Error saving/uploading dropbox document to Airtable

I’ve created a scenario in Integromat that watches for files to be added to a specific folder. The idea is that when a file is added, it will trigger the scenario which will add the file to a Table in airtable. Dropbox recognizes the file, it then downloads the file from dropbox. But when it goes to create the record in airtable, it comes back with an error.

Here are some screenshots of the progression:

This shows that data is coming through the dropbox scenario.

However, this is what it looks like when I try to configure the airtable operation to add the file as an attachment.

This shows that when the scenario is run, the dropbox listener and the dropbox file download work.

But there’s an error with the URL.

Let’s start with the basics - is the DropBox URL publicly accessible?

I can’t say for certain. I’m not sure how I would determine that. But I assume no.

Airable can only make attachments from publically accessible urls (unless using the native Airtable user interface). Those urls also must be the url for the actual document–not a url that displays a webpage that contains the document.

The easiest way to test your url is to copy and paste it into a web browser where you are not logged into DropBox. If you are presented with a login screen, then the document is not publically accessible. If you are presented with “viewer” for the document, and not the document itself, the url will also not work for creating an attachlment.

Okay - well - my hunch is the URLs you are handing to Airtable (via Integromat) are private and Airtable has no security context with which to access the URLs.

One way to test this is to select a few of the dropbox files and set them to openly accessible to the public Internet and test the process again.

I just tested with a public dropbox file. That kind of seems to have fixed it except that the file that is uploaded in airtable is apparently a one-page blank document which is not actually what the file is. Here’s the error when I actually download the file from Airtable.

Screen Shot 2020-09-23 at 2.56.26 PM

I would reach out to Integromat’s excellent technical support and ask them if they know of a way to extract the actual URL of the actual document in Dropbox.

As the others have said above, even if your Dropbox URL is publicly accessible, Dropbox then wraps your document in a webpage (i.e. the webpage has the document embedded within it).

But what you’re looking for is the actual URL of the underlying document, and I’m not sure if Dropbox reveals that URL via their API, which is what Integromat taps into.

But please let us know what Integromat Support has to say about this issue, so we can help other people in the future on this exact same issue! :slight_smile:


I should also note that @Moe has created the tool below to upload Dropbox documents to Airtable, but I’m still really curious if Integromat has a solution for this as well. Please report back! :slight_smile:


This is likely caused because of what @kuovonne warned you about above.

It appears that what you are providing Airtable with is a URL to the DropBox PDF viewer - that won’t work. It must be the actual document.

This is very easy to do. Before you spend a lot of time explaining your issue to people who probably don’t care much about DropBox or even know how it actually works, I would try to validate that your process fails when you …

  1. Make sure you test with a direct document URL, and;
  2. The document is openly public (i.e., reachable and viewable from a browser without your DropBox security context).

This is a false assumption. The Integromat people care very deeply about their customers, and since they personally handcrafted & created every single module that is on their entire site, they are the experts at EVERY module they support — including Dropbox. I have been consistently amazed with their depth of knowledge.

And actually, @DTL, it looks like Integromat has already written up instructions on how to get the direct download URL of a Dropbox file on their help page at the link below. You just have to add a very simple formula into your field mapping.

They give step-by-step directions on how to get the direct download URL under the section of that document entitled: Image referenced via a shared link does not render.

This is precisely what I’m talking about, @Bill.French — the guys at Integromat are absolutely excellent & deeply knowledgeable. :slight_smile:

And @DTL, if you have a budget for your project and need to hire an expert Airtable developer to help you with this or any other Integromat integrations (or any other Airtable needs), please feel free to send me a private message or visit my website at

I’m sure they are deeply committed. My comments were framed in a terse manner and certainly not my best writing work. :wink: But, they were not assumptions either - rather, they were based on experience; mine as well as many clients’. And the one assumption I made (in this case) is that @DTL came here to get answers because the alternative pathways are likely far slower.

Integromat interfaces with hundreds of products and tens-of-thousands of integration scenarios. There’s simply no way for their support team to fully understand and offer up every product’s secrets for recipe success. Frankly, I don’t know how they do it as well as they do. And despite this dedication, you don’t see them perusing the communities of all their integration vendors looking for users with problems - ergo, it’s not easy for them to be up on every nuance. Certainly, one of their developers knows deeply about this; support people - perhaps as well, but you need to get to that person - easier said than done. As such, when trying to debug an issue, explaining it and and finding the right answers through support is often time-consuming and in many cases, the needed information takes a number of interchanges.

This is why I suggested - before taking this issue to support - investigate the nature of the URL mapping because the issue is likely in the mapping - not in Airtable, DropBox, or Integromat. I could be wrong, of course, but I’ll bet I’m right about the fastest and most efficient pathway to success. :wink:

Meanwhile, while you’re writing paragraphs of philosophical prose, I’ve already solved the problem for @DTL. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: Have you considered becoming an author, @Bill.French? It’s a career that might suit you! :wink: I mean that in a positive way — you love writing!

@ScottWorld. Thank you, I modified the url and it worked. The document now shows up in the airtable attachment field.

So my next question is, I did what Bill said in order to manually test it. But this should be able to work on its own. So how do I get the url without having to manually share the file each time? Again, this is a folder that once a document is put in, should trigger the scenario. So the documents change all the time.

Really. Okay - with that you get more philosophical prose. :wink:

I was the first to peg the issue as likely related to the URL mapping. @kuovonne was the second (her comments were even more detailed than mine but ostensibly on the same axis). Your suggestion (go to Integromat support) was the third.

For roughly a day, this support issue languished; I felt compelled to reach out because it was growing a little stale and it was clear what the problem might be. And with that, suddenly it’s an important issue and especially noteworthy when my comments are perhaps terse, but truthful.

I’m pretty sure users come here because they have a sense that we’ll genuinely attempt to help them in an expedient manner and all without the bias of any particular vendor’s technical support policies or process. Users don’t [generally] come here because they have time to kill and certainly not the kind of time that support systems tend to absorb.

Pushing users toward any support resource (regardless of the vendor) should be the last resort; when there’s no obvious fix or workaround. Uploading documents into Airtable certainly does not fall into the hopeless case - the issue and remedy was pretty obvious and corroborated by one of the sharpest community developers who also elaborated the cause of the issue (@kuovonne).

I responded to this user’s need for assistance the way I would want others to respond to my queries; simple, straightforward, expedient suggestions and from users who have experience doing this.

Indeed, couldn’t agree more. The premise of a code-free adhesive is that it should just work - it should figure out all the dirty stuff. But, with a complete understanding of the cause and the requirement, you have a lot more data to explore with Integromat support (should that be necessary).

Spot on. I don’t work with Integromat much but there is an Integromat expert lurking here (@cor - where are you? I think he’s on holiday this week).

I think the Integromat recipe provides (or has an option to provide) a way to harvest documents at the folder level and with a folder that is made public, you shouldn’t have to expose public links to each document. Any new documents added to the folder automatically become accessible by Airtable and the Integromat recipe is responsible for enumerating the folder looking for new documents.

Again, this is a deeper nuance of Integromat that requires more expertise.

You’re actually working with a top Integromat expert right here in this thread. I’ve created over 200 Integromat scenarios for my clients, just this year alone.

Right, that’s exactly what you can setup Integromat to do. You can watch a Dropbox folder using the “Watch Files” step, and then once the document is put in, it will trigger your entire scenario for you.

Everyone’s needs are different, and it could take some time to setup a full Integromat scenario, depending on the complexity of what you’d like to accomplish in your scenario. Because of the potential time involved in setting up an Integromat scenario, unfortunately this isn’t something that I can walk you through step-by-step for free. But I would recommend diving into it on your own, and if you need to hire an expert Airtable/Integromat developer to help you with this, please feel free to send me a private message!

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