Airtable is dropping public url support for attachment in an upcoming update that will take place in Nov 2022.
This basically mean all urls to all attachments uploaded prior to that date will cease to work, and all attachments public leads uploaded from there will only work for a “few hours” (would be great to know exactly how long, by the way).
Supposedly being a security update, it’s more of a shitty update, speaking frankly. There are many other ways to achieve a similar result (where security is enforced) while doing it in a smart way that doesn’t hit all customers where it hurts.
This will break like all our current workflows using attachments, and makes the nice UI to upload file completely obsolete to us and all our users.
For instance, allowing to specify in the Attachment field whether to use a temporary link (and how long) would be so much simpler and effective.
So, my take is that Airtable does this on purpose, because this way it forces all end-users to use Airtable the way they intended to, through the UI, with a dedicated account.
But even those users will get hurt with this update.
On November 8, 2022, Airtable will improve the security of our attachment URLs by incorporating an expiring links functionality. Once this change takes place:
- Any attachment URLs obtained via the public API and the CSV export functionality will expire after a few hours.
- URLs obtained from copying an attachment cell value will open the file to the attachment viewer within the product, instead of directly opening the file.
- The links obtained by referring to an attachment field in Formulas will not change (for backward compatibility considerations), and will therefore become invalid; the filename obtained in the same way will continue to work as expected.
Who is impacted?
Users who are storing attachment URLs anywhere directly outside of the Airtable product for persisting an attachment.
What is the reason for this change?
This change will make attachment URLs more secure to use in the Airtable product.
What do I need to do?
If you have workflows with attachment URLs that will be impacted, you can begin migrating them over to comply with the new functionality now by following the steps in this help article.
Additionally, on November 8, 2022 when secure attachment URLs launches, you’ll also have the opportunity to opt out of the migration for a 3 month period of time until we fully switch over on February 7, 2023.