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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.

6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

Wanted to mention another option for those looking to “link” Bases.

On your Base 1 include a field on your “index” that is a formula to display the URL of that record.

Base 2 include a field that can store the URL of the “linking” record.

Have two browsers windows and when you need to “link” drag the URL from Base 1 to Base 2 on the “shared” field.

Obviously doesnt give you any search or reporting capability however will allow for easier Cross-Base data access.

I still firmly believe that Hashim_Warren has it right… One Base to rule them all!

4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

I agree, even if this was capable of looking up data from a Spreadsheet that would work in the most part

5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

If the feature were ‘optional’, that would work for both camps. :slightly_smiling_face:

6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

I agree, I don’t think the option here is to avoid this new feature, I think it’s to find a great way to implement it and not interfere with those who don’t want to use it. If you don’t have a use for linking between bases - don’t use the feature when it’s live. :slightly_smiling_face: But definitely listen to the loud feedback of the many who have found countless ways this would help their processes and workflows. My two cents anyways.

6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

Hey @Hashim_Warren,

(please excuse the bold portions; not meant to be disrespectful, but merely add emphasis)

I’m in favor of the one large database. However, my concern is what will be done about INTERorganizational information?

Pros / Cons of Permissions/Views

Permissions/views solves the problem of limiting the scope of a base (ie giving other users the ability to view or not view what already exists inside of a particular base). Having one large base with fine tuned permissions / views is beautiful if an organization sees that base as THE central hub where everyone IS going to input data.

Additionally the permission/view solution solves many tangential issues still being raised (see this new post about the desire to collapse/hide lists of tables).

However, what this does not fix is the fact that data which is useful WILL exist and be maintained by other users or organizations… how will that data be most easily/automatically be integrated into THE base?

I love this idea of views/permissions being granular! But, this problem still remains: how will it solve the problem of importing and automatically integrating data from an external source. Thoughts?

4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

The non-profit I work for is using one Airtable base for scholarship applications (with Zapier), and another for keeping track of all the details about our courses. Being able to link the courses to the scholarship applications would be amazingly useful.

6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

Yes please we need this feature.

4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

I also think this would be awesome and would keep my information more organized.

10 - Mercury
10 - Mercury

I have read this thread with interest - my background is a ‘database developer’ - always with tools like Access, Filemaker and most recently Access Web Apps.

There’s a lot to like about Airbase but also some issues which this thread encompasses. The suggestion of cross-base links is perfectly sensible and would be useful - but it sounds as though it would be very difficult to achieve. For me the biggest win would be the ability to control access in a better way so that one could deal safely with different use-cases.

My main expertise is HR software, a business I have been in for over 25 years - 15 of which as founder and CEO of an HR software supplier here in the UK which I sold. HR is a great example of how the same database needs secure access for different groups of users:

HR Users - these users generally have access to all data for all staff
Managers - would have access to some of their own data plus their team members
Employees - Only have access to some of their own data

Each user group would need their own User Interface with just the items they have access to showing - and with data secured (to field level) appropriately. The latter can be done by using some read only fields on the forms they have access to - or through the database itself if possible.

There are also processes which are unique to each type of user - for example employees can request leave - to be approved by others. In this example, the Approval field(s) would only be available to approvers.

Translating this to Airtable and this conversation, I think the most suitable approach at this point is to build out a security model which allows the UI to adapt to the user logging in, hiding options that aren’t available etc. Note that generally you would NOT want most users able to change ANYTHING in the design of the app or it’s views - just use it.

Another aspect of HR applications is that they have a LOT of tables - our current HR app in the Microsoft Store has 80 - there are many other examples which would have even more. To make this usable in Airtable there would need to be a way of hiding tables from the table menu bar and only accessing them from view of other tables (or buttons on those views), some other menu option (a table manager perhaps) - possibly only directly accessible by a Creator user type.

5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Yes, for us we’d love to be able to enter information once, such as a new client- and have it populate across all the databases where the ‘client’ variable is necessary. i.e. We enter a new client on the client master list which then links and populates that field in the accounting table, and project management list etc.

Can you make this the #1 priority for your Roadmap? That’s all you’re missing for most of us. Keep it simple in the beginning where you can only link within bases.