Re: Can we create this search tool in Airtable?

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5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Our nonprofit needs some guidance, please. Can we create this search tool in Airtable?

We will have a database of colleges.

4k rows
2 fields:
• college name
• URL of college page on a separate website.

We would need to embed the search tool in our separate website via an iframe or JS.

Visitor starts typing name of college.
As they type, they see a shrinking list of matches. Match might not be at the beginning of what they type. For instance, if they type “Texas,” they would see all of: Texas A&M and also University of Texas.

When they click a college name, that takes them to the URL for that college on our website.

We could also have them click a link adjacent to the selected college’s name.

If we cannot do this in Airtable, we would welcome suggestions on a no-code app that would let us do this.

Thank you very much!

11 Replies 11

Hi @Robert_Tolmach1,
I guess you could put this in Airtable. What are the specifics of your website?

Sounds like you just need a javascript search box for your website, try this example, in the lower right hand quadrant: jQuery toggleClass example - JSFiddle - Code Playground. Does the list change very often that you need to update it constantly?

Thank you very much!

I tried your demo. Cool!

We will embed this in a page of our nonprofit site, Changing The Present, which is built on the Shopify e-commerce platform.

The site has a Shopify app search tool, but we need to keep this college search completely separate from our regular search. We would just embed it in a page, which we can create with the drag-and-drop page-builder.

There are 4k colleges. They would change very infrequently. Maybe a few edits per week.

We could store the datatable in Airtable, Google Sheets, or something similarly simple.

As you might infer, we have minimal tech expertise. Like, almost none. We had been looking for a no-code solution, since we would not even know how to create a javascript search box, as you describe, nor where to store the data and connect it. (SQL is over our heads, too).

We welcome your further thoughts and guidance.

With gratitude,

The example I sent you has the list of Colleges is in the HTML, so you do not need to set up a database.

I fear this may not be as simple as placing an iframe somewhere on your site, you may need to reach out to the person(s) that maintains your website.

But, I have been wrong before.

A lot depends on how picky you are about he user experience. You can embed a shared view of an Airtable that has Airtable’s own filter/sort features. It is not exactly the user experience you described, but has similar functionality. The shared view could include a button that opens the desired url.

Keep in mind that for 4,000 records you would need at least a “plus” plan that is normally $10/month/user. Your non-profit might be able to get non/profit pricing that cuts this amount in half.

If you have a lot of budget, you can look into portals like Softr, Pory, and Glide that can also have search functionality. Note that they all will have additional monthly charges and the experience won’t be exactly as you described either.

And what if they type TX, or A&M, or UT?

Thank you for your further time and thoughts. I have feelers out on how to embed that into a page. It is way over my head. Will let you know what we discover.
Be well!

Thank you for your guidance. We will look further at Airtable, as well as Softr, Pory, and Glide. My head spins at how many things are out there.

Hi Bill,

Great question!

If they type “A&M” they would see Texas A&M, Georgia A&M, etc.

If they type TX or UT, they would not see anything under my scenario. But we could add additional text to the records or add additional rows, such as “University of Texas (UT)” and “University of Tennessee (UT)” so if they type UT, they would see both of them, each linking to the corresponding college page.

Precisely why you need an inverted full-text search index like this which makes it possible to perform fuzzy searches.