Looking for help with email automation

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5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

After spending the entire day trying to figure out on my own, I have decided to employ some help!

I have a form setup where my techs can upload info and photos that populate a filtered view. 

Once the form is submitted, it triggers an email to be sent to my inbox with all of the attached photos. It ONLY works when done on a phone and does not work when the form is completed on a regular browser. If done on a desktop the automation fails. 

Additionally, when the form is completed on the form, only some of the photos are attached in the automated email. 

The end goal here is to then take this email and have PowerAutomate or Zappier to load it into my OneDrive.



8 Replies 8

You mentioned Zapier, but I would highly recommend using Make instead. The main problems that I have with Zapier are best described by discussing the main advantages that Make has over Zapier:

1. Make has none of the limitations that Zapier has. Just as one example out of dozens of examples, Zapier only allows 3 conditional branches, whereas Make allows unlimited conditional branches. Also, Make has a purely visual drag-and-drop environment that makes it much easier to visualize entire automations.

2. Make is SIGNIFICANTLY more powerful than Zapier. Probably a million times more powerful. Lol. For example, Make has an entire library of hundreds of functions & tools built into the platform that let you manipulate your data -- including groups of Airtable records at once, which Zapier doesn't allow -- in ways that Zapier doesn't allow at all.

3. Make is SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than Zapier, even though it is way more powerful than Zapier.

4. Make has much better tech support than Zapier.

However, the one downside to Make is that 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. There are also many Make experts hanging out there who can answer other Make questions.

17 - Neptune
17 - Neptune

That's...pretty weird.  I'd be happy to take a look at this for you if you'd like, just DM me an invite link

I've got an automation that triggers when a form is submitted and it sends an email via Outlook with all the attachments from the form just fine.  May I know why you're using "when record enters view" instead of "when form submitted"?

I have tried both triggers with the same result. Sending invite now.

Hi @bguegain

Are you setting up the attachments as a dynamic reference to your attachments field? (the little gear icon next to the Attachments field in your "Send an Email" step settings)

Attachment URLs expire after 2 hours so putting them directly in the email body or in the attachments field could be why Airtable is complaining. That said, it's interesting that it works on one app and not the other.

Another suspicion is that the attachments aren't fully loaded into Airtable before the automation is firing. You might try changing your automation to "when a form is submitted" and using a conditional action instead of a view to filter which submissions trigger the email. This might cause Airtable to wait for the attachments to be loaded whereas creating a record might not (I haven't tested this theory). I suspect it works on mobile because the attachments are fully loaded into Airtable before the automation is firing (the clue being the error message of "An attachment url is disallowed" which is telling me a text URL is populating the attachments field rather than attachment objects).

Hope that helps


Can you send a snip of where this gear icon would be? I cannot find this.

Ah my mistake, the Attachments field is actually dynamic by default. You won't need to click the gear icon that appears for other fields in Automations step settings.

So in that case I think it might have to do with the timing of loading the attachments into Airtable before the automation tries to access them and send in an email. If this is true, this sounds like a bug.

Well thanks for all the help! Ill keep trying to find a work around!

I would write a script that continually checks the value of the attachments field when the automation triggers to see if it changes from a url string to an object (or observe how it changes). I bet the timing of when the form is submitted/record created and the attachment(s) fully copied into Airtable's CDN + ready to be referenced in an email automation is likely affected by the size of the attachment(s). I also bet form submitted attachments aren't fully stored by Airtable until the form is submitted (except when on mobile where files might need to be transferred to be referenced in the UI depending on the platform).

You could also test this theory on desktop by loading multiple large attachments into a form field, have an automation update another attachment field with this attachment and/or send in an email as soon as the form is submitted. If it fails, we'll know that we need to tell Airtable to wait from the time a form with attachments is submitted to the moment Airtable has finished copying the attachments into its CDN before proceeding to the next automation step.