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Re: Adding attachments from Google Docs/Sheets/Drive via Airtable API can result in corrupted files

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Ricardo
7 - App Architect
7 - App Architect

Hello there,

I’m using Make / Integromat to create Google Docs and upload them as PDFs to Airtable. Occasionally this results (without obvious reasons) in broken PDF files. While the file name is correct, they’re missing a preview, open as blank and are read corrupted in external PDF apps.

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The automation completes successfully. If I open the Google Docs PDF export link, the PDF comes out alright. This makes me think the PDF file breaks while being imported to Airtable.
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Is there a known error, fix or workaround to this? I can’t find an indicator to tell the system the file is corrupted (still has regular file size) to let it redo it automatically.

Thanks for your input

2 Solutions

Accepted Solutions

I would try the “web content link” and see what happens.

See Solution in Thread

Ricardo
7 - App Architect
7 - App Architect

Airtable support confirmed that there is a known issue when uploading Google URLs via the API.

For more context, Airtable uses the service Filestack in processing attachments, and Google Drive limits downloads from Filestack, which causes transient failures like those observed here. Unfortunately, the scope of work required for resolving this issue is quite significant and involves the other platforms, and we do not at this time have a concrete timeline for when this will be resolved. I’m really sorry about this.

As these limitations appear to be Google specific, you can also try storing the files with a different file hosting service (such as Dropbox), since we have not encountered this issue with other file hosting services. I know that isn’t an ideal workaround especially if Google Docs is a core part of the workflow in that it is used to actually make the docs, and I’m sorry I don’t have a better solution at this time!

See Solution in Thread

10 Replies 10

Are you sending the “web content link” from Google Drive into Airtable?

You’ll also need to have the proper permissions set for your Google Drive folder as well.

Ricardo
7 - App Architect
7 - App Architect

Thanks and almost, I’m using the Export:PDF link of the Google Docs module. The Drive step is to manage the sharing settings / permissions of each file.

In general it works fine, but while there was once one corrupt PDF in say a hundred, yesterday it shot up to every third or fourth.

Opening the export link in the run history, the correct PDF is download in an incognito browser, the output and sharing settings are seemingly fine.

I would try the “web content link” and see what happens.

Ricardo
7 - App Architect
7 - App Architect

Airtable support confirmed that there is a known issue when uploading Google URLs via the API.

For more context, Airtable uses the service Filestack in processing attachments, and Google Drive limits downloads from Filestack, which causes transient failures like those observed here. Unfortunately, the scope of work required for resolving this issue is quite significant and involves the other platforms, and we do not at this time have a concrete timeline for when this will be resolved. I’m really sorry about this.

As these limitations appear to be Google specific, you can also try storing the files with a different file hosting service (such as Dropbox), since we have not encountered this issue with other file hosting services. I know that isn’t an ideal workaround especially if Google Docs is a core part of the workflow in that it is used to actually make the docs, and I’m sorry I don’t have a better solution at this time!

I have been having the same issue for some time but I use Dropbox rather than google drive for the import URLs. Again it is about 1 in 100 files that becomes corrupted, but as there are 100s of files we don't realize until a client tells us they can't open the file. Does anyone know of a way to search for these corrupted files? If I could easily find them shortly after they were uploaded I could just automatically regenerate the PDF and it will most likely work the next time around.

I have tried uploading the corrupted files to dropbox/google drive but that works fine in Integromat (doesn't throw an error) but they are unable to be opened once in dropbox/google drive.

aleaja
6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

Is anyone aware of any fixes for this issue or updates on its status? TIA

Its still happening frequently for me. I set up a scenario in Integromat that searches for documents that don't have "checked" box and then upload those documents to CloudConvert. If that throws an error then the document is corrupt and it gets deleted. My other scenario will then be triggered to regenerate the document. If it is successful then it updated the record in airtable saying it has been checked. Cloudconvert has a 25 daily limit on the free plan.

Andrew_Petrus
5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Insanely frustrating; it worked for a hot second now all I get empty paperclips or notepad icons.

Karl_at_Easy_La
6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

I was facing the same issue, and the reason is that Google limits access to Airtable via public urls. So even if you use the correct, shareable url - eventually google might decide to limit due to "suspicious activity" from Airtable.

I found this workaround, which works like a charm.  You setup a Make (Integromat) webhook to download the file, and then generate the webhook url for airtable.

This is the video mentioning this solution: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AQyShi2Rts