With Zapier, you can configure Airtable forms to edit and update records in any of your Airtable bases. This is especially useful for cases where you would like someone to be able to edit part of a table without having access to the rest of the base that the table is in.
A word of caution: this is a fairly complex Zapier integration. If you have never used Zapier before, we recommend that you take some time to read about the basics of building a Zap (that's what a Zapier integration is called), and maybe even try configuring some less complicated Zaps first. Note: because this is a Multi-step Zap (Zapier has to both find and update a record in Airtable), it can only be set up with a paid Zapier account.
This zap will allow you to build a form that can directly edit and update records in an Airtable view; in a form, simply type the name of the record to update, enter additional values for just the fields you would like to change, and click submit.
For instance, let's say you hired a number of contractors to help with renovating your castle. This Zapier integration could allow the contractors to make updates to your projects table without seeing (or having any access to) any other part of your castle renovation base.
To begin, you need a base that you would like to be editable through a form. Here, we'll continue with our castle renovations example.
In order for this integration to work you will need to make a duplicate of the table that you would like to edit.
When duplicating the table, be sure to select the duplicate records option. (Zapier needs for there to be records in the base when initially testing the Zap.)
Lastly, from the duplicated table, create the form.
With everything in place, we can now go over how this Zap will work.
In this Zap, the trigger will be a new record appearing in our duplicated table, which will happen when a record is submitted through the form. Next, Zapier will search for a record. Zapier will take the project name in the new record to find a matching record in the original Projects table (the table that Zapier will be editing). Last, if Zapier finds a matching record, it will reference the field values from the record submitted by form to update any fields in the original table. It's worth noting that any fields left blank when submitting the form will not affect the fields in the original table.
The first step of any Zap is to set up a trigger. In this case, we would like a new record in our duplicate table (submitted by form) to trigger a change in the original table - so Airtable would be considered the trigger app.
After selecting a trigger app, you will be prompted to choose the specific conditions for activating the trigger. In this case, we want the Zap to run whenever a new record appears in a view.
The next step is to connect your Airtable account to Zapier (or to select an already connected Airtable account). Note that if you want to connect your Airtable account, you will need to have your API key.
After selecting the appropriate account, you'll then be prompted to configure the trigger-specific setup options. In other words, we need to tell Zapier which view the new records will be added to. Likewise, we simply fill in Castle Renovation for the base, Projects Copy for the table, and Grid View (the only other view is the form view) for the view.
For the last part of the first step, Zapier will ask you to test your trigger. If everything works, then you'll be prompted to move onto the next step of your Zap.
For the second step, you'll be asked to pick an action app—select Airtable.
You'll then be asked to select an action for Airtable to take—in this case, we want "Find Record," since we want the Zap to find which record to edit. Zapier will find the appropriate record by looking at the name of the record that's added to the duplicate table by form. (Note: Without making this “Find Record” step, Zapier won’t know which record to update when we try and construct the “Update Record” action later.)
You'll be asked to connect your Airtable account to Zapier (you'll need your API key for this). Then, you'll configure the find record action. The first step is to pick which of your Airtable bases to search, and the appropriate table within that base. Here, we want to find the record in the Projects table in the Castle Renovation base.
Now, look at "Search by field" and "Search value"—this part can be a little tricky.
"Search by Field" is the field by which we want to identify the records that we're updating. Here, it's the name of the given project (remember, the idea for this form is that someone could enter the name of the project, and then change the value for it's status).
In other words, "Search by Field" is where we're searching (the Projects table, Project Name field).
"Search Value," meanwhile, is what we say we're searching for. In this case, the search value is the Project name that we enter in the form.
With "Search by Field" and "Search Value" configured, we can then skip over 'Search Formula" and "Limit to View." Likewise, we'll leave "Create Airtable Record if it doesn't exist yet" unchecked - if someone enters in the form a project name that doesn't exist, a new record won't be added to the projects table.
Now that we’ve set up a find record action, we can finally set up an update record action!
After you’ve finished configuring your find record action, you can either click the “Add a step” button or the big plus button to create a third (and final) step.
For this next step, pick Airtable as the action app again.
This time, choose update record as the action.
After linking to the appropriate Airtable account, you'll then be taken to the Set Up Airtable Record step. Filling in the Projects table will populate the bottom half of the page with the names of the fields in the Projects table.
The sequences of numbers and letters represent each of the records that already exist in our table. In our case, we don't want to pick any of these; we want the record that gets updated to vary depending on which record was found in Step 2. To do this, select Use a Custom Value.
This will bring up another field called Custom Value for Record ID, which asks us to specify the custom value. We want the record in our Airtable base to be updated based on the record that we found in Step 2. To tell Zapier that you want to do this, scroll down in the dropdown menu until you find the Step 2 options. From among the Step 2 options, we want to pick ID, because that option represents "the ID that we found using the 'Find Record' action for Step 2."
The following boxes are where we finally get to update the projects table based on the record submitted by form. Since the field names are the same both in the duplicate table (where the form populated) and the Projects table (that we want to edit), we simply enter the matching value from Step 1 for each box.
For instance, we match the Project Name box with the Project name from step 1, and so on. It's worth noting, that in our case it's only necessary to match the Status box with the Status field from Step 1, since that's the only "updatable" field on the form. But matching all of the fields would allow us to create other forms to edit other fields in the future (i.e. a form to change which contractor was working on a given project).
Once you're done, Zapier will prompt you to test the step. If everything works, then you can turn on your Zap!
Last, it's definitely worth noting that the Zap will not necessarily work as quickly as in this Gif. The rate at which Zapier triggers actions is set by your plan. The paid basic account (at $20 / month) runs Zaps every 15 minutes. It is also possible to manually trigger Zaps from your "My Zaps" page.