Clarification & advise re API rate limits

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5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast


I wanted to run this by you to see if I am understanding my situation correctly. Any feedback is much appreciated.

I created a browser extension that has a Google Sheets list of names of organizations and people and an Airtable base=>table with more information about each of those organizations and people. The extension checks on any webpage whether any of the names in the Google Sheet occur on that page. If so, the extension highlights those names on the webpage and when the user hovers over or clicks on the highlighted name a popup is generated that shows the information about that organization or person that is in the Airtable base=>table.

The extension makes no changes to the Airtable, it only retrieves the data and presents it in a popup. No password/login is needed for the user of the extension. The extension uses the API of a read-only collaborator so the Airtable data are public and read-only. The Airtable is updated with new records and additions to existing records several times a week, by me only. There are currently about 70,000 records in the table (I’m upgrading to Enterprise).

I launched it in beta mode last week. It has about 75 users (or at least downloads) now and I expect this number to grow to hundreds within a few weeks and then I hope thousands. Because in principle it can work on any page the user visits and the user can in principle generate multiple popups on a page, the number of times that the Airtable API is used to retrieve the information to appear in a popup could become quite high. And if hundreds of people use it on a daily basis I think I will hit the 5 requests per second limit.

Am I understanding the limitations of the API correctly so far?

If so, then am I also correct that the simplest solution (for a non-developer like myself) to overcome the rate limit is to use a caching proxy, for example via NoCodeAPI Airtable JSON API to Read and Write - NoCodeAPI (And this would also make it possible to not have the API key be public?)

If so, then it seems there is still a potentially significant limit: NoCodeAPI’s Business plan allows for 400,000 API requests per month. So for example, if I have 500 users who each generate 30 popups per day, then 30 days30 popups500 users = 450,000 API requests.

So is the only advantage that during peak use it would allow for more requests than Airtable’s 5 per second but in terms of total use per month this is a stricter limit than Airtable’s API?

If so, would it be an option to have the extension first try to get the data from Airtable but if it gets the message that the 5 requests per second limit is reached to then try to get it via NoCodeAPI?

Any feedback much appreciated

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