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This thread really highlighted the need for Airtable to automatically create “back links” (or “reverse links”) when you are creating a self-linking linked record field (i.e. a field relationship that links a table back to itself).
All other linked record fields in Airtable automatically create these “back links” or “reverse links”, but they don’t get created when doing a self-relationship within a single table.
This is especially crucial for using the Org chart block, which REQUIRES that you create a self-linking relationship within a table. The Org chart block doesn’t even support creating links between separate tables!
You’ll notice in the Org chart demonstration video that there are 2 self-linked fields: “Direct Reports” and “Direct Supervisors”. All of that data had to be manually inputted & manually verified by the user, because there is no automatic way to have those 2 fields automatically communicate with each other.
If you’re dealing with a very small number of records, it might be relatively easy & relatively trivial to manually input both sides of the links for every record. But once you start dealing with hundreds or thousands of records, it becomes a real chore to start manually managing all of these links.
Same problem if you’re trying to BREAK a self-relationship between 2 people. If you delete the relationship on one side, the relationship on the other side should AUTOMATICALLY break. But the way it is now, you actually have to remember to manually break both sides of the relationship.
A hundred times, YES! Please, I feel this has to be one of the easiest requests to implement, and would pay huge dividends to my base.
Thank you for listening!! My use case would not be possible without some of the improvements that have come out in just the last few months. I am always shocked at how recently Airtable became the tool it is today. I am glad I didn’t try to convince my boss to use it 6 months ago!
Yes please! I’m looking for a way to create parent-child relationships between records in the same table, so I need the bi-directional link that occurs when linking between tables. Why doesn’t Airtable just create a new field in the same table for the bi-directional link, in exactly the same way it creates a new field in a different table for links?
I’ve got to chime in here too - currently looking at a media project management-style base and it would be very handy to have these backlinks for child-parent relationships specifically!
Be sure to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org about this, to request it as a feature in Airtable!
Bumping this. Could use it as well.