Let's continue to explore my experience of building the shipping slot app for my clients. I talk about I try different ways to make this. First, I start with the using the internal database collection, it works for some basic stuff, but it doesn't work for a lot of our use case.

These are the few criteria push us over to Airtable then using the build-in database collection.

You can't filter with Date for your records

  • I have a dropdown date filter which needs to hide any expired date.
  • I need to show the next seven days record on the home screen,

It's not easy to build useful relation with rows count and lookup.

  • I need to do a lookup with relation, meaning when Table A connect to Table B, I need to show Table B data when I query Table A only.
  • I need to have records count with relationship + filter. For example, I need to count the rows that related and having status = "complete."

Automation is pretty limited with Zapier only.

  • If you think to make use of automation, automate with Zapier is pretty limited.
  • If your data is on Airtable, you can use Integromat to do different types of automation.

You can't do function call for columns.

  • By using Airtable, you can do a different kind of function call, for example, date parsing / concatenate text etc.
  • Make use of function call; you can create a more dynamic dropdown list. For example, I can show the total related records count as part of the option label like "Delivery to Location A ( 5 remainings)".

Search with condition + filter

  • You can only do a simple search with the build-in data collection.
  • With Airtable you can do multiple column search + filter the results, or combo search for specific column filter by today onward records.

These are some of my experience after trying to build with Adalo internal database collection and switch over to Airtable. Recently I can see the Adalo has release API for their internal database collection. I think that's a significant improvement.

I look forward to more enhancement, but for now, I believe Airtable might be a better choice for a more complex use case.