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New Feature: Exploring Airtable Automations

airtable zapier Aug 24, 2020

For the past three years, I've been building my automated Airtable processes using Zapier. If you're unfamiliar with it, Zapier is a powerful tool that connects software on the internet using "If this, than that" logic. It allows you to set up processes that are governed by a set of rules. For example, if 'x' happens, then do 'y' and 'z.'

A lot of our work here at GAP Consulting relies heavily on automation, so you can imagine my excitement when Airtable released their newest feature: Automations! Now, it's possible to build an automated procedure directly in your database... Game. Changer.

While this feature is still early in it's lifespan, it already boasts some really advanced funtionality. At present, you can trigger automations to run scripts in your database, send email, and create or update Airtable records. Furthermore, you can send messages in Microsoft Teams or Slack.

That said, there are some drawbacks to this automation approach. For one, Airtable doesn't connect directly to a slew of ancillary software (yet). So, if you want to process an invoice in Quickbooks, Airtable Automations wouldn't help you (you'd still want to leverage Zapier). Also, the emails that are sent via Airtable Automation come from an Airtable email address, not your personal email, so for me, this seems like a tool that won't be very helpful for external communication.

In this week's video, I walk through the simple process of building an automation directly in Airtable. Watch as I talk through the logic and thought process of this procedure, as well as get some tips and tricks for your own Airtable Automations!

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