Just over two months ago, we launched Airtable to offer an organizational tool that anyone can use to create makeshift apps of their own. In a world filled with increasingly specific, limited use and inflexible apps, we want to provide people with a software “Lego kit” that places trust in their own creativity and ability to build solutions fitting their exact problems, rather than trying to contort themselves into an off-the-shelf, canned solution.
We’ve heard inspirational stories from our community using Airtable in ways that we never could have predicted. Filmmaker Najeeb Tarazi organizes nearly every aspect of his film productions—from actors to scenes and shots, equipment to location expenses – all in Airtable. Silverback Construction, a residential building company, uses Airtable to coordinate between mobile site workers, internal staff and support requests – molding Airtable into a workflow that perfectly matches the way they actually run their business. ScholarMatch, an innovative online platform founded by writer Dave Eggers to connect high school students with college scholarships and support services, began by using Airtable to track their donors and grant applications, but have grown to manage everything they care about in Airtable – volunteers, programs, events, colleges, application processes, curriculum and more. All of this without any technical expertise or consultants needed.
Today, we’re excited to announce two major developments that move us forward in our vision of empowering anyone to create their own software tools – the Airtable API and embeddable views.
An API for each of your Airtable Bases
It’s now commonplace, and even expected, for any full-featured consumer service to offer an API – Facebook, Evernote and Dropbox all offer one, for instance. Airtable’s API is different. Whereas those services provide a single API for their content, Airtable automatically creates a unique and customized API for each of our users’ Airtable Bases. In effect, every Airtable Base you create—whether for organizing a wedding, or managing nonprofit donations – has its own high quality API as if it was built by a top-notch software developer, making it feel more like a personalized, stand-alone application that can be integrated with any of your other services or applications.
ScholarMatch could, for instance, use their Airtable Donor Tracking Base’s API to directly integrate with their existing website and feed donation records directly into their Airtable Base. Or filmmaker Najeeb Tarazi could use his Film Production Base’s API to create custom visualizations of his film schedules and timelines.
To begin exploring your Airtable Bases’ APIs, log in to Airtable, then visit airtable.com/api.
Our embeddable views feature expands the usefulness of your Airtable content by making it shareable in a public setting – even as you continue to add to it and change it over time. Much like embedding a YouTube video or Scribd document into a page, Airtable allows you to embed a view of your Airtables —making it easy to display beautiful, interactive content. You stay in full control of what’s hidden from public view, and any changes you make are immediately updated.
For instance, a couple planning a wedding can use this feature to share an interactive list of their venue ideas on their blog, complete with neatly formatted location and price information, photos, and notes in a highly visual and dynamic container, unlike the current world of ugly bullet point lists or html tables. And this embed is updated any time changes are made to the Airtable – so when the couple decides to remove some of the venue options, from their Airtable list, it’s instantly updated on the blog embed.
These embedded views automatically adapt to a touch-friendly tappable card format when viewed on a mobile device.
We really hope you enjoy these additions to Airtable. Stay posted for more exciting developments on the road ahead, and as always, please drop us a line if you have any feedback or just want to chat!