Help

Re: Zapier trigger for updated record or all records

2563 1
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Christopher_Bis
5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Love the Zapier integration, but without the ability to trigger on update/change/edit of a field, it’s pretty hard to keep other databases synced with Airtable - not sure if this my mistake or not.

Additionally, I can’t move my system across to Airtable without the above feature or the option to run a Zapier zap on all database entires in a view/base. For example, if I want to email all my contacts, I can’t do that via Mail-Chimp etc, because the triggers only fire on creation of a record not on update/change/manual selection.

Can you advise any workaround because this is one of only two barriers to me moving a client to your platform.

69 Replies 69
Chris_Malherbe
5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

+1 on this, is there any timeframe on when this will land?

Joshua_Ackroyd
5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Also bumping this. It’s difficult for us to fully transition to Airtable without this

Jacob_Turley
6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

Is there any timeframe for webhook when a record is updated? We are looking to migrate our CRM here shortly and that is probably a no-go for us without it. Can’t do much tag-based automation (for marketing segmentation) without it.

Gareth_Pronovos
7 - App Architect
7 - App Architect

Adding my +1 to this - allowing an updated record to work as a Zapier trigger would be a game-changer!

Blake_Royer
4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

I wasted hours and hours trying to figure out why my workflows wouldn’t trigger, then I found this thread.

It seems anytime a Zap touches any Airtable record once, that record can never be used as a trigger again. I even tried a work-around to set up a Zap that creates a duplicate record in a different table (assuming I could then use that duplicate record as a trigger later) but even that fails because the Zap created the record, so it caches the id.

What is most frustrating is this cached id is persistent across different zaps. I would understand (and frankly appreciate) the functionally to never run the same zap on the same Airtable record twice. That’s sensible. But If I want to pick up that record later for an entirely different zap to do something entirely different, I can’t do so. As others have said, that’s severely limiting to creating multi-step workflows.

@Airtable_Team Any chance you’re listening?

I’m not certain the problem is with Airtable. If you look into many Zapier integrations, you’ll find this to be a frequently recurring limitation for a wide range of apps. For instance, I recently used Zapier to link Google Sheets to Airtable for a client, and I quickly ran into the middleware’s refusal to trigger on a cell update if it meant the cell was returned to a value Zapier knew it to have previously held. Given this was an advertising buy-scheduling system, it seemed quite likely for an ad campaign to be shifted off and then back on to a given date, rendering it invisible to Zapier.¹

In any case, this is essentially the same limitation everyone complains about with Zapier’s Airtable triggers – but having nothing to do with Airtable. Admittedly, if it is a problem with Zapier’s architecture, I can’t imagine what purpose it must originally have served, nor can I fathom why it wasn’t fixed years ago.


  1. In the end, I got around the problem by ignoring Zapier’s triggers; instead, I wrote a simple Google Apps Script that’s triggered by a edit to any cell in the sheet. Significant changes fire off a POST to a Zapier webhook, which in turns updates Airtable accordingly.
Blake_Royer
4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

I think you’re correct, this is not entirely Airtable’s fault. I was mistake in my earlier assessment that records won’t be picked up by a second, entirely different zap.

The problem in my workflow was that I was using Zapier filters to only run the Zap when certain conditions were met (in my case, it was preventing an automated email from sending on weekends). This was a mistake, because if the Zap saw a new record in my Airtable View, it ran. If an Airtable record did not pass the Zapier filters, then later on, when the record would pass the filters, it was ignored. Zapier only gets one “shot” at a new record in a view, and after that it won’t trigger again.

Airtable and Zapier would need to work together to fix this - Airtable would need to provide an API reference that told Zapier when/if an individual record was updated, and Zapier would then need to provide functionality to re-trigger a record when the record was updated since the last attempt.

For me, the way around this is to avoid using Zapier filters altogether. Instead, I control all the filtering on the Airtable View (I added in several Formula fields to compute various things, like current hour of the day, day of the week, etc.).

By ensuring the record will never appear in a view until I want the Zapier to run, it seems to be working quite well. I have different Views set up for different stages of my automation, and the record can pass between Views successfully and the Zaps run without issue.

There’s also the quick-and-dirty work-around of [ab]using Slack as a trigger, of which I first learned from a post by @Chester_McLaughlin. I’ve not used it in a production system, but I did cobble together an Airtable-to-Slack-to-Zapier-to-Airtable integration that seemed to work OK. (Of course, I’m not sure if I tested whether reappearance in the view I’m using to trigger Slack actually triggers Slack…) It’s pretty much real-time notification, as well. I’ve read comments the system drops messages occasionally, seemingly related to integrations that have Airtable triggering messages on multiple Slack channels for the same update, but that’s not something I’ve tested.

openside
10 - Mercury
10 - Mercury

Our recent show and tell introduces a solution to this age old question of update record triggers (finally!). Be sure to check it out: Custom Connector for Zapier

Just seeing your connector. At $49.99 a month I’m curious if there is a trial so I can test and be sure this connector will work?