Re: Sharing a base between a paid and a free user?

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6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

Hi all,
I am a free user and I´ve been sharing a few bases with other free users for a while.
I am thinking of upgrading my account to a paid subscription, but I am afraid this might affect collaboration with non paid users. How does this work?
If this sort of collaboration is possible what happens to the product features available only for paid subscriptors when working on a shared base?

55 Replies 55
4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

I will add my voice to the thread. We are at the same cross-roads where I would like to upgrade to utilize the PRO level features but that is needed across the team. A role base pricing structure would make a lot of sense, where an Admin / Manager / Lead type role would pay more and then the Doer role would. I would think that it would greatly increase the number of paid users and, in turn, the userbase as a whole. I could see a pricing structure something like:

Admin - $20/user/mth - Full Creation / Configuration / Feature Access
Manger / Lead - $10/user/mth – Full Feature Access / Dashboards
Doer - $3/user/mth - Can Edit Data/ Cannot Configure
Guest - Free – 5 edits/day (if granted editing permissions by owner)

I have been using AirTable as a free user for a while now and am very happy with how extensible it is. As a work group, our department is using free version of Trello which is OK though I am not a big fan. We also have another department using JIRA, which I have used in past and it also represents a good solution. I would like to upgrade the group to using AirTable and dashboards will be a key part of that justification, but if we have to pay 20/user/mth to get that, it is a show stopper and we will look to other solutions.

5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

In the same boat… would be paying for airtable happily but I need a way to give contractors some minor utility above “read-only”.

I don’t think anyone here is asking for a free lunch for additional users on our pro/premium plans, but there’s an obvious permissions level missing.

There should be another permissions level (“box checker account”) that could Check boxes for job completion, move a single select menu from “in progress” to “complete”, adding some job notes to a file, etc…

They don’t need any authority on higher level actions like to create bases, create views, create column headings or to download .CSV’s or any of that.

I think you’d engage many more people having it like this and put them on the path to becoming a paid user.

I know I’m not the only one who can envision their entire team growing into paid users because of the additional functionality, but I can’t start there.

If airtable already has many teams who are paying for the additional users directly for the functionality of “box checking” and minor file updates and you don’t want to lose them, look at the data and see if there’s a way to add the “box checker” permission level but add in a “punishment” for doing it that keeps them from being upset that they’ve paid for it and you offer it for free.

Maybe for each “box checking” account that is unpaid the premium user loses 10gigs of cloud storage, or several months of rollback, or maybe there is a hard-limit of only 2-3 “box checking” accounts per upgraded plan. Don’t lose any of your people paying for these teams, but drop a bridge to the rest of your creative customers to pay you. There are lots of people who want to add some “box checker” access and would sacrifice other utility at the premium level to have a few accounts.

4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

We are a non-profit with a small team and also volunteers. To pay for the additional features, each person (employee or volunteer) would have to pay for their own access to it, as we do not have the budget to cover it, even with the non-profit discount. This means we will have to stay on the free plan for now, although I personally would be willing to pay for the pro plan. It makes it unusable for us if only I have editing rights. This also means we have to keep a lot of our database usage in a different programme, because of the limit on the records.

It would be great if there was a solution where free accounts have some editing rights to pro-created projects, so those of us who want to support your product through a paid plan and are in a position to do so can, without locking out everyone else.

4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

Adding my vote for a paid tier that allows for “box checker” functionality. As a project manager, I’m loving what AirTable can do, and would be happy to upgrade, but I’m forced to stay on the Free version because if I upgrade, I’ll lose a huge piece of functionality (allowing my team to update task statuses, adding estimates, etc.). There’s no way I can justify the cost of upgrading the entire team at the pro rate, but I could definitely justify upgrading me to the pro rate, and then all my team members at a reduced “pro data-editing” rate.

5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

We have a production team of 6 that uses Airtable and about 70 other people who only need to comment or add an attachment. has guest features where guests can comment and make minor changes to shared views basically for free with only the heavy users that are paid. Please make this a thing!

4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

We’re at a point where we need to upgrade to a Pro account. We have 2 primary users who need edit access and everyone else on our team only needs to be assigned as a collaborator (so they receive a notification when a record is assigned to them) and to have Commenter access. But even users with only Commenter access are billable, and we can’t afford to pay for everyone to upgrade to Pro. We’d love to pay you for our Editors, but we can’t do that without either paying for the Commenters or downgrading them to read-only, which doesn’t solve our business need. So that leaves us stuck on the free plan for now.

I was considering upgrading to pro, trying to decide if I needed the enhanced features, and after reading through this thread I’m very hesitant. I am a consultant. Each of my projects represents a collaboration between at least 20 people, and the one I’m considering using Airtable for right now would be more like 100 people. Each of them would access the database over 2-3 months to add their expert knowledge to the data. Adding them as pro users for 2-3 months ($6000) was not in my budget. If I use a form, can they just submit their info that way, without really becoming an airtable “user”?

Because I still don’t understand what it will affect (like can I upgrade one workspace for bases it makes sense for, and not upgrade another workspace where I need the massive collaboration opportunity?) I’m afraid to upgrade anything.


Absolutely, though be aware that forms can only be used to add new records, not editing existing records (unless you implement some workarounds in your table structures). You can also create read-only views that are embedded into a website if these temp-users need to view any of your tables.

Thanks, I think I was starting to figure that out. The link you shared is fantastic! (The learning curve in airtable is steep, in a good way… you become adept at understanding how to use it quickly.) The read-only web embed was actually the first thing that convinced me to look deeper at airtable for meeting more of my client needs. Really appreciate you taking the time to respond.


4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer


I read this. But I am sorry. I am now quite confused.

I have a pro account. But someone is helping me to set this up. So I just shared the air table sheet with him. Can he now use the tools and set this up for me? I will not set this up at all. He will but I have the paid and he has the free account.