A Quick Go Through to the Airtable API in 3 Minutes: Sharing Our Experience From Usage

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6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

Hi, when building our product iOS Shortcuts Library for Airtable users, it's all based on the Airtable API. In recent days, we've gained a lot of experience using the current Airtable API. Here is an overview and sharing of our knowledge that you can use as a quick reference before diving into the lengthy API documentation.

Key Concept: BaseID, TableID, RecordID
When using the Airtable API, you need to specify which base and table you want to interact with. Unlike the Graph UI, you need to specify their IDs. The easiest approach is to open a record in your browser, and you will find the ID in the URL path.

CleanShot 2024-04-30 at 21.54.38.png

What Are the Major Capabilities of the Current Airtable API?
Although there are more than 30 different APIs, here are the 4 most important ones, ranked objectively: 

1. Read records in a table using one of these two APIs:

  • List Records: Returns all records in the given table. You can apply filters in the API parameters.
  • Get Record: Returns detailed information about one specific record.

2. Create records in a table using the Create Records API.
3. Read base schema: When reading or creating records, you'll need the table's schema information to understand the potential return data types for different fields, also this API will let you know every field name of all tables in the base.

How to Access the Airtable API

  1. Request an access token, which serves as the credential between you and Airtable. You can refer to this video tutorial for creating it. Do not refer to any article that asking you to use API Key, it's totally deprecated on Feb 2024, Access token is the latest official approach for using Airtable API.
  2. Include the access token in the HTTP Authorization header every time you call the Airtable API.

Example: Read Records from a Table
In this example, we're using the List Records API. As you can see, we specify the access token in the header and the baseID and tableID to tell Airtable which table we want to retrieve records from. With a GET request call, the Airtable API returns the desired records.

CleanShot 2024-04-30 at 22.17.47.png

Hope this article can be useful for people who're also interested in using API in future, if you want more info about the Airtable API, feel free to left message and we will write them!

Resource of Airtable API

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6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

If you have questions about the API overview please feel free to leave a message, happy to help!