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Airtable API integration questions (before I start)


#1

Hi all,

I’d like to build an e-Learning app with Airtable as my database for a lot of the student data.

Main functionality needed: for a user to be able create/edit AT records within Bubble, and the ability to show conditional content based on data in the user’s AT record.

Reason for using Airtable and not Bubble: I’d still like to use/manipulate/analyse the data using Airtable, and possibly link it to other apps/services in the future.

In my app, the experience for students will be customised depending on what their tutor has allocated for them.

One random example:

Let’s say for the ‘Basic Guitar Chords’ Topic, the Tutor notices the biggest thing the Student currently needs to improve upon is Topic Name ‘Finger Strength’. Once they submit this assessment, the Student gets (again, pre-defined) exercises, tips, images etc that display on their ‘Basic Guitar Chords’ topic page. Other unrelated info is not displayed.

I don’t need to do any fancy formulas with the options a Tutor chooses – I just need to display content for whatever learning point(s) is/are chosen for each Topic, and nothing else.

This requires Bubble to read the Airtable database (to display conditional content) and to write to it (e.g. when the Tutor submits a new student assessment).

I’ve been scouring the forum for mentions of Airtable and things look promising so far. I saw an old post mentioning Zapier but it looks like that isn’t really necessary as I believe that now there’s an API.

So for now, I have a few questions before I dive into this completely:

  • Does the Airtable API connection allow for immediate changes to AT & back?

  • Authentication & security, i.e.keeping database details private: what is there to consider here?

  • How easy is it to create API connections without being a coder? I’m new to Bubble but fairly tech minded (basic HTML/CSS knowledge), and am currently going through a Bubble course that includes API lessons.

  • I presume it’s best to connect through API rather than the Database Connector plugin?

  • Are there currently any major restrictions with the Airtable-Bubble API?

  • Can I do this on the Personal plan?

I thinks that’s it for now – a huge, huge thank you for any help (however brief).

And thanks for looking through this in the first place.

Very best,

Paul


#2

I’ve been scouring the forum for mentions of Airtable and things look promising so far. I saw an old post mentioning Zapier but it looks like that isn’t really necessary as I believe that now there’s an API.

That was probably me. You are right in that you don’t need zapier now.


#3

Hey Nigel,

Yes it was you – glad to see you’re still in the forum helping out.

Thanks for your very helpful answer.

If you mean globally private, then airtable uses a bearer token so it is as as secure as that really.

Sorry, please excuse my newbiness, I have no idea what a bearer token is.

So basically, the contents of my Airtable base will not be accessible to anyone, apart from the specific requests that my API makes (e.g. one user can see their own record’s info and nothing more) unless I give them access to Bubble’s editor. Is that right?

1. Handling Rate limiting (or other API “errors”) is a bit messy.

From my research, Airtable looks to limit to 5 requests per second (per user I think). But I can’t find any resources on this from Bubble - do they also add rate limits?

Are there any good resources on common API errors & how to fix?

2. Pagination of search results from APIs is not the easiest thing to do in bubble. But you can probably code round it for now.

From what I’ve googled, it looks like it’s a 100-result limit. That shouldn’t be exceeded with what I’m planning.

As long as the limit is per single user’s request?

[API for noncoders] Easy, but annoying.

Thanks for this.

To start simple, I’m thinking for now that I take my AT base’s tables and import them as new Things in Bubble.

Could I just check that generally speaking:

  • One Airbase table = 1 Bubble Thing?

  • One Airbase table’s field = 1 Bubble Thing’s field?

Also, the Airtable base contains Attachment fields with images, and these display in the csv as:

image.jpg (imageurl.com).

I will have hundreds of these.

Is there some way to import into Bubble without needing to manually re-upload each one?

If I’ve missed anything I should be bearing in mind when importing from Airtable, do let me know.

Many thanks again! :+1:t3:

Paul