Any way to see dependencies on Primary field (without Enterprise or KuovonneExt)

I am trying to see dependencies on the Primary field. Is there any trick to see them?

For normal fields I see dependencies when I click to delete the field, I get the warning box. But not for the primary field as that cannot be deleted. I have 130 dependent fields linked to the primary field. That probably isn’t the best way I designed the table but it’s too late now. I should have made a separate field beside the Primary field and make that dependent rather than the Primary field. That way I could see the dependencies by clicking the delete button.

One of the reasons I need this is because my primary field became a concatenated long chain of other fields and I am often changing the primary field to concatenate additional fields from time to time. The reason I concatenated the fields in the primary field is because that is the only way to be able to search records in the lookup box of a linked field that is pointing to the primary field. I want to look up the record by another field not the primary field, the only way seems I can do that, is to concatenate the field into the primary field. Then I can search for the record to link to record and use whatever expression I have in the primary field.

With regards to the dependencies for primary field, I know @Kuovonne extension helps, and that is the way I do, but wondering if there is another way. The Manage fields tool doesn’t show dependencies either unless I pay 9000 dollars.

There are 9000 ways how Airtable could encourage people to upgrade to Enterprise plan, but this is not one of them. People who are on Enterprise, are on Enterprise for very different reasons and are well beyond the decision point whether seeing dependencies is useful or not.

Seeing dependencies should be just regular part of all plans because that is what enables the user to acquire proper habits with Airtable, which improves chances of adopting the product. Without seeing the dependencies it is just a giant hairball (hairtable as the term coined here before).

@itoldusoandso I think you can just change the field type to a different field type, and the dependencies dialog box should come up. (I’m not at my computer to test this right now, though.)

Note that my Field List extension will only show if a field is a direct input to a calculated field. It will not other usage that Enterprise “Show Dependencies” will show, such as use in automations (except scripting automations), views, or interfaces.

Even Enterprise “Show Dependencies” won’t show usage in any extensions, such as Page Designer or Scripting, or any third party dependencies.

Trying to change the field type may bring up the “Changing this field’s configuration will impact X dependencies” screen, depending on the type of change. For example, switching between single line text and long text will not bring up the change. For a formula field, you can make a change that doesn’t actually change the value, such as concatenating an empty string or adding zero. (I tested this.)

Keep in mind that the backlink field for every linked relationship is a dependency, so the list might include several fields you aren’t interested in.

1 Like

Yes. That is the trick. That is perfect.

Apparently, this also works if you try to delete a field via the “Manage fields” option. So why they don’t just include this for every plan or Pro at least… no idea :man_shrugging:

1 Like

Because they want people to move to enterprise.

Initially this was not available at all to non-enterprise. Then there was a huge outcry and this limited safeguard was made available for everyone.

Yet, the situation remains the same. It is viewable for everyone, but with a little workaround. If you see the lengths clients will go through, not to pay $ 240 a year per seat, why does Airtable think this will convince people to change to Enterprise? Just make it available for everyone then :expressionless:

1 Like

The people who go to great lengths to avoid paying for a pro seat are unlikely to ever be enterprise customers.

Charging money to make things more convenient seems normal to me. People who value the time and mental energy saved by not having to resort to workarounds will pay for convenience. Now, determining how much to charge for that convenience is a totally different matter.

On the other hand, adding the warnings just as people are about to shoot themselves in the foot (deleting a field with multiple dependencies) is also good business practice. People end up not shooting themselves after all and don’t get as ticked off at the product.

For the amazing value we are getting for the Airtable pricing, I am glad they include what they include. Sure there are things I am missing but this is a decent workaround. Convenience costs money. Free costs more time. What a great freemium / pricing model. Software should be free instead of paid, what should be paid is the reduction of risk, efficiency gains, time savings and convenience, these should be paid and charged hopefully enough to make whole platform viable. The whole idea behind democratization of pricing is transparency. The more you benefit, the more you pay.

I’m glad you’re glad.

I wouldn’t go that far.

If someone puts in the effort to create something, provide a service, or make something more convenient, that person should have the right to charge for it, whether it is software or not. Figuring out how to offer a free versions on top of creating the product itself is often a lot of work.

1 Like

Agreed, that was selfish, I meant to add if the model permits “pay-what-you-use”.