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Link to other base

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5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

So happy that someone finally filled the void left by Dabble DB.

One of the features I found most useful there, but can’t seem to do in Airtable, is linking to entries in another Base. Often, one will have multiple bases which handle distinct aspects of a business or project, but in which one piece of data overlaps.

Example: A political campaign may want Bases for contacting voters, managing events, and recording donations. Those are distinct domains which need their own Bases, but which could benefit from linking parts of them together. For example, it would be great to link donations to the event they occurred at, or voters to donations, or record who attended each event.

In Airtable at present one has to either cram all of those bases into one, or foregoe the linkage which makes this software so great. It may seem like a small thing, but once you can link bases, the sky is really the limit.

5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Hey Devon! :wave: Airtable staff responses are highlighted in yellow. We’ve got some thoughts from our founders in here and @Katherine_Duh’s prompt is marked as the solution to this thread. We do hear you and would love to hear your thoughts on her questions. Thanks!

4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

This feature will be huge. Here is our use case:

We are a small web design, marketing agency.

Each client gets an assigned Workspace

Each Workspace has bases for:

  • Web Projects (for site design & development tasks)
  • Client Data (business info, links & login info, service tracking)
  • Any other use cases that need a base for that client

In the Web Projects base, we have Views that prioritize tasks from 1 to 4

The most useful ability (one that I was just researching to see if been would be possible:

Create a Master base that pulls in all of the Priority 1 task records from every client’s Web Projects base.

Then we can see - in one base - and with all of Airtable’s Views capabilities - all of the current highest priority tasks across all of our clients.

How this could work:

  • Records update in the Master base in real time. If I change priority on a Task in a client base, it will appear or disappear from the Master base

  • Records changed in the Master base update in the client base in real time as well.

  • Permissions can be set on the Master base per user. If they have access to the record in the client Web Projects base, they can see it / operate on it accordingly in the Master base as well. If they don’t have rights to the record… they can’t (see it and / or work on it)

  • I don’t know if it is necessary to add new records from the Master base - assign it to a client base - and have it appear in the client base as well. At least for the current use case I have in mind. It simply:

  • Lets us see what we have on our plate across all of our clients in real time

  • Lets us work on those records from one base

Right now we’re opening and close all of those bases to track what’s happening and set our work agenda. I love the way Airtable works but this is really inefficient way to get things done.

6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

100% agree, this is by far the biggest issue with Airtables functionality. This tool isnt a professional business grade tool until you can link hundreds of thousands, or even millions of records together from different “Bases”.

Right now, I have to cram all the data I want to use the “database linking” functionally with into a single bass. This means I’m going to need to cram 30-40 tables into 1 base, along with 5-10 views per table, making it hard to locate/find what data I need. We should be able to link several “Bases” together that host completely different sets of data that might have a need to be related to one another.

7 - App Architect
7 - App Architect

I would like to echo this request as well! The one drawback I have found about Airtable is that there is no elegant way to track an individual’s ‘plate’ of project tasks through linking to other bases. I would really like to have a base that helps keep track of my own personal tasks (that would draw from tasks within different bases) and the ability to do so would make Airtable my dream solution for project management! Even though I love the project management within each base, the current lack of ability to link tasks leaves a major gap in managing workflow across bases.

I’ll also add that I would switch to premium in a second if Airtable had this feature.

4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

I second this! Linking bases would add a whole new level to the organization of projects in our non-profit. An option to have data link to all its applicable bases from a single source would streamline processes and get rid of unwanted clutter.

4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

I agree! Our team would use Airtable for everything if we could link bases!

4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

Hi @Katherine_Duh, I’m not sure how active this thread still is but, for me, the concern is less about permissions (although that’s part of it) and more about allowing teams to zero in on the information that’s important to them and then use it in the rest of their processes.

Just yesterday I put together a process using an Airtable form that could solve problems for a variety of teams across our business. However, I don’t want all of those teams to be working out of my team’s base and moving their processes there just because the table with the information exists there. Instead, it would be great to have a clean base where the process could start and then filter information out as needed to the various teams’ bases, including ours, as we all need segments of the data.

This is not the only use case we’ve seen for this; we’re basically cramming all of our team resources and processes into one base and it can feel a bit cluttered/difficult to navigate. We’ve also had a master database example like you suggested where we want records from different teams’ bases to be pulled into a master.

4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

I have multiple bases which each have a table that has identical fields. (They are prioritized task lists for tasks associated with that base)

I would like to have a master view of all of the task lists for all of the table rows in the different bases.

Is this possible?

8 - Airtable Astronomer
8 - Airtable Astronomer

short answer is unfortunately no.

The way I would design a base with the current state of Airtable is to put all of your records into one base (as they share an identical structure), and use a new view in place of each base.

This is a long standing, much(by far the most) requested feature.

6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

This remains one of the biggest gaps that prevents me from using Airtable.

I get a lot ads in my Twitter feed from Airtable talking about “centralizing” information like Org Charts, Alumni Records, etc. Without the ability to link to that centralized information across different bases, Airtable’s marketing message is setting people up for disappointment and/or failure later. Like @Lauren_Pacifico mentions, the only workaround is a bad data design that clutters and crams everything into a single base.