Airtable - Easier to deploy than SQL database with the benefits of MS Excel
August 12, 2019

Airtable - Easier to deploy than SQL database with the benefits of MS Excel

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Airtable

Airtable is being used by 80% of the organization. Due to our company being a start-up, it is hard to invest in building a front-end for our SQL database. When we were solely using the SQL database, it was impossible to track changes made by some developers and, as a result, data was corrupted. Now, the SQL database only has 2 personnel with write access. The others only have read access. This is where Airtable filled in the gap. Airtable is capable of showing the history in each line, who made the changes, and what was changed. If needed, I can revert the changes.
Airtable is something like a database combined with Excel, and it has similar capabilities, like Google Forms, where I can create a customized form and publish it on a website for others to fill in. Once submitted, it goes into a table.
  • Within 1 base, you can link data from multiple tables and manipulate that data to calculate a summary of useful info. For example, if you have different teams working on different parts of a project, with each inputting their own set of data. The manager is able to work out a summary of the info and get a clearer view. That said, it is not an easy task to manipulate the data. You will need in-depth knowledge of database and excel.
  • You can create specific views of each table and provide those views to anyone. This is useful when you want to provide a summary of info (which constantly changes) to outsiders without providing them the detailed input of data. For someone with no knowledge of calculating the data from a SQL database, this is useful.
  • You can also create forms for people to fill in. This is similar to Google Forms. I like this Airtable form because it submits directly to the tables where data can be calculated and integrated with the rest of the tables.
  • One issue we face was the inability to link bases. So for any calculations to be made, all tables have to be from the same base. So this makes a base very big and potentially dangerous with multiple teams updating different parts of the same base in different tables.
  • If different bases can be linked, there can be more segregation of data and access. I hope this can be implemented in the future.
  • Viewing of a single base with multiple tables is messy. Unlike a SQL database where all the tables are in the left sidebar, in Airtable, the look is more like Excel, where each table is a tab. This gets unsightly when there are over 5 tabs.
  • Before using Airtable, we used solely SQL database. That was bad because, due to being a start-up, we had little to invest in a front-end look for the SQL database. One of our developers updated the info in the database without permission, and that corrupted the data. Moving to Airtable, we were able to retrieve changes and revert if needed.
  • Airtable also allowed us to share data with our partners without having to create dedicated Excel spreadsheets. We could pull data from the existing Airtables and lock it in a certain view and share that with the partners. This helped save us a lot of time.
For simple database storage, Airtable is awesome and easy to use. With the integrated online forms, you can create questionnaires or submission forms for easy storage into the database.
The difficult part is combining data from different tables to pull out useful information. This requires more reading and experimentation to accomplish the type of insight we would like to get from the data. It is not the easiest to program the automatic calculations, but once done it is useful.
We haven't had a need to contact Airtable support. Their online self-help guide is pretty useful, and most information can be found through searching their online help. Since I haven't had a need to contact their online support, I can't tell how fast or helpful they are.
When using SQL database, there was no simple way to create tables and fields. It took time and a dedicated database administrator to take care of the database and updates.
For Airtable, you can easily create tables and fields. Tables can be deployed within minutes. Data can be copied and pasted easily like Excel. Different views can then be created for different purposes.
I like Airtable because it allows for different views. I can allocate a particular view to a particular company without worrying that it exposes data from another view. This also helps when data is constantly being updated. Both outsiders and myself can update the data in a certain view without showing the entire database to outsiders.
Airtable combines the strength of Excel and SQL databases. For someone with little experience with SQL database, Airtable solves it by giving you an easy to use database.

Airtable Feature Ratings

Resource Management
Gantt Charts
Not Rated
Not Rated
Workflow Automation
Team Collaboration
Support for Agile Methodology
Support for Waterfall Methodology
Not Rated
Document Management
Email integration
Not Rated
Mobile Access
Timesheet Tracking
Not Rated
Change request and Case Management
Not Rated
Budget and Expense Management