Managing and sharing interfaces
  • 10 Jul 2024
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Managing and sharing interfaces

  • Oscuro
    Ligero
  • PDF

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Resumen del artículo

Plan availability

All plan types with additional sharing options for paid plans

Permissions

Please consult this support article for a breakdown of Interface Designer permissions.

Platform(s)

Web/Browser, Mac app, and Windows app

Related reading

Consider looking over our guide on building new interfaces

Airtable terminology

Interface - An interface is a curated representation of base data created using Interface Designer. Interfaces are fully customizable and can contain various visual elements, data sources, and permissions.

Interface page - Interfaces break up information into one or more interface pages. And while an interface always contains at least a single page, creators can add more pages.

Working with interfaces

Learn how to share interfaces with other users, manage existing users, and manage previously configured share settings. This article is intended for users with owner/creator access or organizational admins.

When it comes to Interface Designer, there are three main ways Airtable users can work with interfaces: 

  1. Base collaborators with creator permissions can build new interfaces.

  2. All base collaborators can view and interact with published interfaces at the same access level as their base permissions.

  3. Interface-only collaborators can view and interact with published interfaces without having access to the underlying base. (Paid plans only)

Interface Designer allows creators to control when their interfaces are visible to other collaborators by controlling when those interfaces are published. Collaborators without "Creator” permissions can only see published interfaces. This allows creators to experiment as they please because they can control which interfaces are published, republished, or unpublished with just a few clicks.

Note

Enterprise organizations with SSO enabled must provision users for them to be able to access interfaces internally associated with their organization's instance. However, interfaces that are publicly shared can potentially be accessed by people not associated with your organization.

For Free and Team plan workspaces, unlike share views, interfaces can only be shared with users who have a verified Airtable account.

Understanding how to share an interface

Step 1: Finding the interface to share

There are multiple ways to navigate to an interface depending on where you are in Airtable:

  1. From the home screen: Navigate to or search for the interface that you would like to share and open it.

  2. From inside a base: Click on the Interfaces button in the upper right portion of the screen. Then, choose the interface you want to share. In general, you can open any interface and adjust which interface(s) to share later.

  3. From inside the interface editor: If needed, first click Publish to ensure that the interface(s) are up to date. Then, click the Share button next to the Publish button.

  4. From a published interface - On the published interface page you will find the Share button in the lower left corner. Clicking this will open up a share dialog with options to configure.

  5. From Admin Panel - Business and Enterprise Scale plans only. Learn more in this article.

Step 2: Choose which interface(s) to share

Under the "What do you want to share" section, click the dropdown and choose to:

  • Share only a single interface

  • Share many interfaces

  • Share all interfaces

Step 3: Invite users or groups by email

The "Invite by email" option will invite users at the specified permission level as an interface-only collaborator. To invite users/groups by email:

  • Begin typing in an email address or group name (Business and Enterprise Scale only). Continue adding more email addresses or groups as needed.

  • Next, set which permission level you would like these users to have in the interface.

  • You can also optionally choose whether to "Notify people." When this option is on you can also type out a message that will appear as an email to the invitees.

  • Click Invite once you are ready to send the invitation.

Alternatively, you can Invite by link:

  • Click + Create new link

  • Set the permission level

  • Choose whether to allow access to the underlying base ( You will not see this option if you are a user with interface-only permissions)

  • Set an email domain restriction (1 maximum)

Note

More information on interface permissions is available here

Step 4: Configure general access (Business and Enterprise Scale plans only)

The general access section allows interface builders to set more global, over-arching rules for which visitors can access one or more interfaces. Click the dropdown (sometimes an Edit button will appear) and either:

  • Apply a setting to all interfaces

  • Customize access by interfaces

    • This option will open another configuration screen

    • Here, you will be able to find a specific interface to share, set "Who can access" the interface, and see the current "Permission" for that interface if it has been configured to allow "Anyone at {your organization}."

    • When allowing anyone at your organization to access the interface the only options are "Read-only" or "Commenter" interface collaborator permissions. To add users as an interface-only collaborator, use the "Invite by email" option listed in Step 3 above.

Step 5: Copy and share an interface link

Now that you've shared access with other users, you might want to communicate this in other ways. You can either:

  • Click the Copy link button from the share menu

  • Or copy the browser URL

    • Share links sometimes differ from a unique interface browser URL.  Sometimes, there may be a sidesheet or expanded record open, these will also include the specific record you are viewing. So, not only can you share a particular interface, but you can also share a specific page or a specific record within an interface page via the URL. These URLs are also especially helpful for use in Airtable automations.

Sharing an interface page publicly

Note

This feature is currently in public beta for Team, Business, and Enterprise Scale customers only.

Choosing to share an interface page publicly allows other people, in some cases even non-Airtable users, to view a read-only version of an interface page similar to a shared view.

  • Like a shared view, it’s worth noting that the page isn’t “live,” which means that end users will need to refresh the page in order to see any updates since the last refresh.

  • Creating a public interface page share link allows you to configure embed code similar to the methods outlined in this article.

  • The following interface layouts are unsupported for public sharing:

Public interface page disclaimer:

In some cases, some hidden data that powers elements on your interface page may be accessible to users who are technical and can inspect your pages closely. This is possible in these scenarios:

  • Field values that are used for charts are sent to a client. Consider the dashboard below that shows data for 28 deals in the pipeline. The chart shows the sum of the all the estimated value of each deal per stage. Even though you can’t tell the deal worth for each of the individual deals by looking at the chart, if you inspect the network logs, you could see the individual values for each deal.

  • Conditionally hidden field values on record detail pages can always be accessed. In the following example, “Estimated Value” is only shown when the opportunity Priority is “Very Low.” However, in the network logs, you can always see the “Estimated Value” for each record no matter what the Priority field is set to.

Configuring an interface page to be shared publicly

  1. Navigate to the base of your choice and click the Interfaces option at the top left portion of the base. You’ll need creator permissions in the base to be able to adjust the share settings described below.

  2. Next, click the Share button at the bottom left portion of the page.

  3. Click the Share publicly tab within the sharing dialog.

  4. Click into the box below the “Which page do you want to share publicly?” section.

  5. Choose the interface page that you want to share.

  6. Then, toggle on the “Share selected page publicly” option.

  7. Since sharing information publicly could potentially expose hidden information, you’ll need to confirm that you understand this potential factor by clicking the blue Enable public sharing button.

  8. Once you’ve enabled public sharing for the interface page a share link will be generated. From here you can configure link access settings, require a password, disable the link, or generate a new link as discussed in more detail in this article. Additionally, you can choose to create embed code that can be used to show this interface page on some other web-based surface. Click the link at any time to see how the interface page will appear to end users who access the publicly shared interface page.

Understanding unsupported features in public interface pages

Standard interface pages and publicly shared interface pages have different functionality. Some attempts to access unavailable functionality may trigger a sign-up/login flow, since logging in to Airtable and accessing an interface shared with you would reveal that feature or functionality. Learn about those differences below:

  • View the main section above for a detailed list of unsupported layout types.

  • Only 1 level of record detail pages can be shown on a public interface page. For example, linked records cannot be expanded from within record detail pages even if the “Click into record details” option has been enabled for that linked record field.

  • Similarly, cells containing foreign keys (i.e. linked records) cannot be expanded. This most often occurs in grid visualization records/cells or within record detail pages as mentioned above.

  • Record detail pages can only be shown as sidesheets. Record detail pages configured as full-screen layouts will be rendered as sidesheets on public interface pages.

  • Commenting and revision history are unavailable on public interface pages.

  • Charts and numbers will not be shown in public record detail pages.

  • Linked records will only reveal the primary field value of the linked record from another table. Other field values will not be shown.

  • Linked record visualizations are unavailable on public interface pages. Those users who have access to the underlying interface can click the View data button to view the linked records within the interface which will trigger the sign-up/login flow.

  • Interface page buttons that link to a non-public interface page or buttons that would add a record will trigger the sign-up/login flow in order to access that functionality.

Managing interface access

If you are an Airtable Business or Enterprise Scale plan admin, then you are also able to manage interface access in Admin Panel

Otherwise, users can manage interface access from the same share flow shown in the section above. The only difference here is that you will click Manage access. This will bring you to a window showing a list of collaborators and their permission levels.

From the “Manage access” menu you can:

  • Search for collaborators by name or email.

  • Filter the list of users shown by clicking the "Permission" access level and/or "Interfaces" they have access to.

  • See and change the permissions of access for users - Click the "Permission" level of an individual user or group to change it.

    • You can only change permission level access for other interface collaborators at or below your permission level. Otherwise, users with base or workspace access must be changed from those respective locations' share menus.

    • From this menu, you can remove access to an interface for your own user account only when you are an interface-only collaborator. If you are a base or workspace collaborator, you will need to adjust your permissions in those respective locations' share menus.

  • Additionally, by clicking Requests you can manage any open requests for access, which is covered in the next section below.

Managing interface share requests

Periodically, users might reach an interface page that they do not have access to. In these cases, those end users will be brought to their Airtable home page and shown a message where they can Request access to the interface. When a user makes these requests, base or workspace collaborators with Owner or Creator permissions can manage those requests in several places:

  1. Email inbox - From your inbox, click the Grant access button. This will take you to the share dialog covered in option 3 below.

  2. Notifications - Click on the notifications icon and click on the request that you want manage. This will take you to the share dialog covered in option 3 below.

  3. Manage access button - From an interface's share menu, click Manage access. Then click the Requests button at the top to Approve or Reject the request. You can also adjust the permission level that the user will receive before approving the request.

A few notes on this function:

  • Users can only request access once every 12 hours

  • End users will only receive a notification if their access is approved

Setting collaborator visibility

This setting is available to Business and Enterprise Scale plans only. There are many situations where your organization may be working with outside stakeholders. For privacy and security reasons, it may not always be desirable for these outside stakeholders to be able to see information about each other. This feature will cause user field values and collaborator dropdowns to be redacted. Additionally, comment mentions and authors will be redacted, but the actual comment will not be. However, you can choose to turn off comments in the user actions settings of record detail layouts, if the exposure of user information in comments is concerning.

It’s important to understand how Airtable determines “internal” vs. “external” collaborators in this feature’s context:

  • Internal collaborators - Airtable users whose emails have one of the domains of the root enterprise in which the interface is created.

  • External collaborators - Airtable users whose emails do not have one of the root enterprise domains.

You should use this restriction when you have an interface when:

  • The interface is shared with both internal and external collaborators.

  • The external collaborators are vendors from different companies with different email domains.

  • External collaborators from one company should not be able to see collaborators from another company.

Note

You should not use this restriction when you have an interface where workflows rely on external vendor collaborators from different companies being able to collaborate (e.g. handing off work, discussions in the comments).

Configuration settings to prevent external users from seeing each other:

  1. Navigate to the interface where you want to apply this setting in Edit mode.

  2. In the properties panel on the left side of the page, click the icon.

  3. Click the toggle next to the “Prevent external users from seeing each other” option so that it is turned on/green.

  4. There is no need to re-publish the interface as the changes will take immediate effect.

  5. As a builder:

    • You will still be able to see all internal and external collaborators on the interface even when this restriction is turned on.

    • You can leverage the “Preview” experience to view the interface through the eyes of an external vendor collaborator.

Note

This setting is applied on a per-interface basis meaning that if you have multiple interfaces where internal and external collaborators have access, you will need to change this setting for each interface individually. Additonally, this setting cannot be applied on an indvidual interface page basis.

Understanding end-user experience

When this setting is enabled:

  • External users will have a redacted interface experience. They will only be able to see internal collaborators (from the enterprise in which the base was created) and external collaborators with the same email domain as themselves. Note that external users with free email domains (gmail.com, yahoo.com, etc) will not be able to see other users and are not considered to be on the “same email domain.”

    • Collaborator list dropdowns (comment mentions, user fields, user filters) - When the visibility restriction is enabled, external users will only see internal collaborators and collaborators on their same email domain.

    • Comment authors and mentions - When the visibility restriction is on, external vendors will see all comment authors and mentions, but the collaborator tokens will be redacted (shown as “Unknown”) unless the user is an internal collaborator or on the same email domain.

    • Manage collaborators in share dialog - When the visibility restriction is enabled for any interface in the app, external vendors will not be able to see/click on the Manage collaborators button on the interface share dialog. This ensures they will not have access to the full list of collaborators.

  • Interface builders and internal collaborators will be able to see both internal and external collaborators on all of the surfaces covered above.

Restricting interface sharing

In some cases, creators on Team/Business/Enterprise Scale plans may want to restrict interface sharing to only allow base collaborators to share the interface with other users. This is where interface sharing restrictions come into play.

A few notes to consider about this feature:

  • When this toggle is turned on, only users with base access are able to share the interface with other users.

    • Users with interface-only access will not be able to share the interface with other users.

    • Users with interface-only access can still request access for other users and the workspace owner(s) will ultimately decide if access to the interface is granted.

    • This feature is on a per-interface basis. For bases that contain multiple interfaces, this option will need to be configured for each separate interface.

    • Creators will also be able to invite new users by email. However, to limit new users from getting access without approval, they will no longer be able to view or manage invite links. The Invite by Link tab will be disabled in the Share dialog.

  • When this toggle is turned off (default), users with interface or  base access are able to share the interface with other users.

    • This means that a user with interface-only access can grant interface-only access to other users at or below their permission level.

  • If a workspace has workspace sharing restrictions enabled, sharing will always be disabled for all bases and interfaces within that workspace.

  • This feature is only available to Creators/Owners with base access on paid plans.

To access this feature’s settings:

  1. Navigate to an interface in "edit" mode. Then click the Pages button on the left side of the page if the sidebar isn't already open.

  2. Hover over the interface that you would like to restrict.

  3. Click the ... icon.

  4. Toggle on/off the Restrict interface sharing setting.

FAQs

Who can share interfaces?

All Interfaces users will be able to share the Interface further at their permission level or below. For the paid plans, if workspace sharing restrictions are turned on, then only workspace owners can share the interface. See this workplace restrictions article for more information.

How do I show/hide, rename, duplicate, delete, clear unpublished changes, or save a draft of an interface?

From "Edit" mode in an interface:

  1. Click the Pages button in the upper left corner of the screen if the left sidebar isn't already open.

  2. Find and hover over the interface page you want to perform an action on. This will reveal new icons.

  3. Click the eye icon to show or hide and interface page from end user's navigation menu.

  4. Click the ... icon to open a menu where you can Rename, Duplicate, Delete, Clear unpublished changes, or mark the interface page as a draft by toggling the Keep as draft option.

You'll also see when the page was last published, if it ever has been published

I changed the look of one of my interfaces, why is that not showing up for my other collaborators?

If you made a change to an interface or layout, you must first Publish the changes for that interface in order for other collaborators in a base to see those changes. Keep in mind that interfaces marked as a draft cannot be published until that option has been toggled off.

If I share an interface with another individual or team, can they see the underlying data?

Not necessarily. It depends on whether the option to allow access to the base was checked when the invitation was sent. Ultimately, only base collaborators can view the underlying base. More on sharing bases with users is available here.

Can Creators restrict who is allowed to share specific interfaces?

What happens if someone who is not a base or interface collaborator tries to navigate to an interface URL?

If you share an interface URL with someone who is not an invited collaborator, they will not be able to see the contents of the interface. They will have the ability to request access to see the interface, but their request will have to be approved by a base creator before they are able to access it.

Can I duplicate an entire interface and all of its pages?

Yes, interface creators can duplicate an interface and all of its pages or even individual pages. In edit mode, click the ... icon/spillover menu next to the name of the interface or specific page that you want to duplicate. When the spillover menu opens, you'll see the option to Duplicate appear. As mentioned below, it's only possible to duplicate the interface or interface page in the same base not to another base.

Can I duplicate or copy an interface into another base?

We do not support duplicating an interface or an interface page into another base because an interface’s configuration options rely on the underlying base’s structure (field names, source tables, etc.) to build the interface layer.

What happens to changes made to my published interface if I don't publish those changes?

Any changes made to an interface in editing mode will automatically be saved. So you can choose to publish changes to an individual interface whenever you are ready.

Can I embed an interface page?

Yes, customers on Business or Enterprise Scale plans can set up an individual interface page to be shared publicly and then configure embed code to use outside of Airtable.

For Free and Team plan users, bases and share view embeds are the best Airtable features for embedding Airtable content in external locations.

Users on all plan types can embed standalone forms as covered in this article.

Why aren't my page updates showing up for end users after publishing?

This is usually due to that page being in a "Draft" state. To remedy this, hover over that page in edit mode, click the ... icon and toggle the "Keep as draft" setting off. Then republish the interface by clicking Publish.

What does the "Clear unpublished changes" feature do?

Changes made to an interface page can be reverted up until the page is published. If you wish to revert the configuration edits that were made prior to publishing, click the three dots ... next to the page name and then click the Clear unpublished changes option. Note: 

  • The current published version of the page and the version in the interface building editor will now match until new edits are made. 

  • Unpublished changes will only clear from the main interface page you're editing. Changes made to other interface pages or record detail pages within this interface page will not be cleared.

I'm trying to delete my interface page, but I'm not able to. What might be happening?

The last remaining page on an interface cannot be deleted. Either the entire interface must be deleted or a new page must be added to the interface in order to delete the undesired page.

Why am I getting an error when I try to share my interface with a group of users?

Each interface is allowed to have a maximum of 5,000 collaborators. If you attempt to add a collaborator or a group of collaborators and that exceeds the limit, you will receive an error message.

Can I share just one of the pages in my interface?

Sharing an interface will share all published interface pages on that interface. Consider creating a different interface containing just that single interface page to accomplish your intended goal of just sharing that individual page.

Interfaces connected to workspaces on our Business or Enterprise Scale plans can share individual interface pages publicly

Can I share an interface without sharing the base?

While interfaces are available to all customers on all plans, the ability to share interfaces separately from the base is restricted to paid plan workspaces only. Additionally, interfaces connected to workspaces on our Business or Enterprise Scale plans can share interface pages publicly.

What happens if someone who is not a base collaborator tries to navigate to an interface URL?

If organizational sharing has been set up in the “General access” configuration (Business and Enterprise Scale only) covered in step 4 here, then those users will be able to access the interface at the configured permission level. Otherwise, users will be sent to their home screen where a pop-up will allow them to Request access to the interface.

How do field and table permissions impact interfaces?

Field and table permissions set in the base will extend to and be respected in interfaces as well.


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