How to set the value of a Single Select field on child records?

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6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

I’m trying to build an inventory management system and I’d like to rollup multiple components into a kit. I imagine I would do this via Kits and Components tables. What I would like to have happen is that when I move (I intend to use the Kanban view) a kit into the Checked Out state that all the components would, likewise, have the same Status applied to them.

I could do this via the API but without callbacks (argh!) it wouldn’t be real-time like I want it to be.

I know there’s the Lookup field where I can lookup the Status of the parent record but this has a big limitation in that the result doesn’t take the format of the parent’s field. In other words, the Lookup field is just a text field instead of a Single Select which, in turn, means I can’t view Components with a Kanban view.

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Is it that essential to be able to view Components in a kanban view? For instance, you wouldn’t ordinarily wish to move individual components separately from the Kit containing them (aside, perhaps, from being able to indicate their being moved into inventory).

If you do need to track Components by a select field, there is a workaround: After Kit-level manipulation but before any Component-level processing, copy-and-paste the entire column of Component statuses looked up from the containing Kits into an equivalent single-select column.

Obviously, if you truly need real-time updates — and, again, I suggest modeling the probable task flow in detail, to make sure you’re not straining to support a process flow that will rarely if ever happen — this won’t work. If you can live with almost-realtime you can automate the copy-and-paste using a service such as Zapier. If you need true realtime, you’ll have to go to the API and most likely craft a bespoke UI that will handle both the change in Kit status and the status change of the components it contains.

I’ll have to discuss this with the person that’s going to responsible for managing the data. It’s probably not required to view the components as a Kanban but I think being able to would make using the system easier.

Thanks for the reply!

If it’s a nice-to-have for reporting and administration, then see if the
copy-and-paste method will suffice. I’ve recommended users make it the
final task following data entry, which leaves the base up-to-date and
permits any reporting or monitoring that requires the select field to be
populated. (I follow a similar procedure on a couple personal bases
where I want to be able to use select options for color-coding records
or generating charts.) In most cases, folks discover there is enough of
an ebb and flow of use cases across the business day for even an
entirely manual workaround to fit seamlessly within the business process.

I’d love to hear how this turns out. I started outlining a similar
kitting and bundling system a few months ago, only to have the project
yanked because the client was upset Airtable’s iOS app didn’t support
the full feature set of its web version. I hadn’t gotten to play with
any of the fun part of the code before the plug was pulled, so I’m
interested to know of others’ experience in the same market space.