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How Airtable Automations Differ from Zapier

Sep 07, 2020

With the new release of the Airtable Automations feature, Airtable has unlocked amazing new potential for its users. While it's still in the early stages, this feature allows us to automate from directly inside our databases, without needing to use a third-party software. But does this mean that users can completely abandon their Zapier accounts and run all of their automation directly inside Airtable?

In general, the answer to this is that we still need Zapier, but there are certainly a great deal of automations that can now run from Airtable. In fact, over the past couple of weeks, I have reduced my reliance on Zapier by approximately 50%. That's a lot of automation that's now taking place directly inside my database. Enough of a reduction that perhaps I'll consider downgrading my Zapier plan soon... but I don't think I'll be eliminating Zapier anytime soon.

So, when should an automation be built in Airtable vs. Zapier? There are a few things to consider:

  1. What's the trigger that sets the automation into motion?
  2. Does the same record need to trigger the same automation multiple times?
  3. Does the automation contain a large number of tasks?
  4. What other software is required in the automation?

The answer to these questions will help guide you to the optimal automation software. At this point, the answer varies on a 'case-by-case' basis - but by going through this process, you can begin to bring some of your automation directly into your database, potentially saving you money on the Zapier side of things!

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