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Feature request: Public CDN opt-in for attachments

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8 - Airtable Astronomer
8 - Airtable Astronomer

Following our discussion at Soon You'll Need a CDN - #15 by Ambroise_Dhenain


With the upcoming change that will transform the currently public CDN into an internal CDN (where attachments can only be accessed from inside Airtable), Airtable customers are looking for a way to keep some attachments public.


This could be gracefully handled with the ability to enable the “public CDN” option, for any “Attachment” field.
Also, the ability to specify into which field to store the URL might be useful, the goal being able to know the public url of the attachment (one that doesn’t change!).

Attachments configured this way would be properly stored into a public CDN, designated for that use case.

The public CDN feature would have its own pricing and limits based on the customer’s plan.


I’ve read that “Airtable doesn’t want to become a public CDN”, and that it shouldn’t be used for this purpose. I beg to differ slightly: Airtable doesn’t want to become a public CDN for free.

The real issue at hand is for Airtable to store the attachments of all customers and support its cost.
Also, there are real privacy-related issues about the current public CDN, because all attachments are automatically made public, which might not be GDPR-compliant, depending on what documents are made public this way. Aggravate by the fact there is no way to disable a public link ourselves to fix that manually.

Airtable could imagine a few things:

  • A free tier for public attachments, based on the customer’s plan (ex: 100 public attachments, 1000 public attachments for Pro, etc.)
  • Something like “pay-as-you-go” where customers would pay additionally based on the number of public attachments stored, or size, or a mix of both (KISS, please)
  • Make all attachments private by default (no public CDN, or more so “no long-lasting links”), while allowing us to enable public CDN (or so, “long-lasting links”) for the few fields where we really need it (and are ready to pay for it)
  • Bring more options for Attachment fields where the public CDN has been enabled, such as:
    • The ability to manually refresh the link (invalidate the old one, provide a new one)
    • The ability to have “self-invalidating” links, that would expire after a set date (static or dynamic)

It would make sense to propose such “public CDN” feature, which would be a good complement to the “internal CDN” that can only be accessed from within Airtable. Assuming it has its own pricing and managed differently, it would both provide great value, while forcing customers to only enable the public CDN for the few fields we need to have public. It wouldn’t be a hindrance to security, GDPR, or performances.

I really hope such a system will be designed, better sooner than later, as it would help with the upcoming transition quite a lot. :crossed_fingers:

9 - Sun
9 - Sun

Hi @Ambroise_Dhenain ,

I really appreciate that you took the time to write in such a well formulated way what I’ve already thought about more than once but didn’t take the time to formulate it as you did.

But I don’t expect Airtable to rent the service you detail here.

I think I have read exhaustively everything that has been shared about the URL of these Attachments and I have a hunch that your wish expressed here is what airtable will not do, as expressed here e.g…

Quoting the discussion from Export grid to Excel with images:

But I would hope that your high quality writing would re-launch the discussion in the appropriate department at airtable.

I also hope that airtable will not leave us with an URL Field containing the CDN URL instead of a nice, very visual and therefore very representative attachment field at the first or second glance at a Table View.

Airtable could at least deploy an “embed” Field that would produce a very visual Proxy of the reference URL of the content hosted in the CDN, as shown here.


8 - Airtable Astronomer
8 - Airtable Astronomer

Following the lack of official statement and reply to this proposal, I built my own public CDN.
Definitely complicated, not no-code or low-code either, but it works well.

And we added a few extra features in our CDN, such as the ability to resize images on the fly. (improves SEO when used on websites to get images with proper dimensions, by increasing page rendering)

Quick image resize:

:point_right: Here is a full demo of all available options

  • Bucket name: serverless-image-handler-cdn-demo
  • File key: test.jpg (test.png et test.svg work as well)



If you need a similar solution implemented for your organization, you can PM me, it is something I can build for you, as a consultant.

8 - Airtable Astronomer
8 - Airtable Astronomer

For those who might be interested, I wrote a blog article about our solution mentioned above.

It also references other potential alternatives (I haven’t found many, please let me know if I’ve missed any)


5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

(Cross posting for visibility)

Hey all! Wanted to keep using Airtable to easily store images for my projects, so I built a service that automatically uploads images/attachments to a CDN, and creates stable URLs that my website can then use.

Check it out here:

It’s has complete compatibility with Airtable’s API, so all it takes is to switch to in your application code.

As a bonus, Air CDN can also resize your images to make your website load faster. Only supports images at the moment, but reach out and let me know what else you’d like to see!