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Why you Need a Custom UI for Airtable

Jun 01, 2020

One of the biggest limitations to Airtable is that the software is unable to link from one base to another. This is something that I've heard many clients complain about, but I think that this 'issue' is really rooted in a different problem. Ideally, all of our data would live in one single database (all interconnected). With everything in one database, we don't have to concern ourselves with the inability of bases to link. Why then do so many people build multiple databases for their data?

The real reason that I see many clients breaking data into various databases is because they have private information that they don't want to share with everyone on the team. Generally this comes in the form of financial or human resources related data. For example, if you're tracking your payroll, you really wouldn't want to share that info with your whole team.

When we reframe this problem, it becomes clear that the bigger issue at play is the visibility that users have regarding our database. Obviously we don't want to share access to the company's payroll with the entire company - so what's the best solution for sharing access to our database? This is precisely the solution that Stacker has solved by allowing us to create a custom UI, or 'user interface,' for our Airtable data.

With Stacker, you can choose exactly what team members are able to see, edit, and create within your database. Stacker talks directly with Airtable, so any changes your users make is instantly recorded in your Airtable database. You can choose which tables you want to make available, but even more granularly you can select individual fields as well.

Best yet, each user has access to unique data based on rules that you establish. For example, suppose you had three sales reps and you didn't want them to overlap on their prospects. In this case, you could assign prospects to a lead - in turn each lead only sees the prospects assigned to them!

For the longest time, my opinion was that Airtable and Zapier were the building blocks of the no-code future. However, as more of our clients rely on third-party interaction with their data, it has become increasingly apparent that a third tool is vital to this ecosystem - thankfully Stacker appeared just in time to fill that void.


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