How SmartSuite is solving all of the Airtable pain points

Hey @ScottWorld, Would you be open to sharing a video of your use cases for dynamic filtering? we are trying to collect more use cases on how folks are using it in setups.

Having utilized Airtable for around 7-8 years, I must express my admiration for Smartsuite. Its features and capabilities are so remarkable, they almost seem too good to be true.

@Avi, I want to hear more about it

I’m particularly interested in understanding any potential issues and the overall performance of the product. Does the speed diminish progressively as I continuously add more rows each day?

Has this product reached its final development stage, or does it still contain a significant number of bugs?

Could you elaborate on the features that are present in Airtable but still absent in Smartsuite? I’m aware that Conditional Rollup Fields was only introduced recently.


Hello Appleapi7,
Thank you for taking a look at SmartSuite. Those are great questions. At SmartSuite, you do not need to synch bases in order to share data. SmartSuite allows you to use Linked Records from any solution (Base) for which you have access - without the need to synch bases. Most importantly, those Linked Records do not increase your record count in the base in which you are viewing them.

To answer your second question, SmartSuite provides a Guest Access role that allows Guests to review records to which they have been assigned. They can change a status, update a checkbox, leave a comment, add an attachment or a link, and review various views of those assigned records on dashboards and other views.

I hope this information is helpful. And thanks again for your interest.

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I just embarked on my initial journey of import and bulk deletion. It was a rather lengthy process, which was an interesting first experience to have.

Okay, this got my attention now… Any timeline for import tool from Airtable?

Looks like even views and formulas will be imported. WHAAAT!! You kidding me. How do you manage that when nobody even Airtable is able to fix their issues with their formula box …

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I’ve looked into SmartSuite a couple of times, but feel loyal to Airtable. Can’t face the thought of learning a whole new platform.

But reading this post has got me interested.

How does the pricing compare? My main beef with Airtable is that I can’t use interfaces as they are cost prohibitive for me. Does SmartSuite have a good front end option?

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SmartSuite seems to be everything we could ask for.
A few reservations:

  1. UI:
  • a. It is very slow at times, and b. Filling certain field types using the keyboard can be cumbersome. Airtable, from day one, has been extremely fast and snappy. It is still a delight to use. I suppose that this is why it is considered to be the golden standard.
  • It does not have an undo function.
  1. Web API:
  • Airtable has a wonderful bulk upsert function that allows you to merge by field/s that are not the record id. It would be nice to have that too.

Hi Andrew - I totally get the loyalty to Airtable, having worked for them myself before joining SmartSuite. AT very much opened up this market and remains an impressive incumbent. AT power users tend to have a really easy time transitioning to SS, because of the similar relational database fundamentals.

Pricing at SmartSuite is structured similarly to Airtable - user-based, with 4 tiers scaling up to Enterprise.

A few differences being:

  • SS has no user minimum for Enterprise (I believe it’s 20+ with AT)
  • SS pricing is clear and transparent vs “contact sales” with AT
  • SS Enterprise offers a monthly commitment option vs annual only with AT
  • SS Enterprise starts at $35 / user / month vs $70 with AT

In terms of front-end options:

  • Dashboards are a favorite with our customers
  • We have a solid integration with WeWeb
  • We’re live in beta with Easyportal
  • We’re in the process of building our Softr integration
  • There are several other front-end options in the works

Let me know if you’d like to share some time and explore the differences - I can offer a pretty unique perspective.

From my perspective, until they achieve the same level of performance as Airtable, they can’t truly be considered a competitor. Their focus now should be on improving performance, rather than introducing new features.


@Avi I was reviewing the SmartSuite site but couldn’t find a marketplace for app developers. Any plans on adding that?

This made me LOL. Just sayin.


What were you “loyal” to before Airtable? :wink:

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@apogee we have Integrations page now and we plan on adding it within the product. If you create something happy to include it on that page for now until we create an ext marketplace which will be coming next year.

Please understand that Smartsuite is only 2 years on the market. Performance is our top priority and we have teams working directly with AWS to address the recent issues.

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Thanks @Avi Glad to hear! Would you be open for a quick discussion on potential pain points or opportunities for app development?

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Sure! Please feel free to email me at @apoee

Just a quick comment to the community - y’all know I’m a Coda lover, and I often complain that Airtable’s text support is abysmal and cannot be used to develop text-centric apps that include data. I took @Avi’s advice and looked at the SmartDoc field for a future article. I was skeptical about this rich text field, so to prove I should be skeptical, I dropped in a very large whitepaper I was developing in Coda. It has images, links, callouts, and even a table.

It all just worked (with one minor exception). I’m impressed. It seems to support a more complete Markdown.

The only part it couldn’t handle was this callout, but it failed gracefully. A+ truth in advertising for SmartDoc; it is truly a smart field.


Hi @Avi,

Your video covered one of the very common use cases, which is:

  • After choosing an employee of our company, only showing a list of the customer accounts that that employee is assigned to.

Similarly, an extremely common use scenario is:

  • After choosing a company, only show a list of the employees that work at that chosen company.

Additionally, the need for dynamic filtering comes up in almost every customer’s solution. Here are some other great examples:

  • On a purchase order for a particular vendor, picking items that are sold by the chosen vendor only.
  • After choosing a state, picking from the cities or office locations that only exist in that state.
  • After choosing an item on an invoice, only show the color/size options that relate to that particular item.
  • After choosing the make of the car, only showing the models that are related to that make.
  • On a client’s invoice, when typing up line items, only show the list of services and products to choose from that that client has signed up to receive.
  • On a customer’s order form, only show the list of discounts that that customer is qualified to receive. (Similarly, for any particular item, only show the list of discounts that have been approved for that item.)

Also, a few other questions for you, Avi, regarding linked record fields:

  1. In SmartSuite, when adding a linked record, can we search by any field to find the record from the other table? People have been requesting this feature for 10 years in Airtable, which restricts us to searching the primary field only.

  2. In SmartSuite, when adding a linked record, I see from your video that we can choose the sorting (and of course filtering) of the displayed records. This is truly awesome! :grinning: Those are other features that people have wanted for years in Airtable. Question: Can we customize the field ordering of the displayed records? And can this field ordering be unique for each linked record field — independently from the other linked record fields? Airtable makes all of this extremely difficult and sometimes impossible.

  3. The previous questions were about what happens while actively choosing linked records. This question is about what happens after choosing linked records. After all the linked records are finished being chosen for a linked record field, in what order are the linked records displayed within the field? Ideally, all the chosen linked records should be automatically sorted by any field that we desire from the related table.

  4. When I first played around with SmartSuite about 7 or 8 months ago, I stumbled onto a handful of bugs. I believe I reported them at the time, because I don’t remember them now! Most of them were relatively small bugs, but one was a gigantic one that caused permanent data loss. On the mobile app (I believe I was using my iPad), if I expanded a record to view its detailed view, it gave me the ability to update all the data in all the fields. This is what I would expect. However, after typing in all of the data into all of the fields that I wanted to save, I tapped in the background to be taken back to the grid view’s list of records. SmartSuite did not save any of the data that I had typed. It just deleted all of the data in all of the fields that I updated, because it apparently expected me to hit the “Save” button instead of tapping elsewhere on the screen. But data should never be deleted without confirming the deletion with the user first. Alternatively, even better, the system should always assume that the user wants their data saved, which is what Airtable does. Do you know if this significant bug has been fixed?

Thanks again for working hard to make the product that we wish Airtable had made!


Hahaha! This is such a great example of how the free market works. Company #1 shuns its customers? Company #2 comes in to solve the problems.


Also, one other note, @Avi:

In addition to the ongoing Airtable feature list here which I am still working on (I have 80+ other feature requests to type up), there is a big request that comes up all the time.

It just came up again on the Airtable community forums today at this link.

This feature request is for wrappable column headers so we don’t need to keep our column widths extra-wide just to see the full name of the field.

Do you know if this feature will be coming to SmartSuite soon?

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