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How to Automate Custom Notifications from Baserow Form Submissions with Zapier

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When you manage your operations in a database, such as Baserow, you may be curious if there is a way to get notified when a new form submission arrives. Notifications are generally required to keep up with updates, but they can quickly become annoying if you don’t have control over them.

The best way to make the most out of your time is to use technology to automate as many tasks as possible. You can use automation to create a simple flow that sends notifications where and when you want them.

Automation tools make it easy for you to pass information across different apps without having to write a single line of code! With automation tools, Baserow users can connect their databases to over 5000 integrations and have access to different web services - all without coding.

Why send updates from a database?

Baserow offers a simple method for creating online forms from your existing database without the stress of spending copious amounts of time on a repetitive task. The form view provides an easy solution for collecting information.

Baserow has automated the data collection process. But what comes next? You will need to send your data elsewhere to use the information you have gathered. What if we could also automate this task?

Webhooks allow you to send notifications whenever a new form response is submitted. By integrating your Baserow webhook with Zapier, we make sure that every piece of data that is collected through your form goes straight to where it needs to be for you to do something with it.

No-code tools can automate mundane, repetitive processes like gathering and sending information from a database to an email or messaging app in minutes—and we’ll show you how in this tutorial.

What You Will Create

In this tutorial, we will cover how to send form submission notifications from your Baserow database to a messaging channel.

The following tools will be used to receive real-time updates on form responses:

  • Baserow: For data collection and storage.
  • Zapier: To trigger actions in multiple applications depending on pre-specified instructions
  • Slack (or other messaging software of your choice): To notify a channel whenever a new response to a form is received, ensuring that the entire team is aware of your respondents’ inputs.

Here’s what we’ll do:

  • Trigger Zaps from webhooks and also send a webhook when an event occurs in Baserow
  • Use Zapier webhook trigger to format Baserow data
  • Send information to Slack channel or via direct message. You, your team, or your clients can create personalized email, Slack, or Microsoft Teams notifications.

Slack is a popular messaging app and the preferred business communication software. Slack functions similarly to a chatroom, allowing teams to communicate messages and files seamlessly. Slack notifications are designed to keep you updated whether you’re at work or on the move. We will set up Slack notifications to notify your team of any form-based survey results that receive.

Now let’s get into how we can easily gather and send information from Baserow database to Slack using automation.

Build a Baserow Database

Whether you want to manage team check-ins, communicate priorities and strategic plans to stakeholders, keep track of organization activities or track your hiring process, Baserow empowers you to digitize workflows, automate processes and improve business efficiencies.

With Baserow, you can get the job done faster and with greater security, all in one place.

Create a new group

If you haven’t already, log in to Baserow.io. The first step is to create a group. To start with, we will set up a new group and add a database within the group. To create a new group:

  • From the Baserow Dashboard page select ‘+ Create group
  • Enter a group name
  • Click ‘Add group’

If you are just getting started with Baserow, we recommend you read our user documentation on how to create a Group and how to add collaborators to your group.

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Let’s get into populating data in your Baserow database.

Get started with Baserow Templates

You may start from scratch or use a template.

A quick approach to getting your project up and running is to create a database from a template. We’ve considered several scenarios to utilize databases across any use case and have created 50+ templates for you to choose from to help you get started with your database.

For this tutorial, we’ll use the Applicants tracker template. Use this template to handle hiring tasks - from candidates to job descriptions, interview dates, positions, and so much more. This Job Applicant Tracker template will allow you to hire the right candidates with minimal effort in no time. You can manage the hiring process from the initial application to the interview, all the way through to the final decision.

To start with your template, log into your Baserow account and choose a group into which the template will be installed. Click on ‘Add database’ and select ‘From template’.

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Make changes to your database as you see fit.

To learn more about creating a database from a template, read our documentation on how to add a template.

Add a form view

Forms can be automatically created from your table. With the form view, users can easily build their forms with click-to-add functionality. By using Baserow, you are offered the flexibility to customise existing fields - without the need to build the form from scratch. When your recipients submit your forms, you can add fields and filters to modify the data.

For this tutorial, we’re using the Applicant table in the Job Applicant Tracker template. Within the Applicant table, let’s switch to the ‘Add new applicant’ form view. We want to alert the team whenever any submissions are made by job applicants.

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Alternatively, you can opt to add a new form view to your existing table. To add a new form view:

  1. Click the existing view at the top of the table.
  2. Select ‘Form +’ from the popup
  3. Name the view.
  4. Click ‘Add form’ to quickly create a form.

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Modify form view

To modify the form fields, you can either select individual fields or click the ‘add all’ button on the left sidebar to add a new field. To remove a field from the form, select the field to display the options then click on the ‘eye’ icon.

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With the Form view, you have the option to choose between the Form or Survey modes.

  • Form mode - All fields are visible and vertically stacked. With the Form mode, you can preview all questions at once.
  • Survey mode - One field is visible at a time. With this mode, you can preview one question at a time. Navigate between questions in the editor mode by using the arrows at the bottom-right of the screen.

To select a mode for your view, click on ‘Mode’ at the top of the screen and choose between the Form or Survey modes.

To learn more about customizing form displays, read our documentation on how to work with Baserow forms.

Share form to receive submissions

Now that the form is set up, you want to make this form public to job applicants.

Anyone, including Members, can share a form. To share the link with anyone, click on ‘Share form’ at the top of the screen and proceed to create a private shareable link to the form.

After you create a private shareable link to the form, you will find the link settings in the ‘Share form’ pop-up of your form.

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Copy and paste the link to easily share your forms with anyone or embed a form via iframe tag!

With Baserow, you can also use pre-fill parameters in the URL of the form to pre-fill specific fields. Forms can be prefilled to help the respondent fill in the form faster. For example, you can pre-fill the position that the candidate is applying for with the value of Product Specialist by adding URL parameters after the form URL in the format:- ?prefill_Applying+for=Product+Specialist.

To learn more about how to use pre-fill parameters in the URLs, read our documentation on pre-filling a form.

Integrate with Zapier

Zapier is an automation tool that helps you automate repetitive tasks between two or more apps— without a single line of code. With Zapier, you can do more than just connect your apps - you can automate entire processes from beginning to end.

Create a new zap

With Zapier, Baserow users can automate the transferring of their data into other apps. For example: let’s say you created a hiring form on your database and now want all of those applicants added to MailChimp automatically. Or maybe you want them added to Gmail or Salesforce CRM. Zapier has got your back.

To get started with integrating Baserow with Zapier, sign up for a free account at http://zapier.com/.

Start your Zapier integration by clicking ‘+ Create Zap’ from your Zapier dashboard:

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A Zap is an automated workflow that connects your apps and services together. A Zap tells your apps to follow this simple command: “When this happens, do that.” Each Zap consists of a trigger and one or more actions. A trigger is an event that starts a Zap. An action is an event a Zap performs after it is triggered.

Zap #1: Add a webhook trigger

Webhooks are sent automatically across apps and contain information about app updates. When an app event happens, you can send a webhook.

Create a new zap and give it a descriptive name, like ‘Baserow Form to Notification’. Click the Trigger step.

Choose app & event

Next, search for apps and select Webhooks by Zapier.

Click the Event dropdown menu and select your webhook trigger:

  • Retrieve Poll - Poll a URL and look for new entries. Use a Retrieve Poll webhook trigger to have Zapier make a GET request to an external URL to check for new entries.
  • Catch Raw Hook - Wait for a new POST, PUT, or GET to a Zapier URL. Gives the request body unparsed (max 2 MB) and also includes headers. Select this trigger to gain access to the raw body of the response.
  • Catch Hook - Wait for a new POST, PUT, or GET to a Zapier URL.

For this tutorial, we will select the Catch Hook trigger to get a unique URL that you can make POST requests to.

After you’ve selected the webhook option, click Continue.

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Set up the webhook trigger

Next, Zapier will generate a custom webhook URL for you to send requests to.

Silent Mode: You can add silent/if your application prefers getting an empty response. This is required if you don’t want any data in the response from Zapier.

Pick Off A Child Key: This is the specific key that you want Zapier to use when sending a request to the webhook URL. This is handy if you simply require a part of the data delivered to the webhook, instead of the entire payload. If a key is specified, Zapier will only grab the child key from the object(s) sent to Zapier. For example, you can add the "event_type" to return rows created, updated or deleted and specific items from the payload. Traverse more deeply nested children by using dot-separated syntax. Line item payloads will run your Zap for each instance of the child key.

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For this tutorial, we want Zapier to return the entire payload of the webhook. So we will leave the field blank to receive the default response.

Click Continue.

Next, we want to send a request from Baserow to the webhook URL. Before you send information to the webhook URL, you must have the Test trigger section open.

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Copy the Zapier webhook URL to your clipboard. We will use it to set up the Zapier webhook URL to send the request to in the next step.

Tip 💡If you have multiple webhooks you want to trigger from the same event in Baserow, you can combine their URLs into a single URL. For example, if you have three Zaps, you can take the last part of each URLs and combine them into a single URL like this:

https://zapier.com/hooks/catch/123456/zbB61,kzXC4,2Ajjn

Requests sent to this URL will trigger all three webhook URLs at once.

Add the webhook URL to Baserow

Now that you have your webhook URL, you’ll need to configure your application with this Zap’s webhook URL to set up the trigger. Webhooks can be used to inform 3rd party systems when rows in Baserow have been created, updated or deleted. With batch create/update/delete rows endpoints, you can modify multiple rows at once.

To create a new webhook, click on the ••• beside the required view or table to sync, then select Webhooks from the menu**:**

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Click ‘Create webhook +

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To configure the webhook, populate the required fields:

  1. Enter a name to identify the webhook by

  2. Select the Method. Baserow offers GET, POST, PUT, PATCH, DELETE methods, which include automatic data parsing.

    The HTTP methods - POST, GET, PUT, PATCH, and DELETE - correspond to create, read, update, and delete (or CRUD) operations, respectively.

  3. In the URL field, enter the URL where your Baserow can receive requests. Paste the webhook URL you copied from Zapier.

  4. Select which events should trigger the webhook. Choose the option to send everything or specify individual events to trigger the webhook: When rows are updated, created or deleted.

  5. You can send specific headers by filling in the Name and Value fields in the Headers section.

  6. Preview the Example payloads for events

  7. Click the Trigger test webhook button to test the webhook

  8. Click the Save button to save your changes

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The Baserow webhook will trigger on every event.

Learn more about webhooks and how to edit the webhook fields to modify your output.

Test trigger

Let’s test the trigger. After the trigger is set up, click Test trigger.

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When you first set up your Zap trigger, Zapier will attempt to find some existing data from your trigger app to use in the Zap. To test a webhook trigger, you must first add a new row to the table. The sample row can then be used as test data in an action step later in the Zap.

Zapier will separate each field from your webhook data, which lets you use them (e.g. email addresses, names, stages) in later steps in your Zap.

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If you don’t receive any data during the test, try creating a new row to your table and see if the Zap receives it.

This trigger will start the Zap when Baserow app sends a webhook. Baserow will send data to the Zapier webhook URL whenever rows are created, updated or deleted. Click Continue.

Zap #2: Get custom alerts whenever a new form is submitted

The Baserow webhook allows you to send your survey responses to other apps. We want to get instant notifications and alerts of new form responses directly in Slack.

Next, choose Slack from the list of available apps. In the Zap editor, click the plus + icon to add an action step.

  • Search for and select Slack.
  • Click the Event dropdown menu and select the Send Channel Message option. This action will post a new message to a specific #channel you choose when the Zap runs.

You can alternatively select the Send Direct Message option to send a direct message to a user or yourself from the Slackbot or schedule a message for later.

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Click Continue.

Next, if you don’t have a Slack account connected, click the ‘ + Connect a new account’ button and follow the on-screen instructions to connect your Slack account to Zapier. Zapier will request permission to access your Slack workspace.

After you connect your account, you will be able to select the channel from the dropdown menu. Select your Slack channel from the dropdown menu where alerts for new Baserow Form submissions should be sent:

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Click Continue.

Set up Slack action

Map the form submission to the channel to promptly alert Slack channels/users when feedback is received. Updated Form replies may also be shared on a Slack channel or direct message.

Use the respondent’s details from the webhook trigger to pre-fill the content of your Slack message:

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You have a few options for creating announcements on Slack using mentions, depending on who you want to alert. @everyone notifies every person in the #general channel, @channel notifies all members of a channel and @here notifies only the active members of a channel. Unfortunately, @here notifications cannot be sent by Zapier.

Click Continue.

Test Slack action

To test Slack, Zapier will create a new send channel message. Click Test & Continue to initiate this process. A Send Channel Message will be sent to Slack:

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This action will submit a sample response to test the workflow.

Publish zap

Finally, click on ‘Publish Zap’ to have the workflow triggered whenever a new form response is submitted and a new message posted to your chosen Slack channel.

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This workflow will trigger a Slack notification to the channel any time a respondent fills out a form. You can automatically send notifications to yourself, teammates, or even clients via email, Slack, or Microsoft Teams from your Baserow database.

View webhook call log on Baserow

For each webhook, you can view the response and request. This can be useful if a call fails and you need to access why. Within the call log page, you can view each call event, URL, time, request and response.

To view a log of the calls for a webhook,

  1. Click on the ••• beside the required view or table
  2. Select Webhooks and click on “details” to reveal the webhook
  3. Navigate to the ‘Call log’ view

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Your zap history on Zapier also displays a log of all your zap activity, including all the data that goes in and out of each of your zap steps.

For details on how to connect Baserow to other software, see our Database API documentation page.

Want to learn more about Baserow?

With Baserow webhook as the trigger, we can integrate Baserow with 5,000+ Zapier apps.

This workflow can also easily be tweaked to send email notifications using webhooks. You can import your data into Baserow automatically using a trigger in Zapier which will add a row of information every time a new form submission is received from your account. You can also export all of your collected data from your Baserow account into a CSV file for use in other applications such as Microsoft Excel or Office 365.

In case you’ve run into an issue while following the tutorial, feel free to reach out to ask for help in the Baserow community.

Visit our Baserow user documentation to learn what we all have to offer for Baserow.

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