Update a table rather than replace

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4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

Hi there,

I am using Airtable to design a system to manage form responses, hooked up to my form in JotForm. When a form submission comes in, I want to check whether the individual is a member of my organisation. I am currently doing this by exporting a csv from my membership database which is currently in Power Apps and uploading it to a table in the same base as my form response data. The Power Apps system is an old system that needs updating, however this is beyond my control right now. I then run an automation matching these form entries with the membership data, importing their membership number into the form response table in the base if they match and flagging that they are not a member with a tick box if no match is found. 

The membership data is updated weekly, and so I am dragging and dropping the latest csv version of the membership data into Airtable every week. However, this breaks my automations as it considers this to be new data in a new table rather than an update of the membership table I already had. This membership data can be as large as 26000 rows so I can't just add it to the older data and then remove duplicates, as it goes over the 50k row limit. Is there functionality to just drag and drop to 'update' this table rather than 'replace', so my automations don't break. Any other solution suggestion greatly appreciated! Thank you. 

1 Reply 1
18 - Pluto
18 - Pluto

You have lots of different options here.

1. First, you can simply use Make’s JotForm integrations and Make’s Airtable integrations to merge or add your form submissions from JotForm directly into Airtable. Make has created its own special Upsert module for Airtable.

There can be a bit of a learning curve with Make, which is why I created this basic navigation video for Make, along with providing the link to Make’s free training courses.

2. You can always use Airtable’s Import CSV extension, which lets you merge duplicates instead of adding duplicates, while still adding new records.

However, the big problems here are that you’d have to run it manually (it can’t be automated), and I’ve had major problems using that extension with more than 4,000 or 5,000 records at a time, so it may not work for you unless you break up all of your CSV data into smaller chunks. It can become a real pain to use, especially if you have to do it regularly.

3. The more robust and fully-automated way of doing this would be to use Make’s automations and integrations, which has its own CSV parsing tools built into the product. You would just drop your CSV file into a cloud storage folder (like a Google Drive folder), and then it would either merge the contact or add the contact in Airtable.

I demonstrate how to use this technique on this Airtable podcast episode.

p.s. I am the top Airtable & Make expert amongst all of the Airtable consultants, so 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 consulting — ScottWorld