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Airtable Review - The Perfect Tool For Cloud Databases?

Today's Review is about a well-known player in the No- and Low-Code space, Airtable. Whether you are a freelancer, startup, SME, or enterprise that wants to get rid of excel, build a single source of truth, keep track of records or build an internal tool. This review might be for you!


Covered in this article

No-Code & Low-Code definition

Introducing Airtable

Typical users

Look and feel (UI&UX)

Use Cases

Security

Pricing

Limitations

Reviews

Pros & Cons

Summary

 

Let's jump into it!


Disclaimer

We rely on our first-hand experience, our partner’s experiences, as well as reviews from G2, Capterra, Gartner, and many others. If you have had other experiences or suggestions, please let us know!



No-Code or Low-Code?

Before we dive into Airtable, we need to understand what “No-Code” or “Low-Code” tools are.

Generally speaking, No-Code platforms are simple tools that are ideal for creating small applications. No programming skills are required here, as it allows the user to create the application with easy-to-use functions: Drag and drop modules, picklist selection boxes, spreadsheet imports, and many more.

Low-Code platforms, on the other hand, are suitable for more complex cross-departmental processes, especially those that integrate with other applications, databases, or systems. Beyond the drag-and-drop capabilities of No-Code, Low-Code also provides a mechanism for developers to create custom code to provide functionality.


As you can see, both are not easy to differentiate (especially when it comes to integrations), we have written another article just about the definitions of Low-Code and No-Code.


Introducing Airtable

Airtable is a real-time collaboration platform that empowers people to design a near-infinite number of useful apps of their own, without ever having to learn how to code. From collaborative editorial planning to managing global marketing campaigns, to powering the entire back office of an organization, Airtable is empowering non-technical workers from all walks of life to rethink decades-old business practices in every industry imaginable.


Basically, Airtable works like a spreadsheet but gives you the power of a database to organize anything. It’s built for smaller teams and companies to collaborate and get rid of excel when it comes to database features. The UI is very intuitive and easy to use, especially if you are used to working with spreadsheets. There is also the option to create (smaller) apps with Airtable, most of the time for internal use but it can be used together with other NCLC tools to make it more powerful.



Typical Airtable Users / Target Group

Due to its simplicity and intuitively it is best for:

-Freelancers

-SMEs

-Startups.

If you are working at a larger company it might be helpful as an internal tool. Airtable offers enterprise solutions as well, but from a practical point of view, we have seen more Airtable solutions within SMEs, startups, or agencies as internal tools.


You can use it cloud-based on Windows, Mac, Android, or iOS.

There is a free version to try the functionalities (and see the limitations). We highly recommend trying it before going for a paid option.



Airtable’s Look and Feel / UI & UX

Airtabe UI, Airtable UX
Airtable Interface

The web interface looks modern, minimalistic and when using Airtable the first time, a short tutorial sequence will be available. Nevertheless, depending on the view (grid, calendar, kanban) and the options, the screen can look quite “full” and it takes a time to figure out functionalities and possibilities. But again, this should not be a problem if you are used to No-Code or Low-Code platforms, it should be enough if you know excel and can write formulas.

The drag & drop option makes it also feel easier to use - especially when using the (Beta) interface designer. Speaking about the new designer, it appears to be powerful and easier to use, even though it is still In beta. If you are completely new to a tool such as Airtable or spreadsheets at all, we recommend watching tutorials.

If you are facing a bigger problem or need more detailed advice, feel free to reach out to us. We are happy to help you bring your idea to life.



Airtable Use Cases & What Airtable Is Best For

Airtable can be used by different teams and companies, solving multiple problems.

Some examples are:


As an agency or creative team

-Client project tracker

-PR and media CRM

-Promotional campaign production


For Marketing and communications

-Content marketing calendar

-Editorial calendar

-Ad campaigns planning


Product and UX Teams

-Product launch planning

-User studies and feedback

-Competitive benchmarking


Project Management -Flexible project management

-Agile sprint planning

-Design project pipeline



Airtable Security

First things first, Airtables servers are located in the US and hosted using US-based AWS servers (US-East-1). They don't have plans to host Airtable on any other servers outside the US.


Airtable's data is encrypted both when it is sent to and from our servers, as well as when it is at rest. To protect your content in transit, Airtable uses 256-bit SSL/TLS encryption. At rest, Airtable content is protected using 256-bit AES encryption.

  • Airtable has undergone a Service Organization Controls audit (SOC 2 Type)

  • ISO/IEC 27001:2013 Certificate (specification for an information security management system (ISMS))

  • Commitment to compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”)

  • 256-bit TLS encryption (when at an Airtable website or app), at rest, Airtable encrypts data using AES-256.

  • Airtable servers are located in the US, in data centers that are SOC 1, SOC, 2, and ISO 27001 certified

  • Airtable’s data centers have round-the-clock security, automatic fire detection and suppression, fully redundant power systems, and strict controls for physical access


Airtable Product Security

  • Within the Airtable product, collaborator permissions can be managed at the workspace level or the base level

  • Restricting some levels is possible

  • Provides record-level revision history that shows a visual activity feed of the changes made to each record

  • Two-factor authentication (2FA) for your account is possible

Airtable Security Statement



Airtable Pricing


Airtable Pricing
Pricing (Nov. 2021)

Airtable offers three different pricing plans, including one free version with a lot of functionalities.

Free

Plus

Pro

Enterprise

-

$10 per seat billed annually OR $12/month

$20 per seat billed annually OR $24/month

custom

1,200 records

5,000 records

50,000 records

100,000 records

​2GB attachment space per base

5GB attachment space per base

20GB attachment space per base

1000GB attachment space per base

You can give it a try by signing up for the free version.



Airtable Limitations

As far as we know, there is no support via phone but an active community and text support. Moreover, there is a limit when it comes to the records. Bases in a workspace on the Pro plan can support a maximum of 50,000 records (rows) each. Using Airtable's attachment fields, each base on the Pro plan can store up to 20GB of file attachments.

No on-premise solution.

Airtable plan limits are:

Free - 1,200 records, 2GB attachment space per base.

Plus - 5,000 records, 5GB attachment space per base.

Pro - 50,000 records, 20GB attachment space per base.

Enterprise - 100,000 records, 1000GB attachment space per base.

Keep that in mind when dealing with tons of data.



Rating and Reviews


Airtable Reviews
Airtable Ratings

With more than 1000 Reviews on Capterra, Airtable got a quite solid user base and is (overall) rated with more than 90%. Not bad at all!

Airtable Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Intuitive interface and “easy” to use (even with no background)

  • Tons of templates (marketing, sales, calendar, automation…)

  • Data “dashboards” and visualization possible (e.g. for sales dashboards)

  • Solid API for integrations & automation (e.g. use together with Integromat or Zapier)

  • Quite good “Free Version” with many features

  • Easy automation for “daily” tasks (slack messages, google calendar, emails)

  • Well established company and mature solution

  • Perfect for freelancers, personal usage, startups, or SMEs (as an internal tool)


Cons:

  • Steep learning curve (if you are not used to No- or Low-Code tools)

  • Relative expensive company pricing (still competitive)

  • No phone support

  • No on-premise solution (SaaS cloud only)

  • Limited amount of records (rows)

  • Limited visualization possibilities (for custom design or dashboards)

  • No options for internal communication using Airtable



Summary

Airtable has many advantages in comparison to Google Sheets or Excel. It is an intuitive tool to manage data, create automation, with a lot of templates and quite an extensive free version. From our experience, it is most suitable for freelancers, startups, or small and medium enterprises. The free version covers a lot of functionalities and is a really good baseline to get a better understanding of the product. Nevertheless, Airtable provides enterprise solutions as well but they do not offer an on-premise solution. Moreover, it has restrictions when it comes to the records (with standard plans). The templates are easy to use and very straightforward if you are used to dealing with data or spreadsheets. On the other hand, the learning curve can be steep. Last but not least, integrations are possible using the API and made easy with Integromat or Zapier.

All in all, we recommend Airtable as a good cloud-based database for internal tools such as dashboards or a simple CRM. Especially for personal use, smaller teams, SMEs, and Startups it is a great option to become more digital and start automating simple tasks. The options to create “apps” with a (custom) corporate design are very limited, but for an easy-to-use internal tool completely fine!


 

One More Thing:

Sometimes it is not easy to find the right solution for your individual needs or the right partner to bring your idea to life. We are here to help.

If you want to give Airtable a try, you can check out Airtable here!

Have trouble or want something developed by an agency?

Feel free to schedule a call!


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