with identical separate interfaces for each co-counsel that would limit the view to only their cases, i.e. only the cases in their bases.  My overview would just aggregate that information, or perhaps be in a synced table that pulled in all co-counsel cases.  I don’t know. Looking for advice or consulting help.

Thanks in advance!

6 Replies 6
18 - Pluto
18 - Pluto

Keep all the cases in one base, and create a field whose type is a "User" field. This is where you will attach a lawyer to each case.

Airtable's interfaces allow you to filter an interface page by "CURRENT USER", so when the user logs into the interface, they will only see their cases.

When you share an interface, you DON'T need to give them base access. You can give them access to just the interface.

More details on this page:

p.s. If you have a budget for your project and you’d like to hire an expert Airtable consultant to help you with any of this, please feel free to contact me through my website: Airtable consultant — ScottWorld 

6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

Hi Doug,
How feasible is it to maintain a field with the relevant lawyers for each record? You should be able to create a filter for the interface which only ever shows information specific to the user. This would be at Edit Level. Additionally, if you have a business account you can set up interface permissions for groups of users.

Thanks Megan - I do have a field for which co-counsel the case is connected to, but it looks like collaborators (which they are) can see all of my interface pages, including ones that are NOT set to filter only for the cases connected the individual collaborators.  I do have interfaces made for them individually that are just right - those show only the cases connected to those collaborators.  But I am afraid that AT won't let me also have interfaces for just me that include ALL the cases but are not even visible to the collaborators (that's the gist of what AT support seems to be telling me).

I'm not at my PC so I can't check this but I have a hunch - Are you making the assumption that interface pages which are NOT set to filter will be hidden to everyone? Instead, if we assume no filter = visible to everyone, can you explicitly add yourself as a filtered user - thereby none of the pages would be unfiltered, they'd be filtered to just you or just you plus your clients?

5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Thanks Scott.

This is the part I don't get:  "When you share an interface, you DON'T need to give them base access. You can give them access to just the interface." When I try to set the user field, I seem to be required to invite the users into the entire base with permissions that include editing . . . well I don't know what now that I think of it.  Currently these are billable collaborators because I thought I had no other choice.  I will set them to "editor" and hope that AT knows enough to only let them edit records that they are associated with.



I do want the co-counsel to be able to edit their records from the interface, but AT's help pages all make that seem impossible.  Before I just try it and see what happens, are there any risks to doing that?

Also I just realized that a "user" field is a field type, whereas I have just been assigning these people to a multi-choice field that I created.  Maybe I will try adding a "user" field for them and seeing if I can shift the logic to that, then delete my existing field if need be (or just hide it - don't want to fix every hidden dependency upon which all else rests at this point).