7/2/2024 – BuiltOnAir Live Podcast Full Show – S19-E01

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In This Episode

Welcome to the BuiltOnAir Podcast, the live show.  The BuiltOnAir Podcast is a live weekly show highlighting everything happening in the Airtable world.

Check us out at BuiltOnAir.com. Join our community, join our Slack Channel, and meet your fellow Airtable fans.

Todays Hosts

Alli Alosa – Hi there! I’m Alli 🙂 I’m a fine artist turned “techie” with a passion for organization and automation. I’m also proud to be a Community Leader in the Airtable forum, and a co-host of the BuiltOnAir podcast. My favorite part about being an Airtable consultant and developer is that I get to talk with people from all sorts of industries, and each project is an opportunity to learn how a business works.

Kamille Parks – I am an Airtable Community Forums Leader and the developer behind the custom Airtable app “Scheduler”, one of the winning projects in the Airtable Custom Blocks Contest now widely available on the Marketplace. I focus on building simple scripts, automations, and custom apps for Airtable that streamline data entry and everyday workflows.

Dan Fellars – I am the Founder of Openside, On2Air, and BuiltOnAir. I love automation and software. When not coding the next feature of On2Air, I love spending time with my wife and kids and golfing.

Show Segments

Round The Bases – 00:01:40 –

Meet the Creators – 00:01:41 –

Meet Silver Taza.

Visit them online

An App a Day – 00:01:42 –

Watch as we install, explore, and showcase the URL Shortener App from the Airtable Marketplace. The app is described as “Generate short links inside Airtable, with analytics, QR codes, and more.”.

View App

Field Focus – 00:01:42 –

A deep dive into the Format Formulas as Single Selects –  

Full Segment Details

Segment: Round The Bases

Start Time: 00:01:40

Roundup of what’s happening in the Airtable communities – Airtable, BuiltOnAir, Reddit, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

Segment: Meet the Creators

Start Time: 00:01:41

Silver Taza – I'm a seasoned software engineer with a passion for building software businesses. I also write a blog about my learnings. I've lived in 5 different countries, currently based in Estonia.

Meet Silver Taza.

Visit them online

Segment: An App a Day

Start Time: 00:01:42

Airtable App Showcase – URL Shortener – Generate short links inside Airtable, with analytics, QR codes, and more.

Watch as we install, explore, and showcase the URL Shortener App from the Airtable Marketplace. The app is described as “Generate short links inside Airtable, with analytics, QR codes, and more.”.

View App

Segment: Field Focus

Start Time: 00:01:42

Learn about the Format Formulas as Single Selects –

A deep dive into the Format Formulas as Single Selects –  

Full Transcription

The full transcription for the show can be found here:

[00:00:00] Intro: Welcome to the Built On Air Podcast, the variety show for all things Airtable. In each episode, we cover four different segments. It's always fresh and different, and lots of fun. While you get the insider info on all things Airtable, our hosts and guests are some of the most senior experts in the Airtable community.

[00:00:26] Join us live each week on our YouTube channel every Tuesday at 11:00 AM Eastern and join our active [email protected]. Before we begin, a word from our sponsor on. On2Air Backups provides automated Airtable backups to your cloud storage for secure and reliable data protection. Prevent data loss and set up a secure Airtable backup system with On2Air Backups at on2air.

[00:00:49] com. As one customer, Sarah, said, Having automated Airtable backups has freed up hours of my time every other week. And the fear of losing anything. Long time customer [00:01:00] David states, On2Wear backups might be the most critical piece of the puzzle to guard against unforeseeable disaster. It's easy to set up, and it just works.

[00:01:08] Join Sarah, David, and hundreds more Airtable users like you to protect your Airtable data with On2Wear backups. Sign up today with promo code built on air for a 10 percent discount. Check them out at onto air. com. And now let's check out today's episode and see what we built on air.

[00:01:37] Dan Fellars: All right. Welcome back. We're back in with a new season, season 19, episode one. Good to be back with everybody on the built on air podcast. Myself, Dan Fellars, Kamille parks, and Alli Alosa regulars with us. And we have with us special guests, silver Taza. Welcome silver. Good to have you on the show. [00:02:00] We're going to learn more about silver and, and, uh, his background coming up later in the show.

[00:02:05] I'll walk us through what we're going to be doing. We have an hour to share with you all the latest and greatest. of, of what's going on in the world of Airtable. We'll start with our around the bases, covering any updates and news in the different communities. Then we'll talk about onto where backups are sponsor.

[00:02:23] Then we will learn about silver and his background and what he is up to. And then silver is going to share. His application URL shortener, and then a quick shout out to join our community at built on air. And then finally, Alli is going to walk through some new updates with formulas and how to format them.

[00:02:45] ROUND THE BASES - 00:02:54

[00:02:47] Okay. Round the bases. Okay. We've been off for a month. So lots of new, um, feature announcements that we'll talk about before the feature announcements, they did launch their air [00:03:00] table Academy. So if you are looking to learn more about Airtable, um, they've got different programs, depending on what you're trying to do, and uh, featured courses.

[00:03:13] And things like that. So, um, you can get certified going through this and everything. So this is a new launch that I assume we'll get more and more attention, uh, over time. So I believe Kamille, you've spent some time in here. 

[00:03:29] Kamille Parks: I did none of the lessons and went straight to the, uh, certification, uh, which I received.

[00:03:37] Um, I should go through and just watch a couple of the videos just so that I could You know, see how helpful they are, as opposed to some of the older, uh, helper material that Airtable has released in the past. Of course, they had a YouTube channel where they used to do, uh, brief tutorials for many pieces of the product, their support articles, etc.

[00:03:59] So, it [00:04:00] would be good, from my perspective, if I knew, um, just how in depth these courses are in comparison to some of their other 

[00:04:07] Dan Fellars: authors. So yeah, there's a Airtable Builder certification available. All right, let's talk about new features that have come out in the last, uh, since our last show. So it looks like we've got four that they've posted on their updates.

[00:04:27] There's actually more that we'll talk about, but let's go through and we want this one. We won't talk too much about other than just address. This is the one that Allie's going to walk through in, in deep dive. Um, but essentially it allows you to format, um, formula fields as if they look like a single select field.

[00:04:50] So you can have coloring and the, and kind of the, the pill format. So that is cool. There's a couple of nuances you need to [00:05:00] be aware about. So that's what Alli is going to show us on how to use that one. So that's one. Let's see. What else we got? Kanban view refresh. Actually, I don't know if I even noticed this.

[00:05:15] I 

[00:05:15] Kamille Parks: think I noticed it the day it was launched, but the day it was launched, I was like, how long has it looked like this? Cause I so rarely use the Kanban view. Um, it looks more like some of the newer pieces of the product. So there's design parody in there, which is nice. If you have it as part of, like, a detail page, it blends in better with the page.

[00:05:41] And it also fixed one of the annoyances I had with detail pages in, um, the sizing of Kanban, uh, sections was so short and it was unchangeable, unlike some of the other options that they had. And this design, we've [00:06:00] kind of fixed that, um, Oversight. So not a whole lot of new features, but it did fix this very particular annoyance.

[00:06:10] Dan Fellars: Nice. So it looks like it just kind of got rid of the borders, cleaned it up a bit, more white space. 

[00:06:17] Kamille Parks: Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:06:21] Dan Fellars: Cool. Cool. So yeah, no, no new functionAllity there. Sort in automations. This introduces the ability to sort lists of records found via Find record actions directly within automations, enhancing the consistency and sophistication of automation outputs.

[00:06:42] Kamille Parks: This is a good one. It's a very simple one, but it is very good. Um, there's a lot of times where I need to pass a list of record IDs immediately into another script. And previously I had to query the whole table again. I could sort my list in a particular way, but now [00:07:00] I don't have to do that. It's a, it's a very, it feels like a minor change that adds a lot of, it makes a lot of things easier.

[00:07:09] Alli Alosa: Yeah, absolutely. There's a couple, um, I guess downsides to it, which are that, um, the next one we were going to talk about is the increased Uh, find record limits. So you could only find 100 records at a time. Now you can find up to 1000, but this sort will only work on the result of that find record step.

[00:07:33] So if you need to sort the records to find, you have more than 1000 records and need to get like the top 1000, for example, this is not going to help with that. Um, because you can only sort after you've found, um, The records. So there's no way to like, you know, sort it and then pull the top thousand or top however many you need.

[00:07:56] Um, and then the other downside is that you can, you can sort by [00:08:00] multiple fields, but you can only pick 1 direction for all of those fields. So if you need to sort, like, by status and ascending direction, and then by due date in descending direction, that's not possible right now. It all has to be 1 direction.

[00:08:13] Um, well, there's not very happy with this. 

[00:08:17] Dan Fellars: Yeah. Interesting. Yeah. You wonder, uh, let's talk about this one. Yeah. Increased find record limits. So it went from 100 up to a thousand. 

[00:08:29] Kamille Parks: Really good. So this is very useful. I made use of it practically immediately. There were so many times where I knew for a fact I needed to find a hundred, like four records and I couldn't do it.

[00:08:42] Uh, so this is very useful. I will say an annoyance I have is that. If you are querying a table with a script using table. selectRecordsAsync, And you want to pass it specific record IDs. The limit for that is still [00:09:00] 100. So what I used to do all the time was use a fine record step to do all of my filtering.

[00:09:07] And then, um, I needed to do some complex process or whatever. Uh, so I would still need a script, but I would pass in the record IDs and that makes the script run faster. If the script has a script timeout. Well, I can't, I can still do that. If I'm, if I capped the limit at 100, you can manually set the fine record estimates maximum.

[00:09:29] It could be one, it could be 100. It could be a thousand. It could be whatever, um, whatever up to a thousand, but if you want to pass it record IDs into, uh, uh, a query after that, you have to query the entire table and then filter it down afterward, which seems silly. Undoubtedly would take longer to do that, but that's the only way to do it.

[00:09:55] Agreed. 

[00:09:57] Dan Fellars: Yeah, this still, still presents [00:10:00] issues, especially you wonder if somebody said, Hey, we need sorting and automation finds and like, okay, they implemented it, but. You really need it in this step when you're actually finding it. I don't, they really need to be able to add sorting as part of this because then, then, you know, like I just need a thousand in this, you know, sort.

[00:10:23] Kamille Parks: Exactly. I was just going to double down that the fine record and the sort record are two separate action types. They are completely separate from each other. 

[00:10:32] Dan Fellars: Yeah.

[00:10:36] Maybe they're working on that, but, uh, but you can, uh, well, I don't know why you would, if I was, yeah, nevermind.

[00:10:49] All right. So those are all the, um, the new features that they announced. We'll talk a little bit about some, some other ones, um, going to here's, [00:11:00] here's the article, uh, talking about the. The new single select output formatting. Okay. Going into the, um, air table community. If you want to see more discussion on, um, these new features, a lot of these are highlighted first in the built on air community and good discussion.

[00:11:20] I'm talking about this. Uh, yeah, uh, converting a single select. Maybe we'll talk about this alley. Um, it will break your interfaces. Something about that. Jen says out of field will break your interface. It's 

[00:11:38] Alli Alosa: so true. 

[00:11:40] Dan Fellars: Yeah. Okay. Next one. Um, okay, here's one that, uh, Came out, um, that I don't, it doesn't look like they announced this in their list, but the is within custom range can remember, we might've talked about this on our [00:12:00] last show.

[00:12:01] Um, 

[00:12:02] Kamille Parks: we did because I, I have this vague memory of air table. Announcing something to do with compound date filters, but it being phrased in such a way that I had no idea what they were talking about. I think this is the thing they were talking about. 

[00:12:21] Dan Fellars: Yeah. Yeah. I think this was, Scott found it within the last time we.

[00:12:27] We, uh, last spoke. So that's a cool feature. Um, so if you want to filter within a range, um, but it has to be exact range, unfortunately. So you have to set the specific dates. That's one. That's we got here. So here's another one. Um, showing forms on the base menu navigation. I've seen people share 

[00:12:53] Alli Alosa: screenshots of this, but it's not live on any of my accounts yet.

[00:12:58] I don't have it either. [00:13:00] Yeah, might be doing some A B 

[00:13:01] Kamille Parks: testing there. 

[00:13:02] Dan Fellars: A B. Oh, I see. I like that it's 

[00:13:05] Kamille Parks: there, because it's so hard to find new forms. You have to go to interfaces first, and then go down to the forms section. It, it's like hidden. It's not, it's not nearly as, uh, discoverable as I would like it to be, so.

[00:13:23] If they go for it with this navigation option, it works for me. 

[00:13:29] Dan Fellars: Yeah. Yeah. That'd be interesting though. If they kind of make forms be first class citizens and add more functionAllity there. 

[00:13:42] Alli Alosa: Could always use more form functionAllity. That's for sure. 

[00:13:46] Kamille Parks: There are certainly some form features that I think are missing.

[00:13:49] So if they, they seem to be investing in forms in the same way, they're investing in interface designer and that. Forms were nested under interface anyway. Um, [00:14:00] there's the same engine that powers both of them in terms of at least dragging and dropping like the engine on top of it. So maybe they're going to add more than what we've seen in the past few months.

[00:14:12] I'm not sure what they would add, but I have a lot of suggestions. Yeah. 

[00:14:19] Dan Fellars: All right. Here's one. I'm not 100 percent sure on this one, but Max, uh, who's actually going to be on the show next week says in dashboard page groups allow for multiple data sources on same page. Is that new? 

[00:14:33] Kamille Parks: No, I don't think so. It's just not very obvious.

[00:14:38] It's not obvious at all because most people, I think the inclination is just to build in that first group that you start with, um, or you might not start with any groups, you might have to manually create your own, but a lot of people will want to have, you know, two charts representing two different table sources, and that's not something you could do.

[00:14:58] And I think [00:15:00] immediately what someone might think is, Oh, a dashboard is for one table. It is at the group level, but there's not. You know, there is that separation that makes it a little less clear. And a lot of times I think a lot of people want to have those things side by side. Um, I get it why you can't do that because having a single source per group allows the filter components at the top to control everything inside it.

[00:15:27] So like, I think they probably weighed the pros and cons, but, uh, personally, I would like to be able to mix and match. I would like to have multiple sources. And per element, if I could pick which source each filter is targeting, then, you know, that would be great. 

[00:15:44] Alli Alosa: Yeah, that's, that's how the, the original dashboard and the current still blank layout and even the record summary layout, that's still how those function, but the filter element is just, In my opinion, quite clunky looking and not easy to [00:16:00] really use.

[00:16:01] But I love that. I mean, like you said, Kamille, like there's pros and cons. Like I like being able to point that filter element at just a subset of the elements that I've chosen. But it was also very confusing and not very intuitive to figure out how to do that for like a beginner user, I guess, if that makes sense.

[00:16:24] Yeah, there's plenty of situations where I'd love to be able to show like a chart of everything and then have a chart next to it that's filterable, or for example, I mean. 

[00:16:34] Kamille Parks: Right. 

[00:16:35] Alli Alosa: Yeah. 

[00:16:35] Kamille Parks: Sometimes I don't want it to filter. You're right, Allie. Wait a minute. I didn't even think of that. 

[00:16:41] Alli Alosa: Right. Yeah. Like, I want to keep, like, so they can compare one specific subset to the total, like, for, as an example.

[00:16:48] Um, but, yeah, there's pros and cons, ups and downs. 

[00:16:54] Dan Fellars: That's where I, I, I've been building interfaces, uh, recently, and I keep [00:17:00] defaulting to the blank canvas because of that. More flexibility there. More so than the dashboard, but this is good. Cause when you create a new dashboard, you don't specifically define the initial group, right?

[00:17:13] That's created by default. So I think people don't reAllize that there even is a group. Yeah, that makes sense. All right, next one. So here's more kind of a discussion, um, on charting problems. We've talked a lot about charting, um, looking for a solution. Um, I'm plotting two different fields on the same chart.

[00:17:41] Russell gives a good, um, uh, work around, um, to be able to do something like this, quite what Brian was hoping for. Uh, and then Russell suggests no loco is an option. It does have that [00:18:00] multi series charting. 

[00:18:02] Alli Alosa: Yeah. There's a lot more advanced functionAllity that Airtable could add to their charts. This specific thing kind of makes me think of a demo.

[00:18:14] I did long ago on the show. I'm not sure exactly when, but if you have the ability to have multi source synced tables, depending on your plan, you can. Kind of hack together a chart if you sync the same data multiple times to a new table And it all ends up in one column because you can point fields to the same columns Um, I use that trick quite often to get more advanced looking charts and have two different fields compared in the same Same like line chart, for example.

[00:18:52] Dan Fellars: Interesting. Yeah, that's an interesting one. So, okay.[00:19:00] 

[00:19:03] Alli Alosa: I think we lost Dan for a second. 

[00:19:05] Kamille Parks: No, it's the first episode. I know.

[00:19:13] Hmm. What do we do? He's controlling the screen. 

[00:19:18] Alli Alosa: Yes. Oh my goodness. Uh, we can talk real quick about, there was um, They also increased or added functionAllity to the dynamic filtering to allow for other field types like single select, roll ups, formulas, text. So that's exciting. 

[00:19:41] Kamille Parks: That's a big one. I'm surprised that they didn't put that on their what's new page.

[00:19:47] They might have put it on the community. But yeah, that's huge. The fields that you were hoping for are probably there now. Exactly. 

[00:19:58] Alli Alosa: Yeah. The only thing to note [00:20:00] about the single select field, I was helping a client with this yesterday and I was like, why is this not working? Like this should work. And then I looked more into it.

[00:20:07] And if you're using single select fields on two different tables, they have to have exactly the same options, 

[00:20:15] Kamille Parks: which 

[00:20:16] Alli Alosa: is interesting. I'm not really sure like why they made that decision. Like I could see. Use cases where you wouldn't need to do that. But I mean, I typically, if I'm, I wouldn't recommend even using single selects for that purpose, cause I would just at that point recommend using a linked record field.

[00:20:34] So your options are still always the same between the two tables. But yeah, that's important to note is the single select field must be the same on both tables. Um, other than that though, really excited along those lines. I've 

[00:20:50] Kamille Parks: been noticing more and more in automations.

[00:20:57] If you were to say, let's say you have a find [00:21:00] record step and you're looking for single select is, and then you have a dynamic value. If that is not a possible value that you fed it, the automation will error rather than just come with no value. I wish it didn't do that. 

[00:21:15] Alli Alosa: Yeah, that's really interesting.

[00:21:19] Sorry about 

[00:21:20] Dan Fellars: that. I'm back. 

[00:21:21] Alli Alosa: Yay. 

[00:21:24] Dan Fellars: Alright. Ready to move on? 

[00:21:29] Alli Alosa: Yes. 

[00:21:31] Dan Fellars: Cool. Thank you. Sorry about that. Internet dropped. Um, okay. A couple, if you like, uh, hearing what's going on in, in Airtable, um, executives, how he's been making the rounds on several podcasts as well as others at Airtable. So, uh, they're really pushing their new AI functionAllity.

[00:21:51] So they, they're going around, um, talking a lot about the new AI features in Airtable. So several podcasts, we'll put the links to [00:22:00] those. If you want to listen to Howie, also other, other, um, executives at Airtable, um, Anthony Maggio, who's head of product, talking about their AI, and I believe one more, um, yeah, another one.

[00:22:19] With AWS and Airtable harnessing AI and marketing. So some good stuff there. Airtable is also hiring. If you're a solutions consultant or architecture solutions and engineer, it looks like they have several openings. So if you'd love to work for Airtable itself. You can apply there. Check him out. And here's an interesting one on linked in.

[00:22:46] Um, I guess a phishing attack using air table. So hackers are fans of air table. Um, this person got an email that had a link going to a shared view. And [00:23:00] in that shared view had it made, they made it look like it was one drive and it had some links to files and those, those links were, um, had malware on them.

[00:23:09] So be careful if you're seeing, um, shady emails that, that link to Airtable may, may be unsafe.

[00:23:20] And here's one more. We all, we always like to look at, uh, competitors to Airtable. Here's an interesting one. We saw on, uh, somebody posted on X and it's, um, auto. So it's basically the AI functionAllity with air table or with a, with a, you know, table with different, uh, field types. So if you're really looking for speciAllizing in AI.

[00:23:46] This could be an interesting one. I haven't played with it, but, uh, another one out there doing stuff. You could also kind of do, I think, similar to this inside of Airtable now with their new [00:24:00] feature. Okay. One more shout out for a dare table. Um, I believe they extended their early, uh, rate for a couple more weeks.

[00:24:10] I got an email on that yesterday, so I believe you can still get the early bird rates for a couple more weeks. So shout out to our friends at dare table. Um, and, uh, the email also alluded to some big announcements coming. So curious to, to hear about that. And, uh, are both of you, both of you are presenting.

[00:24:33] And we're 

[00:24:34] Kamille Parks: required by law. 

[00:24:36] Dan Fellars: Very good. So the podcast will be well represented in presenters there. 

[00:24:43] Alli Alosa: Looking forward to it. 

[00:24:46] Dan Fellars: All right. Let's end with a little bit of humor. Um, this is when the Webflow form to Airtable record update to automated Gmail response app works perfectly. That's when everything [00:25:00] comes together.

[00:25:00] When you've got all these pieces tied together, it works in perfect harmony like this GIF. 

[00:25:07] Kamille Parks: Sometimes it really does feel like that's what we're doing. 

[00:25:10] Dan Fellars: Yeah. 

[00:25:11] Kamille Parks: Hit this target that's always moving. 

[00:25:15] Dan Fellars: Yeah, especially sometimes the tools make you have to go the long way when it would have been easier just to hit the ball directly.

[00:25:31] All right. That concludes our around the bases. We'll move on. 

[00:25:35] ON2AIR BACKUPS SPOTLIGHT - 00:25:35

[00:25:37] Give a quick shout out to onto our backups. If you are using air table to run your business. Uh, best practices to make sure your data is backed up outside of air table. And, um, that's where onto air comes in. It backs up your data to box dropbox or Google drive and backs up all your data, your attachments, as well as your schema, including your formula fields, [00:26:00] uh, your formulas and everything, uh, at the schema level.

[00:26:04] So check it out at onto air. com. I'll give a quick insight. We are getting close to launching the ability to restore your backups back into air table. That's the top rated feature we've been asked for. And, uh, that is going into Q and a this week. So hopefully a couple of weeks that will be going live. So excited for that.

[00:26:28] MEET THE CREATOR - SILVER TAZA - 00:26:30

[00:26:30] All right, silver. Good to have you with us. I'm going to turn it over to Kamille to ask you a few questions. 

[00:26:39] Silver Taza: Sure. Should I do a quick intro or are we going to question first? 

[00:26:46] Kamille Parks: Tell me about yourself. 

[00:26:49] Silver Taza: Right? Um, so my name is silver Taza and that's actually my real name. Not a fake one. I'm from Estonia, but I've also lived in the UK, in Scotland, uh, [00:27:00] in Singapore, Switzerland, and last year I lived in Canada.

[00:27:04] So that's why I don't have this pure Estonian accent here. Um, I've been a software engineer for about a decade and I've worked at Microsoft, some web development shops, uh, in e commerce and also in a large SaaS startup. Um, so my true calling actually isn't software engineering per se, but, um, actually entrepreneurship.

[00:27:28] So this is why I have this, uh, small title here. Micro SaaS founder. I can tell you a bit what that means. Um, it's, SaaS is software, um, Software as a service, right? And micro SAS is basically a tinier version of that. And usually what makes it micro is the fact that some aspects of building businesses are already solved by the platform on where you build this.

[00:27:57] Basically, hence why I'm here. Um, [00:28:00] so how I started here is. I started on the Rob Walling's stair step approach to, uh, building bootstrapped businesses. Uh, Rob Walling is, uh, like a quite known guy in the SaaS space. And I've been following his, uh, his steps, so to say. And for this, I, um, I started out with Shopify.

[00:28:25] I tried building a couple of apps on there, uh, first, uh, but found it to be too saturated and really hard to market, um, what you're doing there and building there wasn't the most pleasant experience. Um, so what I did next was I. I did a more thorough analysis on all different, these types of marketplaces where people build apps and, uh, often also ask like a subscription fees for them if they're, if they provide value to the end users and [00:29:00] so the.

[00:29:01] The platforms that came on top were Airtable, Notion and Monday that actually had some sort of an upward trajectory and almost all other, like, all, almost all other platforms that I would be great building on, um, they, they seemed either plateaued or dying. So, um, why I chose Airtable? Uh, I, it, it just felt right to me.

[00:29:25] And I also had used it briefly in the last company I worked at. So, so I, I felt like it could be a good start. And as far as I read the forums, um, on the air table community, I actually like the community here and it's like night and day compared to what, what, what's going on on Shopify. So I'm, I'm, I'm really happy to be here.

[00:29:51] Um, yeah, and how I got to the apps that I'm at right now, um, initially I started researching what [00:30:00] is, what's missing in the air table marketplace. And I couldn't find, well, I was initially on the free, free tier myself and I couldn't find any like proper, uh, GPT wrappers or like AI solutions. So I actually started building a, like more decent GPT wrapper as.

[00:30:22] There's a lot of engineers tend to do because it's a cool new technology, right? Um, so I did most of the work and then reAllized that actually Airtable is doing it themselves. And then I completely dropped the project and, and started looking for a new solution. So I, I was perusing through what happens on Google workspaces and what solutions are there for Sheets because Google Sheets and Airtable has a lot of, you know, Uh, similar functionAllities, even though they do serve different markets.

[00:30:54] And I also found that, um, an URL shortener is [00:31:00] missing from air table. And since it's like a common system design interview question, when you're a software engineer, but I thought, Hey, this will be a quick thing to build. So this is basically why I did that. But of course, um, Everything is much harder than it initially looks and, and it took quite a bit of time, but, but now it's out there and I'm really happy how it looks and how it functions.

[00:31:28] And also so far, uh, I think it's been out about three weeks of, I have forward 54 customers so far, or like 54 installs. Uh, so I'm happy that people are finding this as well. 

[00:31:46] Kamille Parks: I do want to say it is a formative shared experience to build something for the Airtable marketplace and then Airtable drops a feature that does the same thing.

[00:31:57] Like in the middle of development. [00:32:00] 

[00:32:00] Silver Taza: Yeah, it's, it's called platform risk. And whenever you're building anything on top of another platform, another product, then, then it's, it's a major risk of control for any entrepreneur really. But, but yeah, it's, it's still a good place to start.

[00:32:18] Kamille Parks: Yeah, I love the, uh, looking through what's already out there and identifying what you can add to the community, and I'm glad to hear that we're a little more welcoming, or at least less, less dire than perhaps Shopify's community might be. 

[00:32:40] Silver Taza: Yeah, and not just the community, actually building an app on Airtable is so much better.

[00:32:46] It, it allows you to actually do things you want to do with Shopify. It's, it's so strict the way you can actually modify anything. Even though Airtable also has very few things you can [00:33:00] actually do to modify the, the table and data itself, then what you can do in the interface is quite free. 

[00:33:09] Kamille Parks: Yeah, I, I had first learned react by doing a hackathon for air tables.

[00:33:16] Um, you know, marketplace ecosystem just before it, it came into its maturity. And I, I found it easy enough to learn, obviously that I did it. Uh, but it was a nice sort of experience having freedom to do a lot and then having to reel yourself back in, like, what should I do? 

[00:33:37] Silver Taza: Yeah. Still, I think. For a lot of new engineers, uh, when they want to build something on top of their table, then they'll, they, they will most likely get stuck with OAuth though, if they want to do any authentication on top of it.

[00:33:52] Kamille Parks: Oh yeah, absolutely. That's the first thing I got stuck on.

[00:33:59] So, um, [00:34:00] 

[00:34:00] Dan Fellars: I was going to say, I read your, your blog post on your website talking about how you looked at the different platforms. I thought that was pretty, uh, interesting approach to kind of take like a, a data driven approach to what marketplace to go after. 

[00:34:16] Silver Taza: Yeah, it's, it's somewhat of a disease of mine.

[00:34:19] It's really hard not being over analytical about everything, but sometimes it just, 

[00:34:26] Kamille Parks: well, 

[00:34:26] Silver Taza: yeah. You 

[00:34:29] Kamille Parks: said Notion and Monday were the other two sort of ecosystems that you were looking into. I would have thought Coda. Monday is surprising to me. 

[00:34:42] Silver Taza: Um, actually, I haven't heard of Coda. Um, Monday, I don't know. It has just been around the, like, sphere of information that I'm familiar with.

[00:34:55] And, uh, but yeah, Monday [00:35:00] has, has a lot of, uh, apps already as well for its size. Um, and I think Airtable doesn't have, uh, enough apps for its size. So in that sense, Airtable is a much better opportunity. Notion is great for. It's barrier to entry because if you build something, then you can more focus on serving your customers and less on the competition if you are admitted to the marketplace, but it's really hard to get into the marketplace in the first place.

[00:35:34] Kamille Parks: That's the 

[00:35:34] Silver Taza: thing with barriers to entry. Gotcha. 

[00:35:37] Kamille Parks: So how would, how would you describe your experience getting into the marketplace for air cable? For those who are less familiar with. Develop ecosystem. Anyone can make their own custom extension and use it for their own purposes. But to get into the marketplace, there is a mission process where there's a code review and oftentimes that there's [00:36:00] feedback before it actually makes its way onto the market.

[00:36:04] Silver Taza: Yeah, the, um, what the good thing about the, about the Shopify experience was that they trained me really well to do really good submissions because they were very strict about it. So, I actually got through with my first submission to the, uh, to the marketplace. Um, The point is to just gather a lot of data and help the testers to, to do their thing.

[00:36:29] Um, uh, the, I guess the most annoying part was that you, you don't really get a lot of information after you've submitted it. Uh, and I waited for three weeks without a response. Uh, But, but then finally they reviewed it and once it was reviewed, I actually had a much tighter communication with the reviewer after that.

[00:36:54] So I'm at least glad for that. 

[00:36:58] Kamille Parks: Yeah, that seems about [00:37:00] right. From my more recent experience, there is that delay before you're, I guess, in the queue uh, for reviewing, uh, things and after launch, which there is a little bit more Data analytics that's provided at a box for, you know, number of installs, et cetera.

[00:37:17] Silver Taza: Oh yeah. Oh yeah, absolutely. Any analytics, please. 

[00:37:22] Kamille Parks: There used to be, this might've been before you had started developing, but they, they did used to send you. PersonAllized information, even how many installs and unique users, et cetera. 

[00:37:33] Silver Taza: Even the reviewer asked me how, how I even know how many installs I have.

[00:37:39] I had to explain to him how I, how I do that, which is funny.

[00:37:46] Kamille Parks: It's something I wish I added to some of my apps and then elected not to. Um, but yeah, that I, I love hearing other people's experience joining into the more developer side of. [00:38:00] Um, the ecosystem for air table, cause that's, you know, holds a special place in my heart, uh, being in the marketplace myself, I do want to take a look at the app that you have built.

[00:38:15] Dan Fellars: We do a quick transition here. Okay. Yeah. So 

[00:38:20] AN APP A DAY - AIRTABLE URL SHORTENER - 00:38:23

[00:38:23] Silva is going to showcase an app called URL shortener. There's your screen. There you go. 

[00:38:30] Silver Taza: So you're seeing the screen, the marketplace. This is how the, uh, listing looks like the logo here. I made it animated and all. I'm very happy about that. 

[00:38:42] Dan Fellars: Um, 

[00:38:43] Silver Taza: yeah, um, um, 

[00:38:45] Dan Fellars: yours is probably the only animated I know it's the second one 

[00:38:50] Kamille Parks: for a second.

[00:38:51] I thought the link expanded when you hovered over it and I was like, how did you do that? But it was just fortuitous timing. 

[00:38:59] Silver Taza: [00:39:00] Uh, well, they do sort of when you, when you click on the link and you're on the view tab, then it shows, uh, the shortened link here on the right, 

[00:39:12] Kamille Parks: the animated logo, 

[00:39:13] Silver Taza: but 

[00:39:14] Kamille Parks: this is really cool.

[00:39:15] I do. I love a good clean interface. And I'm already very pleased with what I see here. 

[00:39:22] Silver Taza: So I'll show the, uh, basic workflow. So you just select a couple of URLs that you want to shorten, and then you pick a destination field for this. With the next release, I'll make it more convenient. basically does some really good guesses here.

[00:39:40] So you don't have to click, click it yourself and just click on shorten URLs. Um, yeah. And you have the small summary under here that shows what it did. Um, there's also some like. Copy to clipboard, uh, show easy to copy view. So you can just, [00:40:00] uh, select these and copy, copy them yourself if you're the sort of person.

[00:40:04] And it also put them in the short link column here. And if, if you want, you can also add short notes to these, uh, when this short link expires or also give it a custom slog. So you can just do like best study slash, um, campaign one, or. Or anything you like, but, but this is the basic functionAllity where it generates you a unique link.

[00:40:34] And once you're done with these, um, you can view all of your created links. I have this here, and this has all the information about the short link you just created. Um, there's also a QR code here, um, for copying or downloading, especially when you're on the mobile phone, then you might find [00:41:00] use cases for this.

[00:41:01] Usually QR codes and short links go together. Um, even though I'm not. Super familiar with the use case here. Um, I also track the links to these, um, short links, um, which is good for anything marketing related. So you can see the different clicks that have been done with these, um, uh, With this short link.

[00:41:26] So whenever someone clicks on it, it saves it and shows where it's from as accurate as it can, this is from a public database. So, um, um, so, so, so it's not like super specific, but usually you still get the, you, you still get the city, but sometimes it's just the country. It's still a good thing to understand where your customers are coming from.

[00:41:50] If you use it for this sort of a purpose. Um, Yeah. And then there are settings where you can give [00:42:00] me feedback, which I really, really like. That's about it. Um, 

[00:42:09] Dan Fellars: what, what service does it use for the shortener? 

[00:42:13] Silver Taza: I had to build my own shortener because I couldn't reuse other shorteners because they're way too expensive.

[00:42:19] So I would have had to like transition these costs to, to my users. Uh, yeah. Um, It's, it's just a basic, uh, URL shortener service. Yeah, it doesn't do anything super magical. Why I use the PES. E is that it means meringue in Estonian. It, it seemed cool. Nice. 

[00:42:47] Dan Fellars: Very cool. Okay. So there is, I was, cause I was going to ask, I did you require them to enter their own API key for the shortener or so you've built your own.

[00:42:55] So there isn't the additional cost. 

[00:42:58] Silver Taza: Yeah, a, a person did [00:43:00] ask me whether they could use their own domain, but, um, that's quite out of scope right now, uh, 

[00:43:07] Kamille Parks: with the first casual about it, just, I built my own 

[00:43:11] Silver Taza: URL shortening. Oh, yeah, I'm only casual about this because it is just a basic software system design interview question.

[00:43:20] It's, it's like something a lot of people know. Um, yeah, what did I want to say? Oh, um, the very few, the very first customers that I had, the very first installs were pretty funny. Uh, the very first install that I had immediately after signing in, they did a thousand URLs. And the very next one did 5, 000 and I was really surprised that it actually worked and nothing, nothing failed here.

[00:43:56] Um, yeah. Even though for the [00:44:00] free tier, I've currently limited to a hundred URLs, but if you do it in a batch, you can go over it as much as you want right now. Uh, but, but, but soon I'll, I'll fix that. I think. Gotcha. 

[00:44:13] Dan Fellars: Very cool. So there's a free tier and then a paid tier for more. 

[00:44:18] Silver Taza: Yeah. It's just because, uh, serving these short URLs with analytics will, uh, eventually, uh, wear on the server.

[00:44:26] So it has to, has to be somewhat limited. Uh, I don't know if a hundred is the correct number, but I checked other URL shorteners and it seems like a good idea. 

[00:44:39] Dan Fellars: Awesome. Cool. Well, let's, uh, hope that the need is, is there and, uh, more people use up, use it up. Um, yeah, yeah. I'm also, I'm also in the marketplace and I hope that Airtable promotes the marketplace more and makes it part of their strategy.

[00:44:59] They, [00:45:00] they, they tend to, um, de emphasize it. Um, to their detriment, I believe. So 

[00:45:06] Silver Taza: yeah, right now my main goal with this is to get a few people that actually talk to me about what they want out of this so I can build it for them 

[00:45:15] Kamille Parks: for free, 

[00:45:15] Silver Taza: basically for free. 

[00:45:18] Kamille Parks: They're free. 

[00:45:22] Dan Fellars: He'll incorporate it into the paid.

[00:45:25] Yeah,

[00:45:29] cool. Awesome. Silver really appreciate you coming on and showing that my pleasure. Yep. So they can check it out, find it in the marketplace. You also have your website, silver Taza. com. Exactly. 

[00:45:45] Silver Taza: Yeah. I've also wrote about the tech stack and what, what you need to actually build an air table app, if anyone's interested.

[00:45:54] Dan Fellars: You have a great name. You also, your name could be a great company name as well. Silver Taza. [00:46:00] That's a great product name as well. 

[00:46:02] Silver Taza: Thanks. 

[00:46:03] Dan Fellars: All right, let's move on. 


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[00:47:03] Hey, Allie, let's learn more about the new formulas.

[00:47:08] Alli Alosa: All right. This is something I am excited about. I'm extremely excited about and I've been trying to work it into various projects. Um, there's some caveats that we will talk about, um, but, so there is a new option for formula fields so that if you have a text output, so for an example, here's a formula that has a text output, um, you can change it to be displayed like a single select field.

[00:47:43] And so what I'm showing right now is something I did a demo on long ago on the show before this feature was available, where I would often have a formula field that has something output. So in this example, I've got table of [00:48:00] opportunities, and then I've got this aging status field where I'm saying, all right, how old is it?

[00:48:05] Like just comparing, um, how many weeks aging each opportunity is and saying, all right, if it's not closed, like just say, if it's If it's getting old, getting older, if it's in danger, et cetera. Um, and I would have a formula field next to that. That's basically comparing the value of this single select field to the value of this formula.

[00:48:29] And if something changes, like if I take this close date and move it to June. Now this runs an automation that takes this value and inputs it into the actual single select. And that gives a lot more flexibility because you, when you go to filter by that field, as an example, one plus is that now I can filter with a drop down, whereas [00:49:00] previously, if I didn't have that, I would have to remember what the values are and actually type that into the field in order to filter.

[00:49:07] filter by the formula field. You can also set it up with colors and all this fun stuff. Um, so that's the process I had been using, which, um, worked well, but also uses up automations and things can potentially get stuck. Um, so I am very excited about the ability to use this new feature. So the new feature is, I'm just going to duplicate this formula field and we will look at it.

[00:49:39] So I've got fancy formula all set up. It's just returning different values depending on, um, an actual status field. And then also then looking at the weeks that this opportunity has been aging. Um, but now if I go to the formatting tab, this is the new feature where we have this new [00:50:00] toggle and we can change the output to single select options.

[00:50:05] So if I turn that on, it's going to give me this, a screen that looks like this, where it automatically loads in an option called default. Um, and this is one of the weird little caveats to pay attention to, which is, um, you need to manually enter in all of the possible options that that formula might return, um, in order to have this work the way that you would want it to work.

[00:50:32] Um, and if the output of the formula does not match any of these predefined options, you can have the ability to choose something to display. Um, So I'll kind of demonstrate what that looks like in a moment here. Um, so what I've been doing is I'll just go and copy the values that I know are going to be returned by this formula And go in here and just add them and then you can select colors [00:51:00] Um, it's good to actually copy it, especially if you've got like emojis or anything, because it needs to match exactly what the formula is going to be returning in order for it to work.

[00:51:14] Um, so if I just throw in a few here, we'll go down to this. Getting old option. One thing it's really bothering me is splitting between the formatting and the formula. It makes that window smaller every time. I'm like, really? Did they not get this in their testing? It would have been nice, but, um, we'll throw in danger and then finally too old.

[00:51:55] And actually that's, I've got that color already. [00:52:00] So now when I hit save. What's really awesome is this is gonna it looks exactly the same except for I chose the wrong color for one of them But now if I go and change some dates in here To something else. This is going to update automatically whereas this had to wait for an automation to run And this is just going to change immediately to those values So if I had accidentally, like, let's say I didn't put a space here, right, for getting old.

[00:52:36] Um, and then I hit save. Now you notice that option that should say getting old is default. And that's because the returned value of the formula does not have a space. And my, uh, options that are predefined does have a space there. So you need to make sure they [00:53:00] match exactly. And then if they don't, you can, and sometimes this might be something that, you know, works for your use case, like you might actually want this to have to happen, um, you could put in unknown instead of the word default, you could really choose whatever you'd like, um, or you could remove that option altogether and have it just return blank if it doesn't match any of the options.

[00:53:29] So now this would just say nothing. Um, so really important to like make sure you've got all the options in there that you could potentially have. Otherwise you're going to end up with some blank fields or, um, you know, just that default value. Um, another caveat to mention is you'll notice I duplicated my formula field and I did it all in this duplicate.

[00:53:58] What I've found to be the [00:54:00] easiest process is to actually create a brand new field and set it up and then go and find all of your dependent, um, options that are looking at your old fields and repoint them. Otherwise, if you don't, if I had just done this, It's like if I changed my formula field here to that single select or even if I change the single select field to a formula and did all the same things, everything dependent on that is going to break like completely just break your interfaces will no longer be filtered if you're filtering off of that field.

[00:54:38] Um, if I were filtering off of this aging status, um, Column, like, let's say I, I guess I can just really quickly say I could do contains old, um, and then if I change this to that [00:55:00] formula, I'm not going to add all the options. I'll just add to old.

[00:55:07] Um, it's going to tell us when I hit save that I've got some dependencies off of that. And as soon as I confirm this change, my view is no longer filtered, like that filter was just removed completely, and I, I still have a, an automation that's running to update this, so things are starting to, you Do some weird stuff with my automations, but that filter was just completely removed.

[00:55:36] So what I've found to be easiest is to create a new field and then look at the dependencies for the old one and just repoint all the views and interfaces. Otherwise you might end up with a big question mark around what, what, what exactly did break? Cause it's not super easy to deduce after you've made the change.

[00:55:57] Dan Fellars: Yeah. Yes. [00:56:00] And then, um, If you go to the filter, if you now filter by your new formula field, it now treats it like a single select. 

[00:56:09] Alli Alosa: Exactly. So if I do this, now I've got all the same options for my, um, new field here. Let me hide all these other ones so it's not confusing. Um, but yeah, that's, that's the, the number one thing is these filters are.

[00:56:28] way easier to use because you don't need to remember what the formula value is going to be. You actually have a drop down of all of the options. Um, and you can also set these colors so that if you're using these on a chart, um, like I've, I did set up something briefly and I'm going to point this actually at my new fields.

[00:56:55] Sorry, controls are in the way here. Um, so now [00:57:00] say I wanted, uh, this green to be something else other than that green. If I go here and change it to a blue and hit save, now all of my chart values that I've grouped by are also that same color. Um, So if you're looking for greater control over colors on charts, that is a great option to be able to use one of these formula fields and you can set the colors to whatever your heart desires, which I've really enjoyed.

[00:57:39] Dan Fellars: And it's only single select. It doesn't support multi select, correct? 

[00:57:44] Alli Alosa: Correct. Yes. Because And that makes sense because formulas can't return an array type right now. Um, but yeah, very exciting stuff there. I'm very happy with this. [00:58:00] I'm a little annoyed that it takes so long to implement just because of if you've got something that's really intertwined and you've got lots of filters looking at it or interfaces looking at it.

[00:58:12] It does take quite a bit of effort to repoint and make sure that nothing breaks while you're taking advantage of this, but it'll save you time in the long run and also save automation runs. Which is very nice. 

[00:58:28] Dan Fellars: Very cool. Yes. Exciting to see that. Uh, and exciting to see how people use that as well. So thank you, Alli.

[00:58:37] And that concludes this season, episode one, season 19. Silver, thank you for coming on. Thank you. Hopefully you can, can check out your app and use it and give you feedback and we will see everybody next week in episode two. Take care. 

[00:58:55] Silver Taza: [00:59:00] Bye.

[00:59:11] OUTRO - 00:59:11

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