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A have a complex base, running many automation and connection with external sources. In case of huge mistake, I would like to restore a snapshot and overwriting the current base in order to keep working all my automations fine.
In Airtable, copies are currently restored on a new base. In the case of people like me, who run a lot of automations and work with the rest API, it is not a very useful alternative.
Yes, there are at least 4 problems with restoring snapshots in Airtable, so they are not technically “backups” in the traditional sense of the word “backup”:
Snapshots wipe out 100% of comments and activity history. This can be a complete dealbreaker for people, including one of my clients who is unable to use snapshots because they depend heavily on these 2 features. (The workaround to this is duplicating the existing base, but that is not the same as a snapshot because it has to be triggered manually and is always visible in a workspace.)
Snapshots provide all brand new Record ID’s for every record. This can be devastating for clients, if they have no built-in way to compare a record from the active base to the restored base. You would have to manually workaround this ahead of time (before ever needing a backup) by creating some sort of unique identifier for each record all on your own, which is separate from Airtable’s internal Record ID.
Snapshots provide all brand new links for shared views & forms, which requires redistributing all of those links all over again.
Snapshots won’t work with any 3rd-party tools that clients have been meticulously setup, such as Zapier, Make.com, MiniExtensions, Stacker, Softr, JotForm, etc. etc. etc. All 3rd-party tools need to be completely reconfigured all over again from scratch.
So yes, snapshots are problematic. For anybody who is concerned about these issues, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org about these topics, because we are unsure whether Airtable employees are reading our posts here.
@ ScottWorld, I never thought about all those other cases you mention. It would really be devastating if something bad happened to our bases. Currently I feel that we are unprotected against incidents that endanger complex bases. I hope the airtable team takes note of this because it seems very serious to me.
Tell me about it. My hubspot, unito, and airtable just got completed destroyed. Wow… should’ve predicted this one. There’s no way to restore it from what it sounds like. I had so many integrations to my base and it’s crazy that you can’t restore it by 30 minutes, but instead they give you a stupid snapshot on a separate base.