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Plenty of businesses use Airtable to handle key processes like managing their team’s workflows, tracking product roadmaps, recording customer orders, and much more. But with Airtable, you can’t control what users can see or edit within your database. Everyone who has access to your Airtable has access to all the data in it. That limits what you can do with your data.
Some companies try to get around this by having more than one Airtable or bringing in other tools (like a Trello board or a Google Sheet or CRM software). The problem is now you're doing double work, as you need to update multiple sources of data.
The good news is that you can use an Airtable app builder to create different types of web apps with your data.
For example, here’s a non-exhaustive list of what you can create with an Airtable app builder:
- A custom CRM
- A portal where clients can check on their order
- A project tracker
These serve as front ends for your data, where you can control what users can see and edit.
Plus, whatever changes you make to your data on the front end (like updating a customer order) are reflected on the back end (your Airtable), so you only have to update your data once.
In this post, we will cover how you can build Airtable apps with Stacker — without writing a single line of code. We’ll also share use cases where our app builder has helped organizations create apps from their Airtable databases.
If you’d like to explore how Stacker can help you create various web apps like customer portals, custom CRMs, internal tools, and others without any coding, sign up for our free 30-day trial today.
The Best Airtable App Builder for Businesses | Stacker
With Stacker, you can build web apps that help you manage teams, clients, and your business. You do this by building customizable interfaces and setting role-based access to control how users interact with your data.
While Stacker lets you create a variety of web apps with your Airtable data, here are five of the more common use cases we’ve seen:
- Customer portals allow external users to view and edit their data without seeing your Airtable database. Clients get their own logins — this ensures data security and lets them see information that’s just relevant to them. For example, a job application portal allows applicants to see and edit fields like their name, experience, and other details — and no other information.
- Internal tools like employee directories, wikis, and company intranets, can help improve team workflows. Here, every team member gets unique access-based control — for example, within a company intranet, information that a CEO can access is different from the information a mid-level manager can access.
- Partner apps allow partners to collaborate with you directly with secure logins. For example, an app created for managing a conference can let event partners view details on the conference or get access to update information about their events.
- Custom CRMs include any kind of CRMs that are created to suit your business needs. For example, in a sales CRM, sales reps can view any details they want relating to their sales processes — like what stage a customer is in a sales funnel or how many leads are yet to be contacted in the leads pipeline.
- Resource directories include any kind of portals where users explore and then sign up for your offerings — like online courses.
Once you choose what kind of app you want to create, here’s a simple walkthrough of getting started with Stacker.
How to Build Your Airtable App with Stacker
The first step is to sign up for a Stacker account and type in your Airtable API key. Even if you have multiple Airtable accounts, you can sync all the bases into one Stacker account. This way, all your data is available on one single platform.
From here, Stacker syncs with your Airtable data. Stacker recreates your Airtable base’s structure by bringing in pre-built formulas, linked records, and formatting settings so that you don’t have to start over from scratch.
Without this feature, you’d have to manually copy-paste relationships between hundreds of rows in your Airtable base, which is a time-consuming hassle.
For example, a project management tracker can have formulas for calculating the total budget of all the tasks involved in the project. Stacker can automatically sync these formulas and keep the relationship between your data intact.
More of a visual learner? Here’s a very quick video that briefly shows you what is possible with Stacker:
After your data is synced, you have the foundation of a workable web app.
Now it’s time to customize your layout and set custom permissions.
1. Customize Your Layout
When you sync your Airtable data, Stacker makes an app for you — but you can still customize the app to your needs.
For example, you can:
- Choose which tables are displayed on your navigation.
- Create nested views for your tables for clearer ways to visualize your data. For example, you can have Contacts > New Contacts > Working Contacts.
- Edit your layout, choosing to display items as cards, rows, a board, or table.
- You can drag and drop rows, columns, custom fields, widgets, images, and filters.
By customizing your layout, you can take a CRM that previously looked like this in Airtable:
And turn it into this:
In the above example, the CRM is displayed as a kanban board view (which is more visually appealing than the columns and rows of Airtable).
Plus, it’s easy for agents to find accounts and filter them down by industry. After clicking on a specific account, it expands to display all the other details on a clean interface.
2. Control Who Can See Which Data
With Stacker, you can apply different rules for different users — like controlling access to who can view and edit the data in your app. This way, you only show the data each user needs to see.
For example, in an applicant tracker, you can set permissions so recruiters can see specific applications — or even specific information within an application. Then, you can make it so applicants can log in and see the status of their application, without seeing a recruiter’s notes.
Setting such granular permissions allows you to take your Airtable data and turn it into a workable app that can be used by several different people. You’re creating one source of truth and one tool that everyone can use — without sacrificing privacy or usability.
All this can be done without any coding or worrying about pixel sizing, color, or font selection. Because our designs are publish-ready, you can customize the layout, align it to your brand, and have a ready-to-use app within minutes.
Below are a few more examples of apps our clients have built with Stacker and how it has benefitted them.
Real Examples of Apps Our Clients Have Built with Their Airtable Data
Stacker has helped customers across the board — from startups, to universities, to marketing agencies — create custom apps from their Airtable databases. Here are three examples:
#1. Elevate: Internal Tools
Elevate works with international production facilities to manufacture healthcare products. Elevate uses Airtable to manage suppliers’ data — but without a front end, they couldn’t share Airtable information with suppliers without sharing their entire database.
Elevate was worried that unlimited access could cause security breaches, and suppliers would get overwhelmed with the amount of data on their Airtable base. To get around this, they had to send files and make requests to suppliers via emails, making communication messy and chaotic.
When Elevate used Stacker to build a front end for their Airtable, they saw two immediate benefits.
- They built an easy-to-use portal so that suppliers could easily navigate apps without getting lost in the numerous rows and columns. Plus, suppliers worldwide could see a uniform page, thus making Elevate’s app a single source of truth.
- They created user-based accesses, so suppliers would just see relevant data. This helped them streamline their communication and eventually enabled them to deliver products faster to the markets.
#2. Hearts of Hope: Client Portal (Non-Profit)
Hearts of Hope is a non-profit that supports families of critically ill children. They house all their data, like contact details of families, grant requests, etc., in Airtable.
Melissa Steindl — head of web development and design at Hearts of Hope — wanted to create a portal to help families log in and check details about their grant requests.
This was difficult with Airtable: Giving Airtable access to families meant they could see information on all family requests, which would be overwhelming and irrelevant.
With Stacker, Melissa created a portal where families could:
- Log in and add their family contact details.
- Add data like total expenses.
- Apply for a financial grant.
- Check the status of grant requests.
#3. Williams Windows: Workflow Management
Williams Windows is a window and door replacement company started in 2003 and uses Stacker to manage its everyday operations.
Mateo Acebedo, the owner of Williams Windows, used Airtable before signing up for Stacker. But Airtable posed limitations for them: Though Airtable could keep track of job estimates, window pricing, and statuses of jobs, it couldn’t display this info to subcontractors in an easy to consume manner.
To solve this, Mateo created a mobile app for subcontractors to price, track, and manage new window installation tasks and their completion status.
Now with an app created with Stacker, here’s how subcontractors manage their everyday tasks:
- First, they log in to their unique portals via mobile phones.
- Then, they put a price estimate for newly uploaded window installation tasks.
- Once the task is carried out, they update the status of their jobs.
Mateo shares that with Stacker, they are able to save thousands of dollars by avoiding any errors in pricing or status updates — while also managing various tasks and subcontractors in one single place.
Sign up for Stacker’s Free 30-Day Trial
With our no-code app, you can create web apps like product management trackers, internal workspaces, custom CRMs, and client portals without even writing one line of code. It allows you to create web apps where you can:
- Control how the layout should look.
- Decide how you want to share Airtable data with internal and external users.
To understand how Stacker’s features can help your businesses build apps from Airtable, start your free 30-day trial.