Airtable metadata API update

Hi!

I couldn’t find any informations about extending the existing Metadata API in a way, so there would be a possibility to update the structure of the bases, fields and so on through the metadata API.
Let me describe myself better, what I mean by that.

I had an occasion to work with Salesforce for some time. This is also a low-code platform, where instead of writing code whenever there is a repetetive task, you can do that by draging or clicking. Everyone knows the benefits of low-code platform, so I won’t be talking about that here. When using low-code tools like Airtable or Salesforce, everything is wonderful in developing stage, we can do that much faster, we have ready made API we can connect to other tools really fast, but when we finally go live with the MVP of the product and we have real users who uses the application we made, we would rather perform future developing and testing on some dev/test environments. Of course we can do that, but current way is just bad. When we finally developed and tested some new features and we would like to go with it to the production we encounter small problem. In Salesforce it is resolved, it is possible to retrieve the metadata and deploy it into production enviroment pretty easily, it can be done through the CI/CD servers. And what I mean by metadata - pretty much everything, starting from tables, their names, their columns and types of the columns, ending on formulas of forumula fields. In Airtable - there is no such option. When we want to move things from one environment to another, we have to go through all the steps we did in first environment in the second as well, and we have to do that manually, so there is an option of making mistakes (we are human after all).

IMO, this is a crucial feature of low-code no-code tools, it is too easy to make mistakes in Airtable and by that, creating bus in production environment. It will also enable using git repositories for tracking the changes that are happening in the projects.

That’s why I wanted to ask the Airtable team, if there are plans about extending the metadata API? Do you even take it into consideration in the future? And if yes, could you please say, when?

Airtable mostly ignores these forums… it’s just us fellow Airtable users here. You would have to email support@airtable.com to ask them about this. Please post back here with what their response to you is!

1 Like

Hey @Pawel_Karpiel thanks for reaching out!

This is helpful feedback on the metadata API.

Admittedly, the metadata API has not been previously a high priority. The original metadata API was intended only for a small handful of integration partners, and not intended as a scaled feature of Airtable.

We’re in the process of reconsidering this, given an immense amount of recent interest in the metadata API. This reconsideration brings in a number of new scalability, policy, and security issues as you might imagine, that weren’t previously a concern.

So we’re in the middle of working out these issues, to ultimately determine to what degree we might open up and expand on the metadata API. Table & field writes are certainly part of the discussion. We’re hoping to have more long-term clarity here in the coming weeks.

Thanks again,
Taylor

4 Likes

Thank you very much for answering the question.

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