I’m trying to find a way for read-only interface users to be able to effectively check a box or set a field on a record to a certain option without granting them a full user seat (to avoid cost). I really only need one or two fields to be edited by this user. Is there way to use an interface button to trigger a webhook or open a form (with prefilled and hidden fields) to allow them to effectively, though indirectly, edit a field?
Ability to use an Interface button to trigger a webhook or open a form
Interface buttons have the option to run an automation upon clicking. Is this not available for read-only users?
You should be able to set up your webhook call in an automation script and trigger it from the interface button.
Welcome to the community, @leslieburke!
It sounds like read-only users can’t use buttons that trigger automations because the automation could potentially change data, which goes against the whole idea of a user being read-only. In other words, Airtable already thought about that potential workaround and prevented it.
You could probably do this using On2Air Forms. Depending on your use case, you might be able to do what you need with their free plan.
Welcome to the community, @leslieburke!
I haven’t tested this myself yet, but I’m assuming that read-only users can click on URLs? If so, you could create a formula field that results in a URL which triggers the webhook. The only potentially downside to this would be that it would open up the response page in another browser tab.
I’ve tested it and for read-only interface users, a button that triggers an automation, updates a record or opens an internal url is disabled. However, as @ScottWorld mentioned, it’s possible to expose a custom URL in a formula field on the interface that a read-only user could click, opening the possibility of triggering a webhook that way.
I’m newer to web hooks and usually have an app (like Shopify or similar) to send the webhook to the Airtable automation. How would I create a URL which triggers the webhook? Could I somehow append the record ID to the URL from the Airtable receive webhook automation? Or, would I have to go through Zapier/Make?
If you just wanted to pre-fill a form for them that they submit afterwards, you could just create a formula field that opens & prefills the form for them, and then upon submitting the form, you could have an Airtable automation or a Make automation update the record for them.
@Kuovonne’s Prefilled Forms extension can help you create that formula:
If you don’t need them to fill out a form because you already know what the update should be when they click on the link, it would be easier to just have an incoming webhook & external automation tool handle all of that for you.
I do all of this using Make’s custom webhooks.
You can even create a custom webhook response for your users (using Make’s “webhook response” module) — it can be as simple as some plain text, or as complex as an entire webpage. You can even redirect them to an existing webpage.
And yes, for your Airtable formula, you would just combine the webhook URL and the Record ID in a formula that would look something like this:
"https://your_webhook_address.com?RecordID=" & RECORD_ID()
You only need to send the Record ID to Make, because you can use Make’s Airtable Get a Record module to grab all the field information that you need from Airtable.
Here’s an example of what the beginning of your scenario might look like in Make… and then you could add in a whole bunch of other modules to do whatever you want to do in Airtable or other external apps:
And again, in your case, you only need to send the Record ID to Make, because you can get all the other Airtable information by using Make’s “Get a Record” module.
Sounds like you want to use a combination of methods that I describe in this thread.
I think you have enough info in this thread to make a solution. But there are a few tidbits of info in the other thread that might interest you anyway.
Thanks everyone (@parkwestdigital, @Justin_Barrett, @ScottWorld and @Kuovonne)! I currently have a Zapier account, but not Make, but was still able to set it up following your instructions. Thank you for sharing the related threads, also.
This is a very helpful thing to know how to do. The use case is that I need someone to be able to confirm that they reviewed something. It’s not worth paying for a full pro user license for them to just check one box, but by using the webhook url as a trigger for Zapier to update the record (checking the box), it’s not super elegant, but gets the job done.