Airtable

Airtable is a great way to build online databases to keep track of customers, orders, projects, and more.  You can build sophisticated spreadsheets that allow your entire team to collaborate and manage the data with ease.

A great way to make use all of this data your keeping in Airtable is to use WebMerge to automatically populate documents like invoices, contracts, and more.  By simply adding a new item to Airtable or changing the value of one of the fields, you can trigger a document to be merged in WebMerge.

In this example, we’re going to show you how you can generate a contract and send it over to CudaSign when we update a deal in Airtable to have a status of “Closed Won”.  To help with this integration, we’re going to use our friends over at Zapier which will automatically detect our deal being changed to Closed Won.

To get started, we’re going to setup our contract template using a Word document.  Inside the Word document we’re going to take our normal contract terms and add merge fields for where we want the data from Airtable to be placed.  These merge tags look like {$DealName}, {$CustomerName}, etc.
 


Since this is a contract and we’re going to collect a signature via CudaSign, we need to setup some signature tags in our document so that CudaSign knows where to place the signature.  These tags are just like any other text in our document and look like: {literal} {{t:s;r:y;o:"Signer";}} {/literal}   (more info).
 


Once we finish up our template, it’s time to upload it to WebMerge.  From the Documents page in WebMerge, click the New Document button and then enter a name.  On the next step, pick Office Document as the document type and then choose the file from your computer.
 


After you upload your document, you’re going to be taken to the Settings tab where you can update settings like the type of file that is generated and the name of the file.  For this example, we’re going to generate a PDF and include the name of the deal in the contract.
 


Next, we’re going to setup the delivery with CudaSign so that our merged contracts are automatically sent over to CudaSign for signature.  Jump over to the Deliver tab and then click the New Delivery button.  Select CudaSign from the list and then you’ll be asked to login to your CudaSign account.

After you login to CudaSign, you’ll be redirected back to WebMerge and you’ll see a popup for the CudaSign settings.  You’ll need to pick the merge field for the signer’s email address and then enter “Signer” in the role box (this is based on the signature tag you put in your document).
 


Once you save the CudaSign delivery, we’re all done with the setup in WebMerge and we’re ready to setup the integration with Airtable using Zapier.

Inside Zapier, click on the New Zap button and then pick Airtable are your trigger app and then the “New Record in View” trigger.  (*Note: we have setup a view in Airtable that only shows deals which have the status of Closed Won). 
 


On the next step, Zapier is going to have you authenticate your Airtable account – follow those steps.  Then, you’ll be taken to a page where you’re going to choose your Base, Table, and then the View that you want to monitor.
 


Next, Zapier is going to load a test record to make sure everything is working.  Follow those steps and then click the Finish button.

For the Action app, we’re going to choose WebMerge and then we’re going to pick the Create Document Merge as the action.
 


After Zapier authenticates your WebMerge account, you’ll be taken to a page where you need to select the document that you want to merge.  Once you select your contract document, Zapier will load a list of all the merge fields in your contract.

For each of the merge fields, you need to pick the corresponding field from Airtable.  You can insert the field by clicking the little icon on the right of each box.
 


After you have mapped all of the fields, go ahead and finish out the Zap and turn it on.

Now, we’re ready to run a test!  Go ahead and login to Airtable and then update one of your deals to Closed Won.  Zapier checks Airtable every 15 minutes, so it could take a few minutes, but when Zapier detects the update to your deal, it will send that data over to WebMerge and your contract will be generated and send to CudaSign.

Here’s what our contract looked like ready for signature:
 


That’s it!  You can now automatically generate contracts, invoices, and more from your Airtable data.  Can you think of other ways that you could use WebMerge to simplify your paperwork process?
 

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9 Comments

  • Avatar
    Ralf Westphal

    This sounds great - but how is it working with line items for invoices? I would set up two tables in AirTable: Invoice and LineItems with a link between them. So there's a table hierarchy in AirTable. How's the Invoice data plus the corresponding LineItem data (several records) transported through Zapier to Webmerge? How to set up place holders in my template document?

  • Avatar
    Jeremy Clarke

    Hi Ralf,

    I'm not 100% sure if Zapier can send over records from another table. Please submit a support ticket and we'll help you explore the options!

    Thanks!

  • Avatar
    Quentin Karmark

    Hi Jeremy... I love Airtable. I also love Adobe Acrobat. I know that it's possible to create online (fillable) PDFs. The data that gets submitted from a fillable / distributed PDF can be used to populate Adobe's Forms tracker. Can the data also be used to populate an Airtable database?

     

    Of course, I understand that Airtable has a built-in form view that can be published/distributed to perform this exact task: the problem is, however, that the people I am asking to submit info want the ability to perform part of the form submission, leave the form, and then return to continue the form at a later date: Airtable's form view does not permit this. 

    Edited by Quentin Karmark
  • Avatar
    Jeremy Clarke

    Hi Quentin,

    Yes, you could use WebMerge to submit the PDF (https://support.webmerge.me/hc/en-us/articles/206526036-Save-Answers-from-a-Fillable-PDF-Form), then a Webhook delivery over to Zapier and Zapier can save the data into Airtable.

    Please submit a support request if you need more help!

    Thanks,

  • Avatar
    Peter Nelson

    I'd like to be able to trigger a Delivery in WebMerge so that a PDF document being created through another process (Formstack to WebMerge) can be sent to an Airtable base and saved in an Attachment field. Is that possible?

    In other words, in WebMerge Delivery, pick Airtable to send to, select a base file and within that base pick a record based on the Unique record ID field and then use an Attachment field name to have the PDF doc sent to that field in that particular record. While I realize that defeats some of the reason for Stash (and other cloud storage solutions) it would be huge advantage to push a document to a database field. Even being able to push a URL link (Stash URL?) to a field specific record location would be great.

    Thanks for considering this.

    Edited by Peter Nelson
  • Avatar
    Jeremy Clarke

    Hi Peter,

    Unfortunately, it doesn't look like Airtable offers a way to upload attachments via the API. You could save the file in Stash, then use a Callback (under More Options) to send the File URL to Zapier and update Airtable that way though.

  • Avatar
    Peter Nelson

    I'd be interested in exploring the Callback option but I need a little bit more guidance on how this works. I'm not finding any other tech notes on the use of the Callback feature. I'd like to try sending a WebMerge Stash File URL to and Airtable field via Zapier.

  • Avatar
    Jeremy Clarke

    Hi Peter,

    What you'll do is setup a new Zap in Zapier with a Webhook as the trigger, then Zapier will give you a webhook URL to use inside of WebMerge (as the callback URL in More Options). Can you please give that a try?

  • Avatar
    Peter Nelson

    I've got a Zap created using the callback URL method and it works fine to pass new data from the WebMerge doc into Airtable but NOT the actual PDF file. I also tried using the Stash URL both as a URL field in Airtable (that works OK and launches you into Stash if you are logged in already), but inserting the Stash URL into an Airtable Attachment field does not create the attachment. This method DOES work for other URLs though and I have Zaps that insert an Amazon URL link to an image into an Airtable Attachment field which then adds the image as an attachment. I'll send more details via a support ticket.

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