Quick Base Discussions

Quicker, easier imports using a Merge Field

By Brian Cafferelli posted 10-23-2019 15:57

You probably know the drill. One of your colleagues emails you a spreadsheet with the latest sales figures. Or maybe it's a customer list, inventory, or a budget. You wish the rest of your company would get with the times and just track their work directly in Quick Base, but the reality is that you're still dealing with plenty of spreadsheets.  So now it's time to manually import yet another set of data into Quick Base to update your existing records.

We see this a lot, and what's worse is that those spreadsheets often don't include the Record ID#s that you need in order to update your records. Some of us might change the key field on our tables to compensate, but that can just make an app more complex.  Of course, even if you did change your key field, there still might not be a common identifier across the different spreadsheets you work with. Maybe one spreadsheet includes a customer email address, and another spreadsheet doesn't have the email address, but it does have a unique order number. Many app builders insert the Record ID#s into their spreadsheets using Excel's vLookup function, but that's prone to error and takes your time away from more important work.

In November, we added the merge field capability to our ImportFromCSV API call, and we are now extending this to cover spreadsheets you import through the Quick Base UI. We've also worked with our partner Workato on this, and they just went live with the ability to choose a merge field when importing data into Quick Base using a Workato recipe.

In the December 2018 release, we added the ability to choose a merge field when importing data. If your spreadsheet doesn't include a column which matches your table's key field, no worries! Simply choose another field which is marked "must be unique". For each spreadsheet row which matches the merge key, that record will be updated in your Quick Base table. For each spreadsheet row where the merge key doesn't match, Quick Base will simply add a new record. For example, you can match existing records using those customer email addresses or order numbers rather than record ID#s.

Read more about importing spreadsheets into an existing Quick Base application.


12-18-2018 16:54

Love this enhancement.  I'm pretty handy with Excel, but really,  making yet another =VLOOKUP( ...., false) is not my idea of a good time.  And non data type people just figure that they can send you anything in Excel and it's going to be easy to import, so maybe now it is,  in fact,  easy.