Creating QR / Bar Codes in Airtable with Integromat

I've seen quite a few questions in the Airtable (and other) forums over time about creating and storing QR or Bar Codes in a database based on an input field. In this post I am therefore going to use Airtable as the database - but the basic process will be the same for other platforms (and I'll point out where there are differences). Integromat will be used as the no-code tool to generate the QR or Barcode image itself.


I am going to base this example on a table of Products, with a Product Number from which we want to create a QR Code...


The Table in Airtable

We only need a single table for this exercise - called Products it looks something like this within my test base:



Nothing particularly unusual here - we are using the Product Number field to generate the Barcode from and the Barcode itself is stored in an Attachment field.


You should note the Created field though - this is a 'Created time' field type and is required by Integromat to keep control of which records have been processed.


The Integromat Scenario

There are several ways in which we could have Integromat look for records to create barcodes from, but in this case I will use a Watch Records module to look for Airtable records which have been added to the base and where barcodes are therefore required:




You'll notice the Formula which simply states {Product Number} - this means that the Scenario will only run for those records where there is a product number to convert into a barcode. Also note that I have set maximum records to 10 - you can set this higher as well. This is because the Airtable Watch Records module does not trigger immediately a record is created - but rather runs every few minutes ( the minimum depending on your subscription ). In this way, if more than one record is entered between runs they will all be picked up together.


The next step is to actually create the barcode - and luckily, Integromat has a built in module for this which is very straightforward to configure:



Points to notice here are that there are many options for the type of bar/qr code and also for things like the size and filename. You can experiment with this to get the correct layout for your own needs.


When I decided to look at this process, I originally thought that only one more step would be needed to complete it - and indeed with the other main databases I work with, Knack and Ninox, all that I would have to do now would be to update the database with the output from the Barcode module.


With Airtable though, an attachment field can only load an Image from a URL (in the Update record module) and so we have to think of a way to achieve this as the Barcode module does not store the image anywhere from which it can be downloaded by URL. The solution I suggest here is to store the barcode image in Google Drive from where Airtable can then be instructed to pick it up:




Now we have the file in Google Drive the only essential thing that there remains to do is to upload it to Airtable using an Update a Record module:



So, that's the basic process complete - but you may choose to add one final step which is to clean up your Google Drive by deleting the file after it's transferred to Airtable (unless you also want it in Google Drive that is). This uses a Delete a File module:




And that's it!


I am constantly amazed at what can be achieved with Integromat and can't recommend it enough. It can transform your use of databases like Airtable and Knack (which don't have their own built in languages) quite literally becoming a cross platform tool for building in your business logic and workflows.


As usual, please feel free to comment on the above - or contact me directly if you prefer!


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