Making Connections: How To Create Quickbase Relationships

Written By: Laura Speare
August 3, 2017
4 min read

Quickbase Relationships save time, reduce data entry errors, and summarize key information. Almost every Quickbase app has one or more relationships. But how do relationships help your team be more efficient, informed, and productive? And how do you create a relationship?

Our latest video in the Getting to Know Quickbase series, Video #6 Table-to-Table Relationships: How-To, walks you through how to create a relationship. It’s a follow-up to Video #5, Table-to-Table Relationships: Concept that explains how Quickbase relationships provide a powerful way to create connections between tables in your app.

To celebrate our new video, we’re devoting today’s post to how to create a relationship.


Decide What you Want from your Relationship

Deciding up-front what you want from your Quickbase relationship can make the process smoother. A few questions you may want to consider are:

  • Who on your team will be updating which tables are in your app?
  • What information do you want to bring from one table to another?
  • Where does this information currently live (including which fields)?
  • What will success look like?

If you’re familiar with our video series you already know Sally. Sally manages a large team that includes sales, marketing, and order fulfillment. Her sales reps enter contact information in a Contacts table. She also has information on all her customers in a Customers table. She wants to link these tables together so that she can:

  • Give her team a handy dropdown list to select the customer’s name when adding a new contact, and
  • Have a customer’s address and phone number automatically fill in when their name is selected from the list

She also wants to:

  • See a list of contacts when she pulls up a customer
  • See the total number of contacts for that customer

We’ll use Sally’s example for this blog post and go through how to create a relationship as well as creating a lookup field and a summary field.

Drawing a map of the relationships in your app can be a great starting point. This map doesn’t have to be fancy. You can use charting software, a white board, or even a cocktail napkin.

Create a Relationship

To link tables together, create a new relationship:

Step 1. Click the Customers table and then click SETTINGS.

Step 2. Go to Table-to-table relationships and click +New.

Step 3. In this example, we’ll select the Contacts table from the dropdown list and click Next.

Step 4. Choose how the tables relate to each other. The sentences are your clues. In this case, “Each customer may have many Contacts,” so select that option.

Step 5. Click Next.

This makes the Customers table the “Master Table.” Quickbase automatically adds an Add Contact button to the Customers form and displays a report of contacts.

The Contacts Table is the “Details Table.” Quickbase automatically creates a lookup field for the Customer Name. This lookup field creates a dropdown list Sally’s team can use to select a customer name when adding a new Contact.

In a one to many relationship, the Master table is the one and the Details table is the many.

Add Lookup Fields

Lookup fields enable you to bring in information from a field in another table. A Lookup field for Customer Name was created automatically when we created the relationship. To also bring in the customer’s address and phone, create two new lookup fields:

Step 1. Under the Customer Name Lookup field, select Address from the dropdown list.

Step 2. Underneath that, select Main Phone.

Lookup fields display in the fields list with double arrows next to the field name.

The relationship is the only place you can add lookup fields. To add more lookup fields later, come back here.

Add a Summary Field

Summary fields enable you to summarize key information from a related table. In our example, Sally wants to summarize the total number of contacts for each customer. To do this:

Step 1.Click the Customer to Contacts relationship.

Step 2. Click the Add Summary Field button to add a summary field to the Customers table that displays the total number of contacts for that customer.

Step 3. The “number of Contacts related to that customer” is already selected, so click Create.

This new relationship, two new lookup fields, and a summary field enable you to:

  • Select the customer name from a dropdown list and have the customer’s address and phone number automatically fill in
  • Add a new contact from the Customer table using the Add Contact button
  • View the list of contacts for a customer
  • See the total number of contacts for that customer

You can even view a map of relationships in an app by clicking SETTINGS, App Management, and then clicking Show Relationship Diagram.

We hope this blog post and our new video will help you get the most from your app using relationships. The two relationships videos are part of our How-To Video series, which also includes Getting an app from Exchange, Creating Tables, Customizing Forms and more.

What types of relationships have you built? Do you have any tips we didn’t mention? Share in the comments!

Written By: Laura Speare
A Quickbase Content Designer, Laura loves working with words to empower Quickbase users.

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