Using Integromat (now Make) to append to a collaborator field

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5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

I’ve used @ScottWorld’s excellent suggestions from this post to append values to a multi-link field (whether it already has values or not, so slick). Now I’m trying to do the same for a collaborator field, and I’m running into trouble. You can set a collaborator field by providing the name or email address of the Airtable user, but it seems like appending to an array of collaborators requires you to use their internal IDs, which I’m not sure how to look up. I’ve tried a variety of array merge/append tricks, but nothing seems to work. Anyone know how to either append to a collaborator field using email address or name, or lookup the internal Airtable user id from an email address to use for the append operation?

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You don’t need the ID to append. An email address is fine for appending.

However, the problem you’re experiencing is that there is a difference between linked record fields and collaborator fields.

Linked record fields are “simple arrays” (i.e. an array of individual strings), but collaborator fields are “complex arrays” (i.e. an array of a collection of objects).

So when you append to a complex array, the appending needs to be done in a different way to keep the complex array’s structure intact. Otherwise, you’re attempting to insert a simple string into the middle of a complex array, which then returns an error message.

I actually haven’t dealt with appending simple strings to complex arrays in Make yet, but I’ll try to look into this in the morning to see if I can figure out how to do this. They have a couple different array functions that deal with collections, so I’m sure that it would involve those functions in some way.

In the meantime, I would recommend opening up a support ticket with Make to see if they can give you a quicker reply than I can. If they give you the solution, please post it here! :slightly_smiling_face:

5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Thanks, @ScottWorld! I opened a ticket with Make but not much progress there yet (we’re going back and forth on what I’m actually trying to do). Any chance you had any luck finding a solution? It’s a tricky one to be sure.


I actually haven’t tested the solution below yet, but one of the tech support people gave me the following steps to do the same exact thing with Attachment fields (which are also complex arrays, just like Collaborator fields).

BTW, I have a TON of experience with Integromat/Make for several years now, so if your company needs to hire an Airtable/Make consultant to help you implement this or tweak this or troubleshoot this, please feel free to contact me through my website: Airtable consulting — ScottWorld



Array aggregator

Variable lifetime

Array aggregator

Original Attachment Field

I had a feeling I’d be looking at splitting the original field and then putting it back together. This is a pretty slick trick! Thanks for sharing. Thanks for the offer to consult for us as well. I’m an ex software developer, so pretty tech/programming savvy, but that doesn’t always translate into knowing how to bend these newer no-code platforms to my will. :slightly_smiling_face: I will say that I’m VERY impressed with Make having come from Zapier recently, which is clearly falling way behind the other similar tools. We are a nonprofit (we run a two-year entrepreneurial fellowship program for hard science/clean-tech PhDs), so we don’t have a ton of extra money to throw around, but I will definitely keep you in mind as our list of projects grows. Thanks so much for the engagement and sharing.


You’re welcome! :slightly_smiling_face: And yeah, Zapier is the worst. Lol.

5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

I finally solved my “add a collaborator” challenge, and it was actually simpler than your attachment parallel example above (but took me a LONG time to get to). Here’s what I did:

  1. Use the Array Aggregator module to turn the single email address for the person I want to add into a an array with a single collection value whose keys match the internal format of a collaborator object in Airtable (and using the special ‘ignore’ value in Make to not have values for the keys ‘id’ or ‘name’).

Screen Shot 2022-10-27 at 4.11.08 PM

  1. Use a simple merge function to merge the original list of collaborators (the ‘Team Members’ field from our Airtable record) with the single-valued array with the collection that just has a single value under the ‘email’ key.

Screen Shot 2022-10-27 at 4.11.49 PM

Et voila! Thanks again for your research and sharing, it definitely helped point me in the right direction with my wrestling of the beast. :slightly_smiling_face:


Brilliant! Thanks for sharing, @Dustin-Activate! :cowboy_hat_face:

And a million times easier than what the tech support person gave me! :grinning_face_with_big_eyes: