API calls to a NodeJS/Express application with no domain name

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7 - App Architect
7 - App Architect

As in my previous post, and several other posts here about fetch(), I’m not sure how much of this question is: 1) my own coding error; 2) issue with/how the scripting block functions; or 3) a combination of those and more.

I’ve gotten simple fetch() calls to work, from examples posted on this forum and in the documentation. I’ve also gotten a call to my desired Vimeo endpoint to partially work (with some restrictions mentioned in the earlier linked post).

The following code works (copied and modified from other examples on this forum), and since the example video here isn’t restricted (it’s a random video I picked on Vimeo’s homepage), all the information I need is present (namely: the “duration” field).

let url = "";
let headers = {
    'Accept': 'application/json',
    'Referer': '',

let info = await fetch(url, {
    "method": 'get',
    "headers": headers
const json = await info.json();

with the output seen here:

Screen Shot 2020-02-19 at 1.21.08 PM

But given the Vimeo embed restriction, I haven’t gotten this approach to work for my videos with restrictions. No problem, I already have a NodeJS/Express app that deals with the regular Airtable API to fetch this Vimeo information for a bunch of records. Could I just call this app from a Scripting block to run it all within Airtable?

Well, the longer answer is my API endpoints would need to be tweaked (none currently return JSON data, but rather uses it to render a HTML page). To see if any interaction would be possible, I tried tweaking the code from above to set the URL to a new test endpoint, similar to

let url =";

where the IP address is not a domain name, and the app runs on port 8080. I added the following code to the ‘runtime’ router

router.get('/test', (req, res) => {
	res.status(200).json({user: 'test json data'});

such that visiting the URL response with test JSON data on a GET request. Visiting the actual URL in the browser is successful,

Screen Shot 2020-02-19 at 1.28.54 PM

but trying the same call in the Scripting block hangs (with the spinny-circle) — no error message.

Screen Shot 2020-02-19 at 1.30.38 PM

and checking the logs on the server don’t show any record of a ping to the URL.

The only idea I have is it is [some kind of client-side issue similar to this SendBlock post] from Jonathan. Or that it is some DNS/port issue with my URL being located at an IP address with port 8080.

Any ideas on if this sounds like the potential issue, or other ideas on what it could be? And if this is the issue, does anyone have suggestions on how to workaround it? @Bill.French mentioned in the previous post setting up a Heroku app as a proxy, but I’m not sure if that would run into similar issues/problems as the NodeJS server app I already have (hosted on Digital Ocean).

Thanks for any help/advice! I’m off to a slow start with this scripting block, but I definitely see a lot of potential here. Really great work from the Airtable team!


14 Replies 14

But didn’t you indicate above that the NodeJS app doesn’t have this issue? If true, you can build a block that calls your NodeJS app (as a proxy) to Vimeo, right?

That was my idea, but at the moment, I can’t even get a simple proof-of-concept call working. I’m not sure if that’s because of a bug in my code, or with how the scripting block is calling the proxy app.

As a tl;dr of the above, a fetch() to Vimeo returns successful JSON :thumbs_up: . A fetch() to my proxy endpoint (which does return JSON via a browser or curl call) returns nothing in the scripting block and results in the hung spinny-circle indicator :-1: .

I assume your proxy server is set up to respond to GET requests (since it works with a browser).

Send me an example cURL command or browser URL and I’ll look at iut with some script block tools I’ve created for my own debugging.

10 - Mercury
10 - Mercury

are you checking via your browser debugger what is returned on the ajax call?

My guess is you don’t have your server set up for proper CORS handling, which only comes into play when making calls from a browser (and why its working outside the browser)

I think his issue is the opposite - it works fine in a browser and fails from a Script Block which probably indicates the issue is in the script block.

maybe - i thought he meant when he typed it into the browser url path it worked (ie a direct GET). but maybe he meant it worked via ajax call.

This is how I got the impression the service was properly instrumented for CORS policy and the Script Block is what’s failing.

10 - Mercury
10 - Mercury

Im doing some testing and Im pretty sure you’re just missing the CORS headers in your server.

An easy way to test is to modify your url to use a CORS proxy like this one

So, change your URL to be:

and i bet it will work. You’ll want to use the library in your node app

Yes, thanks @openside! It does appear to be a CORS issue; testing with the proxy you mentioned does return my test JSON via the scripting block. I’ll have to do some more testing once I get the new package up and running in my server app, but definitely looking a lot more promising!