How to parameterize QB table-to-table Imports

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So I wanted to share a pretty big win we had recently by being imaginative with currently available QuickBase features - which I haven't seen any references to in the forums so I'm thinking it's not yet popular / well known.

QuickBase Imports (table-to-table) are wonderful and fast but as you know you can't parameterize them, so they can't be used as a user-driven action which needs to vary based on user provided parameters, mainly the record that's driving them to trigger the action. 

We have solved this problem 100% in QuickBase by creating by essentially having a "User Parameter" table and creative relationships, which allows different users to run the same import at the same time but having it affect different records.

This is where it gets creative.  The User Parameter table needs to have the User field set as the key and needs to have fields that are used as the Import "parameters".  Then, on whatever table you need a QB Import on, you create a CurrentUser field which is a formula set to the Current User.  You then make a one-to-many relationship between the User Parameter Table and the data table where the reference field is the CurrentUser - now you are able to make lookups on the data table for each parameter defined on the User table - which are the same on every record on the data table (for that User).  Now your import can leverage those fields in it's filter criteria so users don't step on each other and only impact the records they want to.  

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Posted 2 years ago

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Yes, its a super powerful technique and requires no javascript.  Normally the user is launching off a record and what I do is to have a formula which check if the user has been created in that user table.  If not, then I create the user, else edit the user to record some parameter(s) which are now known as a result of he user sitting on a record when they click.

Then the lookup fields recalculate and the API_RunImport is run.
Yeah we use this to automate a ton of bulk ops - would be great if QB Imports allowed for direct parameters though!