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Enter and Edit Data Across Joined Tables?

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Samir_Ghosh
7 - App Architect
7 - App Architect

Entering and editing data in one logical form that is stored in multiple joined tables seems like such a common use case (e.g., contacts with addresses and phone numbers; invoices with company and line items; etc.).  Yet, this seems difficult (impractical at best) natively in AirTable.  

How are people solving this?  Is the only solution really to pay $$$ for additional tools?  Or write complex scripts?

Any thoughts/advice much appreciated!

13 Replies 13
Heather_Hale
7 - App Architect
7 - App Architect

Bump.

(Shared Need/Desire/App Wish List)

ScottWorld
18 - Pluto
18 - Pluto

@Samir_Ghosh 

Yep, it's a very sad state of affairs that has been going on for almost a decade.

I would highly recommend Fillout for these purposes -- this seems to be the #1 best solution right now, and it's very inexpensive. They even have a very generous free plan, so most of my Airtable consulting clients aren't even paying for it.

p.s. If 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

May I know what issues you're facing using Airtable's guide on how to update records via form submissions? 

Samir_Ghosh
7 - App Architect
7 - App Architect

Thanks @TheTimeSavingCo for that guide.  a) It seems very klugey and complex for a simple use case, and b) I don't think it addresses the more common use cases. 

It is very common to use joined (linked) tables, right?  In fact, it's probably safe to say that only the most simple use cases do not have a join.  Currently, if you want to simply enter a new contact into a basic address/CRM application, I believe you have to enter in the person info into a person table, then create a new record in the address table and link it, then create new records in phone and email tables and those and link them all back.  This is such a common use case, I figure most AirTable users are doing this.  But how?  The native way is too painful.AirTableJoinForm.png

@Samir_Ghosh

Your chart is 100% on point, except for the $$$ part with 3rd-party apps. It might not cost you that much money (if any) for the 3rd-party solutions. Fillout has a generous free plan, and Make has a generous free plan as well. Many of my Airtable consulting clients are not paying for these tools, even though they use them everyday.

However, your overall point is correct, which is that 3rd-party solutions are often necessary with Airtable. I know that using 3rd-party solutions isn't ideal, but sadly, that's what most of my clients have do to get the full power out of Airtable.

I came from 30 years of FileMaker development, which is the REAL ANSWER for people who want infinite power in a database program with no limitations. FileMaker also does EVERYTHING within one app, so you don't normally need to use 3rd-party tools with FileMaker. But -- FileMaker is a full blown programming language, so people typically need to hire a certified developer to create their FileMaker app for them.

Samir_Ghosh
7 - App Architect
7 - App Architect

Thanks @ScottWorld!  I was wondering how folks are solving for this.  I'll check those out.  But I am baffled why AT wouldn't include this basic and common capabilities natively or in Interfaces.

Ha, it is a much deeper conversation about why Airtable continues to ignore its customers' needs for almost 10 years now. They are, by far, the most frustrating technology company that I have ever worked with in my entire life.

Samir_Ghosh
7 - App Architect
7 - App Architect

In Fillout, are you sure you can push values from one form to different tables in AirTable?

When I click on Integrations for the form, it forces me to pick a table for that form (not per field in the form).

Yes, you do it through linked record fields.