Changing dropdown labels breaks automation?

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5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Newbee to automations here and would like to hear if I’m doing this right because it feels wrong :slightly_smiling_face:

I added a couple of automations which change a status field based on conditions. So as “Action” I select “Update record”, select the table and record ID from the trigger.

But then when I add the fields to be changed and I select the “Status” field (which is a Single Select field type), I just get an free type text field instead of a dropdown with the labels/options from that Status field.

This seems to work fine as long as I type in the exact words/phrase used for the single select options, but if somewhere in the future someone changes the dropdown labels/options, this will then immediately break the automation without any kind of warning.

(well it wouldn’t “break” the automation in the sense that it would still run, but the automation would just keep using the old label which could cause all kinds of unintended things).

So… Is this indeed the way to create these kinds of automations in Airtable or is there a more foolproof solution?

1 Reply 1

In theory it is possible for you to use scripting to identify the underlying ids that Airtable uses for the single select values, and then have your automation make the updates with the id of the single select value.

However, I don’t recommend this. It requires using scripting to figure out the exact ids, and then in the automation itself you have no way of seeing what text value corresponds to the id, which also makes maintenance difficult.

You are better off stating in the field description that the value is set in the automation, so if someone chances the value in the field configuration the person knows to change the automation as well. Plus, train anyone with creator access to know that changing field configurations should not be done lightly.