Airtable automation trigger: When a form is submitted
  • 12 Feb 2024
  • 4 Minutes to read
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Airtable automation trigger: When a form is submitted

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Article Summary

Learn how to use the “When a form is submitted” trigger to kick off an automation run. Think of this automation trigger as the beginning step of the ability to automate custom workflows that will follow a form submission.

Introduction

Plan availability

All plan types with varying limitations

Permissions

  • Owners/Creators - Create, delete, duplicate, configure, or rename an automation and edit an automation's description.

  • Editors - View an automation's configuration or copy an automation's URL.

Platform(s)

Web/Browser, Mac app, and Windows app

Related reading

Building and sharing Airtable forms

Setting up an automation to trigger when a form is submitted

Step 1: Create a new automation

To start creating an automation, from the open base of your choice click on Automations in the upper left corner of your screen to open the automation configuration window. Click the + Create automation option to begin the setup process. If you would like, you can rename the automation right away to make it easier to understand what it does.

Step 2: Configure the “When a form is submitted” trigger

  1. Next, you will need to click + Add trigger option.

  2. Once clicked, the available triggers will be displayed for you to choose from. Choose the When a form is submitted option.

  3. Under the “Table” section, select either:

    1. The table containing the view you want this automation to watch.

    2. Your email address which is connected to any standalone forms you have created in the form builder.

  4. Under the “Form” section click Select a form.

  5. From here, choose the form view or the standalone form of your choice.

Step 3: Test the trigger

It’s important to test the trigger at this point so that you can utilize dynamic tokens in the automation action steps. This trigger allows you to pull in information from the record that triggered this automation such as record ID or created time (when the form was submitted). Those are just a few examples, but there is much more information that you can potentially use in later automation steps.

Step 4: Add one or more automation actions

Check out our help center’s Automation actions section to learn more about each action Airtable offers.

Just as one example, a helpful action you can pair with this trigger is the update record action. You can then categorize records (by single select field for instance) that are created from a form. This is beneficial for situations when there may be a mix of records being created externally (via a form) and internally (by Airtable collaborators). We cover this use case example below.

Step 5: Test and turn on the automation

Again, be sure to test all of the steps in the automation that you are building. Once every part of the automation has tested successfully, you’ll likely be ready to turn the automation on. Find the red colored “OFF” toggle and click it so the automation now appears as “ON” in green.

Using the “When a form is submitted” trigger to categorize form submissions

After configuring the automation steps 1-3 listed in the section above, you can move on to adding action steps. In the example below, we’ll accomplish two things by adding an “Update record” action:

  1. Identify new project ideas created via form (externally)

  2. Categorize those records by updating the record with the automation action

Step 1: Add “Update record” action and match it to the submitted record

To set this up, add the “Update record” action. Select the same table that you used in the trigger step and populate the “Record ID” field with the Airtable record ID option like shown below.

6615631737239updaterecordactionconfigwithformsubmittedtrigger.gif

Step 2: Categorize the submission by utilizing a select field option

Next, choose a field to categorize the record as being created from a form. In our case, the “Submission Type” field will be updated with the option “External (via form)”.

4403225625623fieldvalue.png

After selecting the field to update along with the value to update it, run a test to ensure the action is working correctly. Now, whenever a new form submission appears in the selected table, the automation will update the record with the values set in the action.

6615654206231whenformsubmittedtriggerexamplefunctionality.gif

FAQs

Can multiple forms be selected in the trigger step?

No, each trigger is scoped to use 1 table at a time.

Is the "When a form is submitted" trigger needed for every form?

No, forms created in the standalone form builder or the form view can be submitted regardless of whether or not there is an automation containing this trigger. Instead, this trigger allows users to automate custom workflows after forms are submitted. In other words, this trigger is additive, but not mandatory.

Can this trigger be used with interface form layouts?

The “When a form is submitted” trigger allows both base form views and standalone interface forms to be selected.

When an automation isn't firing when a form is submitted, the wrong form is likely selected in the trigger step. As a first troubleshooting step, we recommend verifying that the correct form is chosen in the automation’s configuration and ensuring that users are filling out the corresponding form accordingly.


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