Inspiration

Ofcourse, the inspiration for this block is the inspiration base of the Airtable Blocks Contest! Besides, this is a use case close to our heart as this functionality helps the user in getting details of all the data changes in real time. This functionality will be useful where data changes are dynamic and have multiple users working on same set of data

With Activity Feeds and Alerts we have taken the Inspiration base idea a step further with Live Alerts to ping users whenever the Activity Feed has a new entry!

What it does

Exactly as the name says! Activity Feeds and Alerts tracks the User Activity of all Active Users on the AirTable across all tables and provides real-time updates and alerts.

Each user can configure his own rules, where in the user can select Multiple Tables and/or Views on which he wants alerts. Any change in data, by any other user, he will get the activity feed with details on what changes are done.

Feed captures Adding New Records, Deleting Records as well as each and every Updates to the Records.

Moreover, granular Field Level Changes are also captured, for all different kind of column types like Single Text, Multi-Text, Linked Records, URL, etc - What was the old value of the field to the new value of the field.

Features:

  • Keep a watch on Multiple Tables and/or Views
  • Every user can configure his own set of rules. Does not depend on any Global configuration
  • Get Activity Feed in Real Time
  • Open up the Record directly from the Activity Feed
  • Get color-coded information on whether record was created / updated / deleted
  • Get Field level granular information, what was updated and when (Old Value to New Value) - supports multiple types of fields including Linked Fields
  • View Details of current Active Collaborators to see who all are currently working on your Airtable base
  • System Alerts using Javascript Notification API to alert user whenever a "new" record is updated. If same was updated, there will not be any alerts
  • In case Notification API do not have required permission, fallback to Toast based Alerts to the users

How I built it

We are using React Hooks for Airtable to listen onto configured tables and views. And thereby, compare what changed and provide the alerts. Open source React Components like Timeline is used to create the Activity Feed.

Challenges I ran into

Airtable Record Model do not provide the details of which user last updated the record. Initially, we thought of creating a user based feed wherein we can see which user is doing what changes, the frequency & count of changes, etc

However, if another user is making changes, that would get counted as a change done by both since both blocks will receive the update and the code will not know which user did it!

And so, we went ahead by focusing on the core concept, Activity Feed. It is important to know what data got changed. And to understand who might have done it, we have provided the current Active Collaborator List in the block.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

Learning to create React components and make them interact with Airtable

What's next for Activity Feed and Alerts

Many More Features can further be added , like granular alerts. For e.g., alert on fields → when a particular field value changes to 'XXX', alert me!

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