Airtable is praised for rediscovering this basis of office productivity software, spreadsheets. But there is much more to the company’s low-code application than cloud spreadsheet playback, according to Ilan Frank, who recently left Slack to be vice president of product at Airtable.

Air mass combines the functionality of a relational database with an intuitive interface which allows users to plan a team project, manage a sales pipeline, etc. Its low-code approach allows a wide range of users to customize workflows to meet their specific needs.

The app is often referred to as “a steroid spreadsheet,” Frank said, although the description underestimates its use for business. “I don’t look at it that way at all.”

Ilan Frank Ilan Frank

Ilan Frank, Vice President of Product at Airtable.

What Airtable does, he said, is connect data from various applications that serve as recording systems for businesses. This can be data generated in the Airtable itself or from external applications, such as PagerDuty-registered incidents, Zendesk tickets or Salesforce territory maps. “We’re building a data center that unlocks all this isolated data.”

One way to do this is through the integration of Airtable data synchronization, which can be used with Jira Cloud, Box, Tableau and GitHub, among others. Airtable plans to increase the number of synchronizations so that users can enter data into the platform and share it throughout their organization. The company also plans to create an API so developers can create their own agent to sync with external systems, and is working to build a “data market” for the app, Frank said. This way, customers can share information more easily internally.

In a sense, he said, Airtable’s approach to the data hub parallels Slack’s collaboration platform, which has proven to be a popular channel for peer interaction. “Slack is fantastic in terms of commitment so that people can communicate with each other,” he said. “Everything is there, this is the optimal solution. But I think it’s also important in the departments that are scattered around the world so that the data can be delivered [be connected]. And I think here comes the Airtable. “

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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