That’s good to hear. When did you start to examine these issues closely? My attention to this issue began in Nov 2019 and by Dec 19, 2019 we noticed a steep regression (i.e., many more failures). This issue was pervasive for about two months and on or about 20-Jan-2020 the error volume subsided to a much more intermittent experience. I believe the issue continues to plague API-based solutions but only from time-to-time; I have not performed any tests recently, although just checking on one client’s activity, the a small number of failures have occurred in the past 12 hours.
No. These are/were processes that generate new PDFs all day long.
This is correct. Zapier certainly uses “an” API to process its recipes.
To be clear, if there are bandwidth quotas, we’re not creating a condition where we have experienced them.
It’s a vital question in the quest to understand this issue and this was a key test as we researched it. In 100% of the cases, the URLs that failed were tested with a browser that was certified without a security context. This is a crucial aspect of our testing protocol but it wasn’t developed to isolate the cause of this problem. We test security protocols for video analytics and AI apps for transit surveillance systems and we have to keep clean machines with browsers that are void of any cookies or historical login knowledge. This was the environment we used to be certain that the URLs to these failing documents (a) existed, (b) contained content, and © were accessible without any security context.
It’s also important to note that our tests also developed metrics that showed in subsequent automation processes involving the same failed URLs, attachment success was likely on 27 of 100 retries of previously failed attachment attempts.
What does this data suggest?
- The issue is intermittent.
- Failures are not likely related to specific URLs.
- Failures are not likely related to the way the API is being used (relatively good success rate).
- The code executed using Airtable’s manual feature is not likely built on the API offered to the public.
If these observations are true, we can probably conclude there’s a high probability that the issue is in the API itself or the environment with which the API is being used.
We don’t use Zapier so I really can’t comment if that environment manages to avoid this issue. But there are two data points concerning this that should be considered:
- Zapier and others like Integromat supported Airtable long before the public API was released. This suggests these vendors probably don’t use the same gateway to access or update Airtable that the rest of us are required to use.
- There’s no evidence (that I’m aware of) where Zapier recipes have exhibited this attachment failure, although I don’t even know if Zapier and Integromat can perform attachments. I have a hunch they can and they are designed with different APIs separate and apart from public API.
I like a good mystery.