Help

Re: Best practices for delegating Airtable development & base design

619 1
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Karl_at_Easy_La
6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

Hi. I'm not sure if this it the right place to ask. At the moment, I handle all the Airtable development, base design, formulas, etc.

I would like to start looking into delegating this to a third-party, in order to be able to focus on other aspects of the business. My concern is how to do this in a way which safe-guards both my data, and as well the functionality of the existing base.

How can one control if any third-party knowingly/unknowingly breaks down part of the base? I assume any such third party would need Creator access, which would give them full access to everything. My concern is not access to data, but making sure that nothing breaks.

Apart from Airtable, we also use heavily Make (ex-Integromat) as well as Softr for an internal portal.  While I know that Airtable has snapshots, which one can recover to - one of the issues is that Airtable recovers into a new seperate base. Hence, any scenarios of Make would not be linked to the recovered base, and it would be quite a nightmare to re-map everything.

I would love if anyone could line out any best practices or workflows, how one can delegate both Airtable, as well as other similar no-code platforms easily and safely.

6 Replies 6

Unfortunately, Airtable doesn’t offer a development environment. Anybody with creator access can do anything in the base, so you can’t really ensure that nothing breaks because Airtable doesn’t offer any sandbox environments in which to test changes before rolling them out.

You might be able to have your hired consultant test all of their changes in a backup copy of your bases first, but similar to what you mentioned above, there is no easy nor quick way to bring those changes from a backup base into your production base.

Your best bet would probably be to find the most highly-trusted and most thoroughly-vetted consultant that you can find. Ideally, someone who not only has 5+ years of Airtable experience, but also has an extensive background in database development as well. For example, I am one of the most well-known Airtable consultants with 31 years of advanced database development experience. But I am also one of the most expensive.

Yeah that's what I thought, seems quite a pain to have versioning or testing capabilities.  Of course, years of experience will greatly help - but ultimately humans will make mistakes and it would be good to know that there is a possibility to roll back in that eventuality, which doesnt seem to be the case.

Apart from Airtable, is there any other no-code stack which you'd recommend, which is more geared towards versioning, testing, sandbox environments, etc?

My primary experience is with FileMaker and Airtable. FileMaker doesn't have versioning or sandboxing either, but at least you can work on copies of your databases with easier ways to migrate your changes between databases.

Jake_Wilson
6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

Hey Karl, there's quite a lot to discuss here.  Feel free to book 30 minutes with me here if you'd like to talk more in detail about your goals and requirements for delegating your Airtable/Make workflows.  I'd be happy to give you advice and answer any questions you have.  https://calendly.com/airtablegroup/chat-with-jake

 

 

Jake_Wilson
6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

To answer your question about versioning / testing, Airtable just bought Airplane.dev (https://www.airplane.dev/).  I've never used Airplane but based on some quick research, it looks like Airplane allows you to build internal tools with code.  I have no idea when we can expect to see Airplane's platform integrated with Airtable but this is something to look out for!

That sounds interesting. Never used or heard of Airplane, curious to see what it's about. And maybe it is somewhere along these lines.

I'll take a look at that link regarding a chat, thanks a lot!