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Commit changes button in an Interface?

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Hi all – sorry if this has been discussed before, I had a search around and couldn’t find anything.

I’m using an Interface as the front-end to an Airtable → Zapier → Webflow CMS integration.

The interface contains a bunch of fields for content — headlines, body text, banner images etc – that I want users to be able to tinker with. However, I’d like to prevent changes from being sent to my Zapier automation until a user clicks “Save” … rather than the cells updating one-by-one as the user works their way through the interface.

Is there a straightforward way to make an Interface only commit the changes to the base on a button click? Or is my best bet to do this manually … i.e. make my Last Modified column only update when a certain button is pressed?

Many thanks in advance

Dave

1 Solution

Accepted Solutions

What is currently triggering the Zapier automation?

If you want the user to have a button experience, you can have a button element update an editable field (like a single-select) that is not editable from the interface. Then trigger Zapier from that field. The single select can have three values: pending changes, committing changes, up to date. (Or whatever verbiage you like.) An Airtable automation can set the value to “ pending changes” whenever there is a change. The button can change the single select to “committing changes”. The. Zapier can change the single select back to “up to date”.

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I generally like the fact that Airtable saves changes straightaway, but I too have experienced this problem of needing to get all my ducks in a row before an automation runs.

I do not think there is a way to have a “Commit” button. In FileMaker (where I’ve lived for the last couple of decades) every “view” (“layout” in FileMaker parlance) gave me the option to save immediately or wait for user to commit. I didn’t use the latter option often, but it was occasionally nice to have.

That said, I think you can generally accomplish this, and it’s not very difficult. One of the most userful triggers for automations is ‘When record enters a view’. I just tonight used it. I needed to make sure that data for several fields had been entered in full before an automation runs. So I created a view that I call TRIGGER: record complete. It is filtered to catch only records that are not empty in the three key fields that I want completed, and records that were created today. (That creation-date filter just prevents these records from sticking around in that view pointlessly.) When the conditions are met, the record appears in the view, and that triggers an automation that creates a record in a linked table.

I don’t use Zapier enough to be sure whether this will help you there, but this is very useful to me with Airtable automations.

@Dave_Lee The typically-recommended approach is to use a checkbox field or a single-select field to trigger your automation.

I would not recommended using “when a record enters a view” because it is too easy to accidentally change the filter on that view — even from other views (by changing fields on other views without realizing that your filter is being affected). One small change to your filter could accidentally trigger your automation for hundreds or thousands of records.

What is currently triggering the Zapier automation?

If you want the user to have a button experience, you can have a button element update an editable field (like a single-select) that is not editable from the interface. Then trigger Zapier from that field. The single select can have three values: pending changes, committing changes, up to date. (Or whatever verbiage you like.) An Airtable automation can set the value to “ pending changes” whenever there is a change. The button can change the single select to “committing changes”. The. Zapier can change the single select back to “up to date”.

Excellent suggestion! Thank you.