New Beta: New API authentication methods, endpoints, and public API docs

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Airtable Employee
Airtable Employee

Hi everyone,

For those I haven’t met, I’m Sean, an engineer on the Airtable API team.

Today our team is excited to announce the public beta (it’s public – so no need to sign up!) of several new API authentication features to make our API more secure for all our users. Bundled with them are the (long-requested!) metadata API, comments API, and webhook API.

And one more feature (my personal favorite): a new publicly accessible API docs site to learn about all of these in more exciting detail! Airtable Web API

  • API authentication: personal access tokens
  • API authentication: OAuth for Integrations
    • Register an integration to build using OAuth 2.0:
    • Users can authorize third-party integrations with OAuth for a secure setup and granular controls.
  • New API endpoints
    • As part of either of the authentication methods above, we have several new API endpoints and functionality, including the metadata API - please read our changelog for more info on these endpoints. Airtable Web API
  • Enterprise Admin features
    • Enterprise admins can create service accounts that can utilize both of the new API authentication methods and associated API endpoints described above. This feature will help ensure continuity for scripts and integrations.
    • Admins will also be able to restrict whether and which OAuth third-party integrations can be used in their enterprises.

Additionally, we plan to announce a deprecation timeline for user API keys when these more secure authentication methods (personal access tokens and OAuth integrations) graduate from public beta to general availability. Per our deprecation guidelines, there will be a notice period of at least 12 months (from the date of that future announcement) before the deprecation is enforced.

This public beta is just the beginning! We plan on continuing to add new features and update existing ones based on your feedback.

Learn more from our updated API docs and then try it for yourself — and, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask here,

Sean, on behalf of the Airtable API Team

6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

This is so nice to see! Will it also be possible to filter records by id now? I mean the filter parameter:

I know with the metadata api I can get this name from the id, but that is still a bit wonky. This is really an issue for me.

16 - Uranus
16 - Uranus

Initial highlights from my quick glance: you can now programmatically create bases, tables, and fields. You can also programmatically add a comment to a record. Those will definitely come in handy.

Is there any thought on adding the ability to create new Views via the Web API (or Scripting/Blocks APIs)?

18 - Pluto
18 - Pluto

Wow!! Thanks so much, @SeanKeenan! :grinning_face_with_big_eyes: :raised_hands: :dizzy: :sparkles:

Today is a gigantic day with lots of tremendous improvements across the board!! :clinking_glasses: :stars:

And the new metadata capabilities are huge! :partying_face:

Also — you guys did a really nice job with the new API docs, too! :tada:

I nominate @SeanKeenan for president!!

p.s. Thanks for keeping around the old functionality where the API docs dynamically change based on our own bases, tables, and fields! :ribbon:

6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

Assuming you mean Record ID, could you create a Formula field with {Record ID} and sort by that field?

As for the updates: amazing! Really appreciated and will save power users an incredible amount of time.

18 - Pluto
18 - Pluto

Formula fields are not supported by the API, and oddly, formula fields are also not supported by the Airtable mobile app.

6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

Which usecases do you know where automating a base creation via API calls is more relevant than Copy pasting an existing base.

11 - Venus
11 - Venus

Am I correct in reading, that View API calls won’t return an array of visible fields within that View - and that, if I’m mistaken and they do (or the feature will be introduced eventually?), that this particular VIEW API is limited to enterprise accounts only? … I read this announcement really, really, really hoping that I could finally query and return a View’s visible fields - but it seems that this isn’t the case.

Regardless, there’s still lots of good things for me to get through here, thank you for the announcement - and would appreciate any info regarding my query on returning visible fields from a view via API calls.

18 - Pluto
18 - Pluto

Thank you for this wonderful list of new features!

I think this is one of my favorites as well! It will make it so much easier to like to documentation when answering questions on this forum.

I noticed that the new name for this API is “Web API” versus “REST API”. Thanks for giving thought to the naming.

Where can we see the documentation for this, and how does this affect billing? Are service accounts “free” or will there be charges for service accounts?

Thanks for this headsup. Will Airtable also be generating a tool where we can see what services have been using an API key in the past month/year/time frame? People setup automations/integrations that use an API key, and then forget what those integrations are.

The new webhooks feature looks really powerful. To clarify, this is a system where we can register a webhook that Airtable will call when the conditions are met? It seems like this has a bit of overlap with automations, but also opens up possibilities that are not available with automations.

  • It looks like webhooks can detect the deletion of a record. Is this correct?
  • It looks like webhooks can detect schema changes. Is this correct?

Are there charges or limits related to webhooks. For example, are there limits on the number of times a webhook will be called? Other than the fact that webhooks only last for 7 days and there is a max of 10 per base, what is the motivation to use automations instead of webhooks?

4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

Will this allow us to show comments in a field in the table?

Would be great to see comments at a glance in the table, rather than have to go into the record model.

8 - Airtable Astronomer
8 - Airtable Astronomer

Airtable Web API the same rate limit applied, and by “same”, I believe they mean “shared”.

Yea, it is able to watch the metadata api, and detect deletions: