- 12 Dec 2022
- 6 Minutes to read
Airtable Sync - Basic setup
- Updated on 12 Dec 2022
- 6 Minutes to read
The Airtable Sync feature allows you to sync records from a source base to one or more destination bases to create a single source of truth across your organization.
To set up a sync, you need access to a shared view that is enabled for syncing. You can then use this view to create a new synced table in any base that you have creator permissions to. Once the sync is set up, all visible records in the source view will be available in the synced table on the destination base. Synced data cannot be modified on the destination base.
Syncing can occur in two ways, automatically (ongoing) or manually. Automatic syncing occurs approximately once every 5 minutes and is only available on paid plans. Manually syncing can be used for one-off syncing for situations where you want manual control over when data is synced. For more information on configuring these options check out our advanced options article.
Setting up a sync
There are three steps to complete in order to set up a basic sync.
- Create a syncable view share link in the source base
- Open the syncable view share link and click "Use this data"
- Use the setup window to create the synced table
Step 1: In the source base, create a view share link and enable sync
Create a grid view that you’ll use as the source for the sync. You can determine which information can be synced by filtering out records and hiding fields.
Then, click Share view to create a view share link and select “Allow data in this view to be synced to other bases”. You can copy the URL in the box and share it with other users that may want to sync this data. You may also choose to set a password or a domain restriction to further restrict access.
Step 2: Open the syncable view share link and click "Use this data"
Click the ‘Use this data’ button on a shared view page
While viewing a source base's shared view that has sync enabled, click the ‘Use this data’ button on the top right. Then, select the workspace and destination base you want to sync to. You can also choose to create a new destination base from the source base's shared view or copy the data into a new (non-synced) table in an existing base that you can edit.
There are three ways to create a synced table in your destination base. Method 1 detailed above is the most straightforward, but you can also explore methods 2 and 3 below which provide other options.
Step 3: Setup
When setting up your first sync, we recommend using the default settings. After you become comfortable with basic sync setup, you can view the section on settings in our advanced setup article.
Click Create table.
A table will appear that will have a lightning bolt icon next to the table's name, any synced fields, and where you would normally see a plus sign to add records. For tables that are using a sync integration from an external source, the logo from that source's company will appear rather than the lightning bolt.
If you'd like to go back and adjust a sync's settings later, then navigate to the "Update sync configuration" option from that destination table's drop-down menu.
We’re excited to share access to this long-awaited feature. Please send us your feedback and ideas here.
Don't see an answer to your question below? Check out our extended Sync FAQs.
In this case, there are many options available depending on your needs. Though not exhaustive, here are a few ideas:
- Download view as a CSV - If you have access to the base in question you can download a view from it as a CSV.
- Still set up a sync - It may sound counter-intuitive, but you could still set up sync and then remove the source to break the sync. Essentially, this would allow you to "copy" the data and then remove the connection between the bases.
- Share an entire base - Create a base share link that allows people to copy data from the view. Collaborators will be able to copy the base or download CSV files of each table.
- Share a single view - More granularly you can share a particular view with or without filters that can be downloaded as a CSV.
Depending upon your workspace plan type you may or may not have the option to set up automatic syncs. No matter your plan, you can manually sync by clicking the dropdown arrow next to the name of the synced table and then the Sync now option.
The contents in the destination table will remain. Though any changes to records in the source table will no longer be reflected in the destination table.
Sync is a one-way process so you can not add, edit or delete records in the synced destination table.
If you need to add, delete, or edit fields on a record: sync may not be the best option for your workflow. For more context, we recommend reading this support article about combining multiple tables and this support article about copying a table from one base to another.
Customers on our Pro or Enterprise plan offerings are able to use the multi-source syncing feature to accomplish this workflow. This support article offers more information about that setup.
By design, changing field names in a sync destination is meant to be difficult to change since formula fields, scripting, API calls, automations, and more may depend upon the current name of a field in the destination. For that reason, field names in the source and destination may not match if the name has been updated in the source. Use caution when using the workaround described and consider using the field manager to understand the dependencies in your base.
To update a destination table to match the name of the field in the sync source, first, navigate to the synced destination table and click the dropdown next to its name. Then, click Update sync configuration. This will open the sync configuration window. From here, click on the three-dot icon next to the source you would like the field's name to match and select Edit synced fields. If the Specific fields in the source option has not already been selected, choose that option. Then, toggle off the field that you'd like the name to match and hit Save. Next, you'll follow the same steps, this time toggling the option to sync that same field back on and then click Save once more. Optionally, you can repeat the process one more time by choosing the All fields in the source and fields added in the future option to return the sync configuration back to that functionality as well.