1/30/2024 – BuiltOnAir Live Podcast Full Show – S17-E04

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In This Episode

Welcome to the BuiltOnAir Podcast, the live show.  The BuiltOnAir Podcast is a live weekly show highlighting everything happening in the Airtable world.

Check us out at BuiltOnAir.com. Join our community, join our Slack Channel, and meet your fellow Airtable fans.

Todays Hosts

Alli Alosa – Hi there! I’m Alli 🙂 I’m a fine artist turned “techie” with a passion for organization and automation. I’m also proud to be a Community Leader in the Airtable forum, and a co-host of the BuiltOnAir podcast. My favorite part about being an Airtable consultant and developer is that I get to talk with people from all sorts of industries, and each project is an opportunity to learn how a business works.

Dan Fellars – I am the Founder of Openside, On2Air, and BuiltOnAir. I love automation and software. When not coding the next feature of On2Air, I love spending time with my wife and kids and golfing.

Show Segments

Round The Bases – 00:01:40 –

Meet the Creators – 00:01:41 –

Meet Darragh Mc Kay from Noloco.

Founder, and CEO of Noloco, a platform for building client portals, and custom business apps without code, using Airtable and more. Darragh was a Software Engineer before founding Noloco in Dublin, Ireland, nearly 3 years ago. He has helped hundreds of businesses automate and streamline their operations with no-code.

Visit them online

An App a Day – 00:01:41 –

Watch as we install, explore, and showcase the Noloco App from the Airtable Marketplace. The app is described as “Darragh, founder of Noloco, will be showing how you can easily create an app from your Airtable base that's better than using Airtable interfaces. He will demonstrate how quickly you can build an app with Noloco, and highlight why you could choose it over Airtable interfaces.”.

View App

A Case for Interface – 00:01:42 –

Explore Interfaces with “Workflow Templates”.

Introduce the new Workflow Templates Feature.

Full Segment Details

Segment: Round The Bases

Start Time: 00:01:40

Roundup of what’s happening in the Airtable communities – Airtable, BuiltOnAir, Reddit, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

Segment: Meet the Creators

Start Time: 00:01:41

Darragh Mc Kay –

Meet Darragh Mc Kay from Noloco.

Founder, and CEO of Noloco, a platform for building client portals, and custom business apps without code, using Airtable and more. Darragh was a Software Engineer before founding Noloco in Dublin, Ireland, nearly 3 years ago. He has helped hundreds of businesses automate and streamline their operations with no-code.

Visit them online

Segment: An App a Day

Start Time: 00:01:41

Airtable App Showcase – Noloco – Darragh, founder of Noloco, will be showing how you can easily create an app from your Airtable base that's better than using Airtable interfaces. He will demonstrate how quickly you can build an app with Noloco, and highlight why you could choose it over Airtable interfaces.

Watch as we install, explore, and showcase the Noloco App from the Airtable Marketplace. The app is described as “Darragh, founder of Noloco, will be showing how you can easily create an app from your Airtable base that's better than using Airtable interfaces. He will demonstrate how quickly you can build an app with Noloco, and highlight why you could choose it over Airtable interfaces.”.

View App

Segment: A Case for Interface

Start Time: 00:01:42

Workflow Templates

Explore Interfaces with “Workflow Templates”.

Introduce the new Workflow Templates Feature.

Full Transcription

The full transcription for the show can be found here:

[00:00:00] Intro: Welcome to the Built On Air Podcast, the variety show for all things Airtable. In each episode, we cover four different segments. It's always fresh and different, and lots of fun. While you get the insider info on all things Airtable, our hosts and guests are some of the most senior experts in the Airtable community.

[00:00:26] Join us live each week on our YouTube channel every Tuesday at 11:00 AM Eastern and join our active community at builtonair.com. Before we begin, a word from our sponsor on. 

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[00:01:38] Dan Fellars: Welcome to the built on air podcast. We are in season 17, episode four. Good to be back with you, myself, Dan Fellers, and we have Allie Alosa back. Welcome back, Allie. Thank you. Have you, and we have special guest, Darragh McKay. Welcome Darragh. 

[00:01:56] Darragh McKay: Great to be here. Thanks. 

[00:01:58] Dan Fellars: Good to have you. We'll get [00:02:00] into his story later in the show.

[00:02:01] So I'll walk us through what we're going to be doing today. As always, it's an hour long show where we keep you up to date on everything Airtable. We start with our around the bases of what is going on and all the different communities and news. Then quick shout out to our sponsor onto where for a backup solution, then we'll learn about Darragh and his story and his background, and then he's going to share his product.

[00:02:27] No loco. You may have heard of it. And then quick shout out to join our community. And then finally, we'll end with interfaces and workflow. Flow templates. 

[00:02:37] ROUND THE BASES - 00:02:39 So with that, let's learn about what's going on in the world of Airtable. So this morning I was perusing X slash Twitter and found a post. Shoot, this is not the right post.

[00:02:57] That is not the right post either. [00:03:00] Okay. Here it is. Another acquisition. I don't know if you heard about this, but Airtable made an acquisition yesterday of a product called Balsa and I had not heard of Balsa before. So this was new to me. So. Really good write up. This is the founder, Paul, talking about, their products.

[00:03:23] I'll show you both, so it's a doc for building software. The founders came from Slack and another big name product that I'm not remembering. But, Very much kind of like a notion type feel. Actually, it reminds me of, of, shoot another product that I'm blinking on. But, it 

[00:03:59] Alli Alosa: kind of [00:04:00] reminds me of base 

[00:04:00] Dan Fellars: camp a little. Yes, that's what I was thinking of a base camp. I haven't used it in years, but yeah, base camp does feel like that. So they talk about their story, their journey. But it's interesting how they talk about, like, why Airtable was interested in them. They wanted to keep going.

[00:04:22] They talk about the market being tight for fundraising and just the challenges of the startup world. They didn't quite feel like they had product market fit. And so Airtable reached out with the goal to have them help, build out Airtable for product ops. And that's kind of what they were solving with, with their product for product management.

[00:04:46] And so they decided that they could help Airtable with that, with that strategy. So they're shutting down their product. So I think immediately fortunately for, for users of their product and they're, they're coming on over to [00:05:00] Airtable, I think as a team, less, less than 10, maybe eight people there.

[00:05:05] So. That was interesting. Either of you familiar with this product? 

[00:05:12] Darragh McKay: No, I'm not actually. It does sound a bit like a Acquihire more than an acquisition. But, you know, maybe there are parallels there with the kind of project management space. They kind of, maybe they'll have a smart dock type feature in the future.

[00:05:26] It's hard to tell. 

[00:05:27] Dan Fellars: Yeah, yeah, that's what I was kind of thinking is if they could build, yeah, a smart dock inside of Airtable would be interesting. So that's the second acquisition. So Airtable is acquisitive this year. Darragh may be getting a call here soon.

[00:05:47] Darragh McKay: That's hard to say. 

[00:05:50] Dan Fellars: Very good. So we'll see. We'll see if any of this it doesn't sound like they have plans to insert this. It's more, yeah, definitely their, their knowledge and [00:06:00] insights. So we'll see what they can provide in addition to the airplane acquisition. Now, this one does not have the name air in the, in the name.

[00:06:09] So they're not just acquiring companies with air in them.

[00:06:15] Darragh McKay: Although that would be an interesting trend. Yeah, that would be funny. Make a 

[00:06:20] Dan Fellars: bias onto where we've got, I was going to say, 

[00:06:22] Darragh McKay: yeah, you're lining it up quite nicely. That's right. 

[00:06:27] Dan Fellars: Last next one we are getting to the deadline February 1st. So that's days away. Well, that's Thursday, I believe. So two days away from total meltdown potential of API keys.

[00:06:43] So this is the week when supposedly we'll see, they might, they might not actually do it on Tuesday. Maybe it'll be a soft rollout, but essentially all the old account level API keys. are going to be deactivated. They [00:07:00] announced this a year ago. Yeah, and so, if you're like me, you probably didn't do anything for a year, and I know I still have account level API keys out there somewhere.

[00:07:11] So we'll find out Thursday where they are. It's 

[00:07:14] Alli Alosa: going to be a big day. Yeah, we've tried 

[00:07:18] Darragh McKay: on 

[00:07:20] Dan Fellars: our product. I don't know, Darragh and yours, if you have, if you implemented those keys, I know we still have customers that we've emailed to try to get them to switch to our OAuth and they haven't yet. So I know we're going to have customers that, that will be reaching out on Thursday.

[00:07:37] Darragh McKay: Yeah, we've had, we've had the OAuth available for. Probably almost a year now and there's been like a, a pop up that says kind of switch over only in the last month, though, did we make that like, no, no longer dismissible. So, if they're using the product or if someone kind of comes back to the product, they should, they should see the notice.

[00:07:58] Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, [00:08:00] probably no harm there. Yeah. I saw today, though, someone posted a make scenario to update. All of the, keys or maybe, yeah, that's what this person is. 

[00:08:16] Dan Fellars: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So it's a little tool. I don't, and I think they, they were maybe going to sell it or something, but it sounds like they did a video to walk through.

[00:08:26] And so they have, if you, if you already use make, they have a way to, to update. All the make accounts. So yeah, if you're, if you're in make, check out this tutorial on, on how to automate updating all those. So that will be good. But I think it updates to, to the, the personal access tokens, which is still not the, the preferred way.

[00:08:53] I assume make supports OAuth. I don't, I don't know that for sure. I'm not a power make user. [00:09:00] You know, Ali. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. So I think Airtable does not want you to use personal asset tokens within third party apps. That's more for if you hand build a script or something inside of Airtable. But we'll see.

[00:09:18] Cause they actually do. We talked about this a few episodes ago. There actually are limitations on personal access tokens that are not on OAuth. And so they are kind of putting some limitations to try to discourage it. So, so OAuth is definitely the preferred way if it's available. Yep. We will yeah, I might be busy on Thursday responding to customers.

[00:09:48] So if you're using onto air, make sure you're using Oh, off with, with our onto her. Absolutely. All right. Next one. This [00:10:00] is from regular. Guest on the show, Scott, from, from TableForums, gives a really good, overview of a situation that you may run into. So this is within automations, if you're using Airtable automations, and you have a multi select dropdown.

[00:10:22] And if you're using that to trigger the automation, I thought this was interesting. I don't think I've run into this personally, but. Basically, if you say, actually, I think this is for single select. If you say the project status is either A or B, and if you switch it from A to B, it will not trigger that automation.

[00:10:46] So even though the, the, the dropdown changed its value, if your expectation is that that would trigger it, it will not because you're switching between settings [00:11:00] that are in that, that trigger status. And so it basically, it needs to move out of the, that configuration and then back into it. And so I kind of view this as like a view, it's kind of creating a hidden view.

[00:11:15] And it needs to be outside of the view and then come into the view for it to trigger. Is that how you look at it, Allie? 

[00:11:24] Alli Alosa: Yeah, certainly. I think that's a good way to think about it. 

[00:11:27] Darragh McKay: I wouldn't be surprised if they're the same thing. Under the hood, you know, probably it's the right way to think about it.

[00:11:36] Yep. Yeah. 

[00:11:39] Alli Alosa: That's never fun. Like I run into something similar when, trying to like convert a date into a text string, for example, like if I'm trying to, I have an automation that says, okay, if the month is January, 2024, put it in this bucket, like add it to a linked record of January, [00:12:00] 2024. But when somebody, depending on how you enter that date, Airtable commits that value, like, immediately.

[00:12:07] So, if you put in a one, it assumes you're doing January 2024, but if you're trying to actually backdate something for a year earlier, it's 2023, that automation runs the second it thinks there's a date in there, and then the date still doesn't line up with where it is, but because it's stuck in that, it's hard to explain without actually showing, but it can cause some issues where that automation just stops and it won't run again until you clear the date out and put it back.

[00:12:34] Darragh McKay: Yeah, 

[00:12:37] Dan Fellars: yeah, yeah, you gotta you gotta be smart about setting up those those trigger configuration exactly we have Alicia asking, I have this problem. What is the solution? So what's the solution, Ali? 

[00:12:53] Alli Alosa: As Scott actually lays out here really the, there's a couple approaches, but one simple way would be to just [00:13:00] clear the cell first and make it blank and then change it to what you need it to be.

[00:13:06] And that will actually make it, you know, come out of that view and come back into that view as if what we were talking about earlier. Another solution is to change it to a cron job, for example, something that runs every 15 minutes and looks for anything that matches those conditions and then loops through them.

[00:13:24] It really depends on what your use case is and what, what you need to have happen. But those are two possible solutions. 

[00:13:34] Dan Fellars: Yeah. Yeah. That makes sense. All right. Yeah. Hopefully that helps Alicia. That fix. All right. Next one. Here is apparently a new feature. I didn't check to see if I have this, but there is now a character limit in the interface form.

[00:13:59] So you can put [00:14:00] limitations on minimum and maximum character limits inside of, I assume this is just on long text fields. Have you played with this, Allie? I have 

[00:14:13] Alli Alosa: not, but I would assume that that is the case. 

[00:14:16] Darragh McKay: Yeah. 

[00:14:19] Dan Fellars: So that's a new feature. And I wonder if you have a rich text field, this is where rich text gets tricky because My guess would be it counts all the markdown as well as part of the character limit, and so you're like, Hey, I only have certain text, but if it's bold, then it uses more characters for that or whatever, and so.

[00:14:44] You need to account for markdown. If it's even supported in rich text, maybe it's not supported in rich text. 

[00:14:49] Darragh McKay: That's 

[00:14:51] Alli Alosa: a good question. I'd have to play around with it. I know that Airtable does actually have a character limit on the text fields under the [00:15:00] hood. Yes. I think it's 10, 000 characters. 

[00:15:03] Darragh McKay: Yeah. Yep.

[00:15:07] Yeah, I've run into that. 

[00:15:09] Dan Fellars: Definitely. Sorry. Yeah. Yeah, there's some features in this one. They didn't announce it, so it's always good. We always like to highlight when people find these without being announced by Airtable. 

[00:15:25] Darragh McKay: Yeah, I think she mentions that there is a number of validation as well. Marita range limits.

[00:15:33] Maybe they were always there and email. 

[00:15:36] Dan Fellars: Not sure. 

[00:15:38] Darragh McKay: It's a number of fields. We've had them for a little while. 

[00:15:40] Dan Fellars: Yep. Yep. Very good. So yeah, so it looks like there, and this is just on the interface forms. So if you're, if you're confused about all the forms, you're not alone. There's four different types of forms.

[00:15:55] And, this is the new interface forms. I don't think [00:16:00] this is available on the legacy ones. I don't think they're adding functionality to the old form views that were the original forms. So this, you got to create an actual form inside of the interface view. All right, that kind of concludes. That was, that was, that was it as far as functionality.

[00:16:21] There was one, maybe I'll tease it. Somebody posted in the built on air community about a feature that they had access to that. I do not have access to yet from what I've seen. So we'll just kind of tease it. They deleted it because they weren't sure if they were allowed to to do it. But it was not under.

[00:16:41] It has to do with AI and Airtable has announced AI. So I'm going to tease functionality that likely is coming soon to that AI. Which is regarding AI use in formulas, to, to be able to automate creating [00:17:00] the, the formula value based off of AI. And so you can type in your description of what you want and it'll automatically.

[00:17:08] Pre fill the formula with with the text, and then you can modify it from there. So that's a cool functionality that is part of the A. I. Beta. 

[00:17:21] Darragh McKay: So it's to help generate formulas. Is that it? Yeah. Okay, cool. 

[00:17:30] Alli Alosa: Something about field descriptions as well. 

[00:17:33] Darragh McKay: With 

[00:17:33] Dan Fellars: AI. Yep. Gotcha. So that, that makes sense. Yeah, it'll be interesting.

[00:17:40] They haven't announced pricing. They're trying to figure out pricing. Like, it'll be interesting how they price, like something like that. Like, can you only generate so many AI formula? You know, can you, how many, like, you can only click the button X times a month. I don't know how they're going to.

[00:17:59] Because there [00:18:00] is a cost associated with each time you click that. So I assume they're going to pass that on to the customer.

[00:18:10] Yeah, that kind of rounds up, wraps up around the bases. So we're next going to move to backups. 


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[00:18:39] So we'll be, we'll be showing. Some new stuff that we're working on. So check us out at on2air.Com. You can use built on air as a coupon code to get you a discount and Make sure that you've always got your data backed up outside of Airtable for worst case scenario or for any compliance Issues that you may need [00:19:00] to comply with Backups is a necessity for some industries.

[00:19:04] So Check us out at on2air.Com.

[00:19:08] MEET THE CREATORS - DARRAGH MCKAY - 00:19:10 

[00:19:10] Cool. With that, let's learn more about Darragh.

[00:19:14] Alli Alosa: Yeah, absolutely. Darragh, thank you so much for joining us today. I'm super excited to learn more about you and NOLOCO. I've been hearing tons about it. I know Scott is a huge fan. He's regularly on the show. We've mentioned it lots of times.

[00:19:38] Yeah, it seems super cool. I've heard lot of people talking about it. But let's start maybe with how you got started in the computer world and no low code specifically. 

[00:19:54] Darragh McKay: Yeah, of course. Yeah. So I'm, you know, traditionally a software engineer, so [00:20:00] probably an outlier on compared to most of your guests on this show, but don't worry, I'm, I'm very much in the, in the no code camp.

[00:20:08] But yeah, I was a software engineer. I worked at HubSpot, you know, a small company you've probably all heard of at this point. So I was a software engineer at HubSpot and, they made software engineering super easy, right? And this is kind of how Noloco eventually came about. As a front end engineer at HubSpot, they had all of the kind of design, the components made out for, for me.

[00:20:35] So my designer just told me what it should look like. And then I just had to look after the logic and I go, you know, I had to just put the drop down there, put the button there, put the table there, so on. And I moved on from HubSpot, I worked at another startup, and when I was at that startup, I had to do so much more, right?

[00:20:50] Just so, so much more from scratch. And we're also using low code tools like retool and other bits. And I got to start thinking like, you know, so many [00:21:00] applications in business are just interfaces or apps built on top of the underlying tables. 98 percent of the work is just kind of getting data in and out of those tables.

[00:21:11] And realistically, the options for, the options for controlling that data are very much limited by The type of the data that that is so as we talked about earlier, if you have a status field on a project, that's going to be a drop down with three fields like to do in progress and done, you know, and if that project links to a client, that's also going to be a drop down that shows all your clients.

[00:21:35] So why couldn't you build an app that builds these apps based on what's in the data? That's what got me thinking. It's been a bit of a journey to get here, but that's, that's really how it all began, just kind of putting those two things together and, ultimately building Noloco which I can introduce for those that don't know it.

[00:21:56] Absolutely. 

[00:21:57] AN APP A DAY - NOLOCO - 00:21:57

[00:21:59] Yeah, [00:22:00] it's a, it's a no code platform that integrates with, you know, Airtable, SmartSuite, Google Sheets, Xano, Postgres and MySQL. But it allows non technical people, which is a term I don't love, but if you have a better term, by all means, shout it out. But it allows small businesses to build the apps that they need to do their job.

[00:22:21] So client portals to help them collaborate with their customers, back office tooling to help them do project management, invoice management, inventory management or custom CRMs for those that want a better. More flexible process and say something like HubSpot for a completely different budget than something like HubSpot or Salesforce, not kind of the high level.

[00:22:41] And so a large portion of our customers use Airtable and because that's where their, their business data is. So one of our primary ways of building apps is on top of Airtable. 

[00:22:51] Alli Alosa: Excellent. And did you start with Airtable as the like first app that you were experimenting with? [00:23:00] 

[00:23:00] Darragh McKay: Yeah. So we actually have our own NoLoco tables as well.

[00:23:03] And that was the very first approach that we took. So you don't have to use something like Airtable or Google Sheets. So we had those, but they're pretty primitive. And what we, what we found was that customers were struggling to get started with NoLoco because ultimately the difficulty was getting the data into our platform.

[00:23:24] So, yeah, we then looked at Airtable and said, Hey, look, you know, they have this massive audience of people with, data, but no interfaces. At the time, Airtable interfaces didn't exist. So, you know, solutions like Noloco were one of the main, one of the only options to kind of build a better app on top of the data.

[00:23:43] So, Airtable was the first thing we looked at, for sure. 

[00:23:47] Alli Alosa: Excellent. Yeah, it's super exciting. That's like definitely something that's missing from the Airtable platform is like the ability to create those portals and like have those advanced permissions. So that's, it's really, really nice [00:24:00] to see companies like Noloco filling that gap.

[00:24:04] Do you have, like, is there like a particular use case you see a lot of people using it for? I know you listed a few, but is there one that like is more more so than 

[00:24:13] Darragh McKay: another? Yeah, definitely for the Airtable customer. It's it's the client port client portal or the customer portal. Right. You know, Airtable interfaces is pretty good, you know, all things we've discussed, but where it falls down in, at least from my perspective is controlling access to non team members, right?

[00:24:35] So, if you have 5 or 20 or 100 customers that you want to give access to their data, whether it's to, you know, keep them in the loop with the, how the project's going, whether it's yet sign off before you kind of, charge them for something, or whether it's to just get them to like. Pay their invoice or keep track of their open invoices.

[00:24:53] You can't do that with data table interfaces, whatever, but one, paying for their license or restricting [00:25:00] them to be just a commenter. So, what we offer is a way to do that, but then also securely segment it. And what we see people do at the moment is You know, create X or 10 different Airtable interfaces, and those are shared with the select people, but they have to recreate each one from scratch.

[00:25:18] And that's a whole lot of work, right? So our, our platform allows you to do it in one go, right? One, one thing to maintain, because that's, it's enough as it is, and just an overall better experience. So that's probably the primary use case from, from the Airtable side. 

[00:25:33] Alli Alosa: Excellent. And that is absolutely huge.

[00:25:36] Like making sure that only the people that should see that data can see that data. 

[00:25:40] Darragh McKay: If I 

[00:25:44] Dan Fellars: can jump in, I had a question. What's your what's your take on kind of the future of the no low code world? What are you seeing? Trends or, you know, and on that kind of, how is AI impacting your business and future? [00:26:00] 

[00:26:01] Darragh McKay: I love this question because I think so many people think that AI is going to replace no code builders like ours.

[00:26:08] I think quite the opposite. I don't know what camp you're in, but I think the goal of AI in my opinion is to Make tasks that were beyond people's reach much easier. And I think that's what no code is doing as well, right? It's, it's giving people the superpowers to build applications, to build databases that they previously couldn't.

[00:26:27] So when you look at it from that lens, the two are in alignment. So what, what I think is going to happen is the platforms like no logo, like Airtable, they're going to have no code or AI assistants kind of sitting in the sidelines. And instead of you clicking around to add columns to, you know, change things to Kanban boards and so on, you're just going to ask the assistant to do that.

[00:26:51] And that means beginners can get started much, much sooner or much, much faster. And everybody can kind of move a lot faster, get a lot more done. [00:27:00] It's not going to replace the overall interface because you're still going to have to kind of fine tune it. But getting started making the simple changes, you know, making the asking questions about how should I do this?

[00:27:12] That's kind of where AI is going to help my opinion, you know, along with everything that Airtable and stuff are already doing, like AI volumes, AI workflows, that all makes sense. But I think it'll go one step further into the application and table design. At least that's where I hope it goes. Yeah. 

[00:27:28] Dan Fellars: Yeah.

[00:27:29] Is it where is it on your product roadmap? 

[00:27:35] Darragh McKay: Yeah. So we already have a way to build, apps with AI. And so we released that almost like 10 months ago, I'd say maybe March of last year. It works really well, honestly, really, really impressive, you know, depending on how good the prompt is, of course. But yeah, kind of within the next year, we'd love to bring this kind of co pilot type experience to, to our customers to help [00:28:00] them.

[00:28:00] Build the apps because at the end of the day, like 50 percent of my job is just helping people, do basic things in our app that the user experience, no matter how many guides are out there, that they're not going to follow them, or it's not going to make sense for their particular table design, you know, or something to that effect.

[00:28:17] So helping them do that without having to reach out to support is certainly better. In my opinion. Very cool. 

[00:28:28] Dan Fellars: Yeah. All right. Yeah, go ahead, Ellie. No, 

[00:28:31] Alli Alosa: I'm just gonna say that's super exciting. And I know you've got a demo ready for us. So I'm Really excited to check it out. 

[00:28:39] Dan Fellars: All right, let's learn more about no loco.

[00:28:42] There you go. There's your screen 

[00:28:45] Darragh McKay: showing.

[00:28:50] Dan Fellars: Oh, you're on mute, Darragh.

[00:28:57] Darragh McKay: Got it. All right, guys. Yeah, we're back. [00:29:00] Yeah, you should be able to see my screen now.

[00:29:05] Great. So, this is an Airtable base. You're all familiar with it, right? So I could demo a hundred different things about no loco, but, I'm going to go ahead and demo our integration. Right. So before I do that, I'm going to very quickly just pull up our homepage just so people get an overall high level view of what we do.

[00:29:25] So, in very quick summary, we built, we built custom apps for your business, right? Or rather, we let you build custom apps for your business. We create, you can create custom internal tools, client portals, CRMs, right? That's kind of everything I said at the top of the show, just kind of reminding people.

[00:29:42] Honestly, the combination of things that you can do is huge. They're the kind of three main cases, right? I'm going to walk you through a client portal. demo, because that's what I mentioned. Most people use Airtable on a local with it's very simple demo. And usually no matter what [00:30:00] industry you're in, you can draw parallels.

[00:30:01] So, you know, if you're an accountant, you're not going to have projects, you might have, you know, accounts. And instead of tasks, you're going to have like filings or something, right? If you're an electrician, you're not going to have projects, you're going to have jobs and, you know, the job still might have tasks, right?

[00:30:16] So again Anytime I demo this, I just try to draw the parallels between the actual person that I'm chatting with and their actual industry, but it's really, it's really kind of moldable to what they want. So, this is actually one of our templates you can get started with in minutes. You can clone this base, you can clone the Noloq app.

[00:30:35] In short, there are five tables, right? Users. There's people who can log into the app. They consist of both, admins and clients. You can see this Airtable view. Let's kind of group them by type and clients, which are then collections of users as in the companies. That we work with, right? So you can see that a user belongs to a client.

[00:30:56] If they're a client type [00:31:00] projects, then they belong to a client. They have leads, which are users. They have tasks and which are the final table. And then obviously passive name, status, description, and then the other thing are payments, right? So, payments can be synced in from say something like Stripe or Xero or QuickBooks, right?

[00:31:18] And you could, you could really collect as much detail as you want here. We see this exact same thing all the time, but it's just a very simple way of kind of getting your customers to, have an oversight over their payments that they've made. And of course yourself, an overview of the payments that you've made.

[00:31:32] So with that, Noloco app that's powered by this pretty simple Airtable base. Any questions so far? Does that all make sense? 

[00:31:42] Dan Fellars: Yeah, pretty straightforward. 

[00:31:46] Darragh McKay: So this is the base or the app powered by the base rather before I kind of show you the app, I'll just show you that you can see that there are the five tables that I just showed you and a sixth table, which is the no local user table.

[00:31:59] [00:32:00] And the no local user table is the kind of source of truth of who can log into the app. And you can see that for somebody default fields, there's a role field. And then, of course, there's a link to the Airtable. Table, this table here. We've set that up with something called user list, but otherwise these, these tables are exactly the same as you saw an Airtable and you can change the values from here.

[00:32:23] You can move them around if you want. You can't rename them or stuff like that because that's all power to Airtable. For all intents and purposes, it's an exact clone of what you see in Airtable. And then that Do you, 

[00:32:36] Dan Fellars: just to clarify, do you map, you always map to a table of users? Can you map to actual users in Airtable?

[00:32:44] Or there has to be a table listing of the 

[00:32:47] Darragh McKay: users? Oh, that's a great question. So if you are using a collaborator field, which I don't think we are in this base that will link directly to the local user table. [00:33:00] Yeah, 

[00:33:00] Dan Fellars: just curious. 

[00:33:02] Darragh McKay: Yeah. Yeah. So we usually see people helping client portals. They do it kind of this way because their clients aren't Airtable users.

[00:33:11] But if you're doing it that way as well, yeah, they instantly sync over. It's quite seamless. So, you know, again, you'll see these the six kind of pages, the five kind of tables that we saw previously. This here is the project view. It's again, just powered by table grouped by the status. This is the rows layout, but you can change everything you see about this page, right?

[00:33:37] So you can turn on build mode and you can change it to, you know, it could be a grid. It could be cards. It could be a Kanban board, as you saw, it could be a timeline if you need it to be right, you got pretty much all the options that you need, similar to Airtable, of course, but in your own app, this is where it gets a bit different from Airtable.[00:34:00] 

[00:34:00] You can, well, we have projects by lead, but then you can have things like my projects. You can have views that are filtered down to just the logged in user. And that's done with this filter here. So you've got the logged in user, the link to their Airtable user, and then the projects that they're leading.

[00:34:15] Alright, so I'm actually logged in as Lily, Lily Nelson here, who is just one of the team members on my team. Obviously a fake person, but that's who I'm viewing the app as right now. And you can see they have four projects in the in the done and one to do. So I'll click into this to do. You can see here we have kind of stages elements for basically highlighting what stages and you can click these any point in time.

[00:34:41] You can do things like highlight certain fields, like the start date, the end date. And most importantly, though, they have things like action buttons, right? So what's nice about this is you can define repeatable tasks. In your, in your, you know, day to day life day to day job that can be automated through action buttons and [00:35:00] workflows.

[00:35:00] And these can also feed into Airtables automations if you need to. But we do have our own workflows that I'll kind of show in a second. So if you click this button here, you'll be presented with a confirmation button. And of course, this is completely set up completely bespoke to this app. But this basically says, are you sure you want to start this project by confirming the client will be notified.

[00:35:18] So I'll click confirm. You can see then that it moved into in progress and the start date was filled in and then unfilled in for some reason. That'll be the cursor to demo. But you might have seen that flick up there just a moment ago. And I'll show you that workflow that powered that. So when that button was pressed, we head over to our workflows.

[00:35:39] Basically, very similar to Airtable Automations, there's this, workflow here that says when the project is updated. Watch the project status field, and then, send an email to the client, which is the trigger, the client, the email that the project name has been started by so and [00:36:00] so back. Yeah, oh, they're really powerful.

[00:36:07] And the two kind of play really nicely together. But what's really nice is though, now that the task has been started, the start button has disappeared, right? And it's been replaced by an end button. One guess of what this does, but it's a very similar thing. Basically, it kind of moves the, the, moves the status into done and again, sends them an email and you can see that's done and it populates the finish date.

[00:36:33] If that finishes, there you go. I'm not 100 percent sure why they're not loading. All I need to look into that might be a permissions thing. And then the other thing I need to show is, you know, there's ways to kind of categorize things by different views. So, or you can kind of break down your interface into.

[00:36:53] Different screens with tabs. So on this tab, I like to separate out related fields onto different tabs. So on [00:37:00] this, you've got the tasks that belong to a project displayed as a Kanban board, right on the project page, you know, so you can see that there's one task left and you can click into this task.

[00:37:10] And this task also has a start and finish buttons that kind of work the same way as the other ones. Of course, you can make this much more complicated. You could have a button to call the client. We also have things like comments for doing collaboration and we have internal notes, which is something Airtable doesn't actually have because they don't have that concept of it.

[00:37:28] So this would be. You know, a note that your customer, sorry, you and your team members could see, but your, your clients wouldn't be able to see, and it just makes collaboration much simpler and they're able to kind of stay in the same place. But then the most important part is the kind of clients perspective.

[00:37:47] So I've shown it from the perspective of the team admin or the team member. Let's take a look at. One of the clients. Let's take a look at Grace Walker. First thing to note is that the sidebar [00:38:00] changed when Grace logged in, right? There was six pages, there was users, and there was clients. Of course, Grace, being a client, shouldn't see a list of users in the app, shouldn't see a list of clients, right?

[00:38:09] They're gone. She can't access those pages even if she tried. But she, there is replaced with this homepage, and this homepage is personalized to say, Hey, Grace, you could put your client logo here, you could put, you know, your own logo here. It's all customizable. And it's been replaced with these, what we call quick links.

[00:38:25] And these links bring you to different pages in the app. They also could bring you externally, like say, opening up a chatbot, or bring you out to your support page, could bring you out to Stripe billing, anything like that. This one I think opens, could open a calendar for example. They're all kind of customizable, but it gives customers a proper home, a proper way to kind of navigate around their portal.

[00:38:45] We see people put welcome videos here, and even kind of explainer videos explaining how they navigate the portal, right? So people record looms. As, as one of their customers and kind of walk them through the, through the app, but again most importantly, grace can look at [00:39:00] the projects. That's just, they have open here and you can see that she only has one, market expansion approach because she belongs to Clearwater environmental consulting.

[00:39:09] And there's only one project for her client. You did see it kind of, there was more there for a second. That's only because we kind of previously viewed this page as Lily Nelson. If this was Grace logging in, that would have just been a loading spinner. Same with tasks, there should be maybe two, maybe three, maybe just one.

[00:39:26] Same thing though just one task showing up here for Grace, because again, that's the only one that they can see for Clearwater Environmental Consulting. And I didn't show you this payments page, but again there are no payments here belonging to Grace currently. Because, well, there's no associated with our client, but if I changed client and viewed it as say, Andrew Scott, you can see that there's one there.

[00:39:52] These are grouped by status again, and there's nothing super interesting on these ones, just various status, but they can't do anything about it on this page. [00:40:00] And that's kind of a real high level overview of how these work. Things like the action buttons aren't shown to the users, but again, all of that's customizable.

[00:40:09] And you can really kind of do whatever you need to do with it. I think the only thing that maybe worth showing is the, how those permissions work. So I'll take a look at the projects one. That's the simplest one. You can see on the projects table, there's two sets of permissions, one for our clients and one for our team members.

[00:40:26] I'll take a look at the client's one because the client's one is the only one that's interesting. There's kind of two sections, three sections to each permission rules, what we call these. So who should these, these rules be applied to to display what roles. So, as I mentioned at the very beginning, every user that logs into your app has a role.

[00:40:42] In this case, we're going to apply it to people with the client's role. Then there's a question, should these users have access to all records? No. So they can only access records if the client of the project is one of the users. Client, basically, so very simple filter, just like you would if you're building out [00:41:00] of you, and so that immediately locks it down at the API level at the database level.

[00:41:06] And then the last thing is what we call field permissions. So you can say that clients can read, the status. But they can't update it. And you saw me earlier, I was clicking around and I couldn't actually change the status field, but I could, of course, look at it. And that obviously gets increasingly important for things like payments.

[00:41:24] So you can't just, you know, let your, let your, let your client say that a payment has been paid, right? You have to trigger that through some automation of some kind. But again, this rule here for payments is very similar, that the payments client is one of the login users. And that's really it. That's that's kind of the four layers.

[00:41:43] So I like to think of all no code apps as having a data layer, an app layer a permissions layer and an automation layer. And that's kind of it. All of them. 

[00:41:54] Dan Fellars: I was curious, can you show on the, on your automation, what do you call those again? [00:42:00] Your work, your, yeah, your workflows, what, what actions do you currently support?

[00:42:08] Darragh McKay: Yeah, that's a great question. So we have quite a few and we've got a few more coming out. So the basic one is send an email that just sends an email from, no reply address and you can kind of customize that to who it wants to go to. You can CC, BCC. Very classic stuff. Unlike Airtable, we don't restrict this to just, collaborators, right?

[00:42:28] You can send this to kind of anyone you want, including, including your clients. And call to action, and you can even attach files, which is pretty nice. So you could send an invoice. You could send the kind of the low, the, I don't know, if you're doing a marketing asset, you could send that to them and ask them for approval to bring them back into the app.

[00:42:46] And we have, we have native notifications, as I kind of demoed earlier. So you can send a push notification. You customize everything from the icon, message, and where it goes to. And of course. Who would get sent to, we have [00:43:00] trigger a web book. This is really popular because this allows you to instantly run a workflow and something like make or Zapier, right?

[00:43:07] So on changes, something in Oloco immediately run something and make or Zapier to maybe pull data from somewhere else, update more records. Just gives you that little bit more control. If you need to integrate with one of the 5, 000 things that make or Zapier integrate with, you know, while this tool is pretty, all these automations are growing each and every week.

[00:43:27] You know, we don't have as many integrations to make this happier. So this is really popular. We have the ability to create records, update records, delete records. Pretty self explanatory. You can use fields from, you know, previous tasks. You can use the logged in user values or anything like that. We have an only continue if to, you know, stop execution.

[00:43:46] If, you know, status isn't in progress, don't send a notification. We allow you to loop over nested things. So if you wanted to send a. And kind of message to each task leader, for example, when a project [00:44:00] has been started, you could do that. You can create comments, you can create notes on comments on a particular record, which is, I don't think you can do that in Airtable through automations, right?

[00:44:12] No, not without scripting. Right, not without scripting, yeah, that's unfortunate. We have native OpenAI integration, so you can basically send a question to ChatGPT and we have some kind of nice Prompt set of the box, like summarize, correct grammar, keyword extraction. Then we also have a Slack one. Other things that are coming out soon is a Docs Automator integration that we're working on to kind of generate documents and then hopefully soon document, and then we hope to add a lot more like around CRM ones.

[00:44:42] That helps a lot, Salesforce, that sort of thing. Gotcha. Very 

[00:44:46] Dan Fellars: cool. The other question I had, so you do, you support more than just Airtable. So if, if somebody is using, I think HubSpot, a lot of other systems, but [00:45:00] my, my question is, yeah, there you go. So, or you could even, you have your own tables or you can connect to somebody's MySQL or Postgres or even just REST API.

[00:45:11] That's kind of cool. My assumption is when you create an app, you can only lock it down to one data source. Is that correct? Or could you have multiple data sources in the same app? 

[00:45:23] Darragh McKay: No, yeah, you can have multiple data sources in the same app, which is particularly great if you have, if you spread your data across multiple Airtable bases, or, you know, sales has this Google sheet that they just won't move off, right?

[00:45:35] Or you want to use some REST API that is too much of an effort to bring into something like Airtable first. Yeah, you can add as many as you want. 

[00:45:44] Dan Fellars: That's very cool. Cool. So you can have one page that's your Airtable data, one page that's your 

[00:45:51] Darragh McKay: Google Sheets or whatever. Yeah. So as you can imagine, we're big NoLoco users.

[00:45:55] So we have kind of a CRM built on top of Airtable. We [00:46:00] have our production Postgres connected to it. So I can like manage people's plans, view signups, view charts. We have a REST API pulling into Stripe, HubSpot, Intercom data. And I think there's some Google sheets in there as well, you know, and then a heap of no local tables, you know, just kind of tracking ad hoc stuff as well, right?

[00:46:21] It's really, really powerful. And we can automatically link them as well, based on kind of lookups, which is works really, really well. That's awesome. 

[00:46:30] Dan Fellars: Yeah, that that's where I really see the power of this platform. Because, you know, most enterprises have multiple systems and Yeah, being able to bring all of that data into one U.

[00:46:40] I. S. is extremely powerful. 

[00:46:44] Alli Alosa: Yeah, absolutely. And I love to see the field permissions to I feel like that's typically lacking in most like third party, you know, portal apps that lay on top is, you know, you could have roles and say these roles can see these things, but it doesn't get as [00:47:00] granular as it needs to.

[00:47:01] And I love seeing that you've got the like read update create for all the fields for each role, which is Read permission rule, rather. 

[00:47:09] Darragh McKay: Yeah, that's so important. I mean, it's just not complete without those, as you kind of said. 

[00:47:14] Alli Alosa: Yeah, I absolutely agree. 

[00:47:17] Dan Fellars: Yeah, very cool. Well, thank you for coming on and showcasing no loco.

[00:47:22] Check it out. No loco dot io. 

[00:47:25] Darragh McKay: Yeah, and you 

[00:47:26] Dan Fellars: have any happy customers? Yeah, awesome. Thank you for sharing that 


[00:47:35] will end up just join a shout out to join our community builtonair.com/join. We'll get you in with thousands of other table users and talking about Airtable, talking about no loco, lots of other.

[00:47:48] Topics in there. So check us out. Join our slack community and the newsletter to get up to date on everything Airtable. 

[00:47:56] A CASE FOR INTERFACE - 00:47:58

[00:47:58] Okay, we're gonna kind of [00:48:00] we're gonna switch. So there's definitely a use case for using no loco. If you are using the built in interfaces with their table, I'm going to talk a little bit about https: otter.

[00:48:13] ai

[00:48:19] Officially signed up for this beta. So Airtable has some betas that are available to everybody that they roll out, but some you actually have to sign up for. And I didn't think that I specifically signed up for this one, but maybe I did, which means like, I'm probably not supposed to be sharing this publicly.

[00:48:37] So if Airtable is watching this, Please don't put me in time out for, for sharing this information, but I think it's, I don't, I don't think it's that bad to to share what's, what, what we're doing here. And where did we go? There we go. Okay, so this is in beta. [00:49:00] But like I said, I thought this might be available for more people because I don't remember specifically signing up for it.

[00:49:06] But if I did, then then I'm going to plead ignorance on this one. So you'll start to see this workflow template section. In the page builders, and it does say it's in beta and basically what this is, it's like a pre package combination of the data layer, the automation layer and the interface layer.

[00:49:28] Where right now they are, predefined by Airtable, but a little birdie told me that the ability to create your own templates will, will be coming in the future. And so for now, if you click on the plus button, it will give you options of predefined. Workflow templates that that can be added to any interface.

[00:49:55] And so these are so if you click on them, so I already added this one to [00:50:00] this interface that will show. But if you click on it, it will tell you what you get with this template. So this comes with two interface pages to interface forms. It will actually add a table to your data layer with four fields in it, and there will be two notifications.

[00:50:20] So I assume that's email notifications and then with one automation tied to it. So you can kind of see this predefined combination of all these different sub assets that come with this workflow. So if you, and so once this is. Define. So imagine if you could actually bundle your own and then you make it available for people within your organization to install into other interfaces, you could, you could potentially see the power of, of this functionality.

[00:50:51] But it walks you through kind of a wizard to get up to speed. On what table you want to be adding to or that [00:51:00] contains your, your assets. So every, every template has kind of a different walkthrough based off of what it's, what it's adding. And so you just kind of go through this and you can set up the, the messages, the notifications and everything.

[00:51:18] And it will actually, right now it's actually creating a new table, creating an automation. And now, and then creating the pages. And so now you see pages that actually inserted fake data that you could be playing with. So it's kind of a pre packaged, mini app that you can insert into, into an existing, interface application.

[00:51:44] So it's pretty cool. You can do this when, you know, once you have the ability, I don't know how far out it is, but I imagine. They're working on it, where you can bundle your own. That's where I think this will become very powerful. [00:52:00] But even in the meantime, some of these predefined workflow templates are, are useful.

[00:52:07] So I don't know. I, do you, Ali, do you have access to this? 

[00:52:11] Alli Alosa: I just checked two different accounts and I have access to it under both of them. So I don't know. If they rolled it out to a select group, or maybe this was like a public, everybody automatically got access to it. Yeah, 

[00:52:26] Darragh McKay: I don't actually. 

[00:52:28] Dan Fellars: Okay, we'll see.

[00:52:29] I don't, we'll see. I might, they might make us take out this segment if we're, if we're sharing, if we're leaking private information that's not meant to be public yet, but This isn't an account that, that I'm pretty sure I usually, I don't do betas in this account. So it showed up Alicia says she sees it, so it's in yours.

[00:52:51] Okay. 

[00:52:52] Darragh McKay: So maybe I'm smart because it's the first time. I think that they're kind of letting you add templates to an existing, [00:53:00] you know, base or whatever, right? Usually templates are kind of starting from scratch. 

[00:53:03] Dan Fellars: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. They are moving to pre now. Now, like when you create a, they are moving to help you like pre create.

[00:53:15] So they do have templates from the beginning, kind of like this, but a bigger, a bigger base with, with all the tables and everything. Yeah, so that is a big push of theirs to. to help create things on the fly and get a sense of how they're used. So that's a good, that's a good tidbit into workflow templates.

[00:53:39] I'm trying to think, what else I can show here. So they, this is just kind of categorizing. So these workflows means like it has everything. These notifications are just notifications, and then these utility ones look like they're just maybe like a [00:54:00] field that you could add to it, an existing table, things like that.

[00:54:07] Very interesting. Yeah. And then once it's built, then it works like any other. Oh, the other thing I was going to show is, I believe how this, how I assume this works. So here's my, my templates. you can actually detach it. And so my assumption is that means that if you were to create your own, you could kind of control the, the, the fields behind it.

[00:54:34] And you could actually modify that at the source. And then it could potentially update in all the places that are installing that template. Assume if if you don't detach it, it stays in sync with with kind of the source definition, but you could detach it. And then at that point, you can make any specific changes that you want [00:55:00] to the fields and whatnot.

[00:55:08] Yeah, that that was exciting to see that, cause I don't, I don't, yeah, I don't know how long this has been out for, for people to, to play with. Maybe it just came out today. 

[00:55:22] Alli Alosa: I don't think it's been very long. I was playing around with interfaces a few days ago, but. Prior to that, I was on maternity leave, so I've been a little out of the loop.

[00:55:34] Dan Fellars: Yeah, yeah. And this is cool, if you click on it, it kind of shows the configuration and all the Things that are included, and you can go directly to those pages. So it kind of is a good way to organize these mini, these mini templates, or kind of basically a mini app that that you can install. So, give [00:56:00] you some ideas, Darragh, for something to 

[00:56:02] Darragh McKay: explore.

[00:56:03] Yeah, it's definitely smart. Yep. I can see a lot of it. Very good. 

[00:56:08] Dan Fellars: Yep. Awesome. Well, thank you all for for joining us today. And that concludes our show for today. We will see you next week for episode five. Take 

[00:56:20] Darragh McKay: care, everyone. Thank you. Thanks so much. Bye bye, 

[00:56:24] Dan Fellars: guys.

[00:56:38] OUTRO: Thank you for joining today's episode. We hope you enjoyed it. Be sure to check out our sponsor, On2Air Backups, automated backups for Airtable. We'll see you next time on the Built on Air podcast.