Attachment uploaded via API doesn't work

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4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

After many messages from the community, it appears that the bug is still not fixed: sometimes, without clear reason, API calls to create or update attachment fields of records, passing them a publicly accessible URL… doesn’t work.
Happy to elaborate and provide the support team with API calls etc. if needed.
This problem is driving me crazy - please help!

3 Replies 3

Welcome to the Airtable community!

There isn’t much that community members can do to help. As you have found out, there are intermittent issues with uploading attachments. If you could never upload an attachment, it might be an issue with how you are forming your calls. However, since it only sometimes happens for no clear reason, your calls are probably correct. One option is to build in re-try logic into your code.

Historically, the support team only rarely looks at posts on this community. If you want support to look at your API calls, I recommend contacting support team directly.

got it - thanks!
yeah, the calls are well formed as they sometimes work… I implemented the retry logic already, but for some reason it still doesn’t go through if it didn’t work the first time… super weird.
anyway, thanks for your message!

This has been statistically proven to be ineffective as well.

My opinion… don’t use Airtable for binary document storage by value. Instead, only use it to store documents by reference. There are many aspects of this approach, but there are many disadvantages as well.

If you must, there is one remedy that seems to work.

  • Do not attempt to use the API to create Airtable attachments; use only the Airtable SDK in script automation to create attachments.
  • Reverse the polarity of your upload integration; force Airtable itself to read new documents into attachment fields.
  • Use Airtable’s inbound webhook feature to inform it that there is a new document to be attached.
  • When fired, the webhook will receive the event notification of a document to be attached along with the openly-readable URL and any other information required to know which Airtable table and record ID it is associated with.
  • Use the script SDK to make the new attachment or add to the existing attachments.
  • Optionally write back to the calling app (using its API) to confirm receipt/upload of the document.