Records Selection

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Records Selection

For triggers (both updates and deletes) and searches, the most important feature in this connector is how to select which records should be returned in the trigger or search. There are several ways you can do this currently, depending on the use case.

Checkbox

The easiest option is the checkbox format. This requires creating 1 field that is of type ‘Checkbox’ in your Table. Use this field as you are modifying your data to signify once a field is ready to be selected for the trigger or search.

Once that field is checked, the trigger/search will find it the next time it executes and will forward on to the next step in the Zap.

For update triggers and searches, it will also uncheck the checkbox automatically so that it will no longer get picked up the next time the Zap executes.

For deletes, it will automatically delete each record which has the checkbox checked (think of it as a ‘Ready for Deletion’ checkbox).


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Note: You can observe the dynamic update of your table take place as the records that are checked are picked up by a Zap. Note also the Date field that gets updated with the current timestamp upon execution.


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Compare 2 Fields

This is more advanced but very powerful. You can use this approach to monitor any field in your table for changes that will then get picked up by the trigger or search. This requires two Fields to be used.

The first is the field to be monitored, which can be of any type. This is called the ‘Monitor Field’.

The second field must be of type Text or Long Text and is used only by this Zap to be able to keep track of what the value of that record was the last time it was picked up by Zapier. This is called the ‘Sync Field’. After creating this field, it is OK for you to hide it from view. You don’t need to be aware of it or use it, so better to keep it out of sight to avoid making unwanted changes to it.

Note: If you are monitoring a field that may contain line breaks (example a multiline text field) then you'll need to use a multiline text field as your comparison field. A single line text field will remove the line breaks and thus cause the comparison to always be different (and continually want to update that record).

Note: If you are creating a Zap with a pre-existing table containing records that you don’t want processed, then you can populate this Sync field with the values in the Monitor field so that they won’t be processed. Remember, any time the Sync field differs from the Monitor field, that record will be processed by your Zap, so if the Sync field is initially empty, it will get processed for all records whose Monitor Fields are NOT empty.

Note: If you wish to monitor multiple fields at once, you can do that also. Simply create a NEW formula field in your table that uses the CONCATENATE() function to combine the values of any fields you wish to monitor, then use this new formula field as your ‘Monitor Field’ in your Zap. Then when ANY of the fields change, this formula field will also change and get picked up.

Note: If you wish to know what the value in your Zap was before it got updated, that will come through in the Sync Field’s value as part of the Zap workflow.


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Date Field

If you wish to trigger a record sometime at a future date, or find records with a date that has expired, you can use the Date Field Format. This also requires two Fields in your table.

The first must be a Date Field, and the second must be a Text or Long Text Field. This second field is the Sync field to track once a date has been expired and makes sure to not execute it again. By monitoring any Date field in your table, once that Date has expired, it will be executed by the trigger. The Sync field will be updated with the Date Field’s timestamp so that it won’t be picked up again.

Note: If you change the Date field to another time in the future (even after it’s been executed before), it will get picked once up again at that new date/time.

Note: This is useful for automating your processes and workflows to be based on a time stamp you select on a per record basis.


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Formula Field

The most advanced functionality. This can utilize any filter formula supported by Airtable. View full details here.


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Note: To reference a field, always best to wrap it with curly brackets. Ex: {Field Name}

Note: This one DOES NOT auto update itself after it runs. So, in order to avoid picking up the same records every time a Zap uses this functionality, you would need to perform some type of update afterwords that cause the formula to no longer pick this record up on the next execution. For example, if your formula is: {TextField} = ‘Get Me’ then using the Record IDs, you would need a Bulk Update Action to bulk update each record and change the TextField value to something other than‘Get Me’. Otherwise this record would be picked up the next execution time since the Formula still holds true.

Note: Inserting values from previous Zap steps is perfectly viable and allows for very advanced functionality.


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Last Modified Field (*NEW*)


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In May 2019, Airtable released a new field type called "Last Modified Time". This allows for a simpler way to trigger on an updated record. Instead of having to use the Compare 2 Fields option, you can simple create a Last Modified field and use this new feature.

Note: This only works in Single Record Update Trigger. For Bulk Trigger, will still need to use the Compare 2 Fields approach, but you are able to utilize a Last Modified field as your monitoring field in that scenario.

Note: The option to set a Last Modified timestamp is not available in this mode so as to not create a cyclical loop of triggering this again.

Note: Be very careful to avoid cycles. If you perform an update on the same record, it's last modified may get updated, which will then trigger this again and possibly go into a never-ending loop.



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