Anyone have example code or ideas around managing bulk updates?

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4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer


I’m trying to sanely bulk update a set of records from a source to Airtable. Mechanically, I have it working, but I’m thinking that I need to employ some better practices for managing these updates.

Here’s the current state:


  1. Have a JSON payload of multiple rows, preprocessed to match the Airtable schema
  2. Do not have the Airtable record ID in that dataset, we have our own identifier


  1. Loop over each record in the JSON payload, add a timestamp (for sanity checks)
  2. Run a select query on the API filtering by our ID
  3. If nothing found, issue a create request with the payload
  4. If found, issue an update request, passing the record ID from Airtable returned in 2

The problem
As written a number of async requests get issued and we run into conflicts. Then data doesn’t get written. I want to make sure the sync is bullet proof so we don’t run into data loss issues or have to do a lot of additional QA. I mitigated by setting a timeout for the first request. I’m thinking of two ways to improve this:

  1. Separate out the select and just bulk match the records in a pre-processing step, cache that (we’re only talking 1000ish records)
  2. Use promises or async await to wait until a record gets updated or created before moving to the next record in the payload. The tradeoff is this turns it into a sequential process, but I think async is less important than data fidelity.

Do other folks have code samples or examples of doing a similar bulk process where you have a lot of updates on records? My main goal is to have confidence that data is loading to Airtable.

Additionally, as an aside, a bulk option for updates would be great so that we can just send the record payload or send it in chunks and get back a summary response when the operation completes.

2 Replies 2
10 - Mercury
10 - Mercury

Check out this comment regarding how to work around the api limits:

Oh, I’m going to give that a shot, that looks like it may solve the main problem for me! Thanks.

Update: was able to quickly refactor using bottleneck and added some logging via Winston for good measure. Seems to be working great! Thanks again for the tip. I poked around, but missed that post.