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Table inheritance - 'Is a' relationship

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4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

Is there a way to setup ‘is-a’ relationship among tables?

ex: We have a Person table with atttributes like email, name etc.
We want to setup Employee table that inherits all attributes of Person but has more attributes like salary etc.

Is it possible to setup “Employee is a (Inherits from) Person” relationship?

3 Replies 3

No, you can’t. I think you have 2 options here:

  1. Merge that information in Person table, using Views to Hide the fields you don’t want and Filter the records.
  2. Use Lookup fields to reflect the inherited data.

Based on the nature of the base one or the other could be better.

I am trying to utilize the lookup fields but when I go to use the result in a formula, the shortcoming is that it will create a circular reference. I have an accounts table and a parent accounts field which links to another record in the same table. Is there a way to break the circular reference in this scenario?

Circular references are a bit of a pain in Airtable. Airtable determines if something is a circular reference based on the field definitions, not how records are actually linked. You can create a gap in the circular logic, and then use an automation to bridge that gap by having the automation copy the lookup value into an editable field. However, note that you can end up using a lot of automation runs very quickly when implementing a system like this.