The new Airtable Platform launched in 2020 includes new low-code features that will allow users to:
- Build your own apps or install third-party apps directly inside Airtable (Airtable Apps)
- Sync information from one base to another base (Airtable Sync)
- Automate tasks to run your processes more efficiently (Airtable Automations)
This article covers specific details of the launch as they relate to Enterprise Administrators, including new additions to the Enterprise Admin Panel.
IN THIS ARTICLEApps overview
Apps administrator controls
Sync administrator controls
Automations administrator controls
Along with changing the name of Blocks to Apps, we’re making it easier for developers to more broadly share what they build, and for creators to have access to a much wider range of different Apps to use in their bases. Custom Apps developers will now be able to submit their Custom Apps to the Apps Marketplace, subject to Airtable review, for other Airtable users to install in their own Bases. Similarly, script templates will also be available in the Apps Marketplace for other Airtable users to install and use.
Enterprise customers will have access to:
- Unlimited dashboards
- Unlimited app installs
- Unlimited private apps
Administrator controls for apps
There are two new controls in the Enterprise admin panel:
- Disallow all apps by the community
- Disable development of custom code by your users
Disallow all apps by the community
When turned on, Enterprise users will not be able to run apps built and submitted to the Marketplace by third parties. This will not include our existing “Partner Apps” that Airtable has closely vetted. Users will still be able to see all apps in the marketplace and click “install,” but will be met with an error message instructing them to contact their administrator when they attempt to run the app. This will be on by default (e.g. third-party apps disallowed) for enterprise SSO users, and off for other enterprises on September 14.
Disable development of custom code by your users
When disabled, users will not be able to use Airtable features which enable the deployment of custom code into your Enterprise environment. This includes the scripting app, script templates, the scripting action within Automations, and custom apps. To enable this functionality for your Enterprise, please ensure this setting is not disabled (see screenshot below).
If you do disable this feature for your Enterprise, you can optionally add specific users to an allowlist such that they can use these custom code features. This setting has been available via the Enterprise Admin Panel since March, 2020. We recommend checking your Admin Panel settings to confirm that this setting is aligned with your security policies.
Will custom apps be disallowed by default?
- Community apps will be disallowed by default for all enterprise accounts.
- “Custom code” restrictions have been available since March, 2020. We recommend checking your Admin Panel to confirm the setting is aligned with your security policies
With Airtable Sync, you can now share customized views, individual data fields, and other specific information without sacrificing control of what data gets shared and when. Whether it’s just connecting with one new team or coordinating information across multiple companies, Sync helps teams collaborate better across their networks.
Administrator controls for sync
For shared views that are enabled for syncing, enterprise administrators will see the canBeSynced field have a TRUE value in the share links report.
Enterprise sync restrictions are additional restrictions applied to view shares. All share restrictions continue to apply, but enterprise administrators can additionally choose to turn off sync entirely. When sync is turned off, all syncs that pull data out of their enterprise will immediately break and no further syncs will occur. It will still be possible to sync data into the enterprise account, but not sync data out of it.
Along with this new feature, you’ll see a new option available in your admin dashboard:
Will the number of records in the target table count toward the table & base record limits in the target?
Can I determine where my data is being synced to?
Can I sync multiple views into a single table?
Can you add a last modified field type to a synced table to understand last sync?
Can automations be triggered by views in a synced table?
Yes automations can be triggered off of views in a synced table.
When should you use Synced Tables instead of the Base Sync App?
If your use case is to sync a read-only copy of a table/view as a table in another base, then you can use Synced Tables instead of Base Sync App. A big advantage of Synced Tables is that it can sync automatically (every several minutes), whereas the Base Sync App requires the user to manually sync.
What data can I sync?
Data present in any grid view within Airtable can be synced.
Where can I sync to?
A new table in any base that you are a creator on.
What happens if I update the source table?
On the next sync (either manual, or every ~5 minutes if you have automatic sync on), any changes to data visible in the view will be replicated.
Can I add my own fields to synced tables?
Yes, you can add fields to ‘enrich’ data that you have imported.
Can I add my own records to synced tables?
You cannot add or delete records in the target table, nor can you change cell values for synced columns.
How often does the sync update?
When setting up the sync, the user has the choice to sync ‘automatically’ (i.e. every ~five minutes), or ‘manually’ (only when the sync now button is clicked).
Can I create a synced table from a synced table?
Yes. You can create a synced table, add your own fields, then create another view link for someone else to use for their synced table. Although these tables are “chained”, underneath it works just as fast as if there was no “chain”.
Can synced tables form an infinite loop? How does a user prevent this from happening?
Yes, this is currently possible, although pretty hard to do accidentally. At the moment there is no good way for a user to prevent this from happening.
Can I create a synced table from a sync source in the same base?
With Automations, you can configure custom trigger-action workflows directly within your Airtable base. An automation consists of a trigger followed by one or more actions.
Administrator controls for automations
For Enterprise accounts, there is a limit of 500,000 monthly automation runs per workspace. Up to three years of run history will be available for each automation. For Enterprise accounts only, administrators can control which external integrations are allowed using this admin panel setting:
Enterprise admins can add or remove specific integrations via this list -- or turn off integrations in Automations altogether by clicking the toggle.
NOTEThe screenshot above shows the default settings—only Slack and MS Teams are allowed by default.
If an integration is disabled, end users will still be able to see the trigger/action but won’t be able to use it. They will see a message that it’s disabled and that they should contact their administrator to enable it.
Are automations triggered server-side or client-side?
Will automations run even if nobody has the base open?
Yes, since automations are server-side (see above), they will run even when nobody has the base open.
Why does my automation keep failing when I try to test it?
If testing an action is failing and you can’t figure out why, try re-testing your trigger first, then re-test your action. This is confusing and we will make improvements to the testing flow to make this debugging more obvious.
How long does it take for automations to run?
Automations are designed to run as soon as possible. Actual speed will vary based on load.
[Microsoft Teams] Can I @mention a particular user or channel in my message?
No, the Microsoft Teams API does not let us do this at the moment.
Is there a limit on the number of automations you can have per base?
Yes, there is a limit of 25 automations per base at the moment.
Do we have the ability to use custom webhooks with automations?
There is not yet first-class support, but you can ping a webhook via a script.
When should we use Automations instead of Scripting App?
In Airtable, there will often be multiple ways to build something. But in general, Automations may be more appropriate than Scripting App when:
- You need something to happen automatically and/or in the background, without a user taking some action. A Scripting App script will run when the user presses the Run button or when they press a button field button that is attached to the script. In contrast, an Automation will run whenever its trigger event happens (e.g., a record is updated), without the need for user action.
- You need to make network requests (e.g. ping external APIs). As of right now, the Scripting App makes network requests client-side, so you may run into CORS issues.
What admin controls are there?
Enterprise customers can allow/disallow specific external account types (e.g. Google Sheets directly from the Enterprise admin panel.
How many automations can be in a single base?
How many actions can be on a single automation?
Will we have keyboard shortcuts like we do with Apps?
You cannot currently trigger the opening of the Automations panel via the URL (in the way you can with the Apps panel). There is also no keyboard shortcut for opening the Automations panel.
Do you have to run tests before turning on and executing an automation?
You don’t have to run tests, but testing can help you make sure you’re building the automation the right way. You also need to run tests if you want to use the output of a step where Airtable can’t know the structure of the output in advance (e.g. the output of a custom script action).
[Gmail] My email didn’t get received, why might this happen?
IT admins may have settings that prevent bulk emails from going out. You may need to turn this setting off or allowlist the Airtable email address.