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    @naturalcycles/airtable-lib
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    2.12.0 • Public • Published

    @naturalcycles/airtable-lib

    High-level API and CLI for Airtable.

    npm code style: prettier

    Features

    • Allows high level API access to Airtable contents
    • Allows to download Airtable data to json (backup), upload it back with all links and order preserved (not trivial if using stock low-level api)
    • Allows optional validation and transformation (mostly stripping and setting defaults) of data via Joi schemas.

    API

    • AirtableLib: high-level access object
      • fetchBase ...
    • AirtableDao: access object for Airtable Table
    • AirtableCache: indexed contents of Airtable Base (indexed by airtableId)

    Concept

    Entities

    Entities are preferrably named without "Airtable" in their name, e.g Coupon, not AirtableCoupon.

    Entities extend AirtableRecord to have airtableId required property. Idea is to not strip it unless absolutely needed. Currently airtable-lib doesn't do any stripping. Keeping airtableId is useful to be able to resolve links in runtime. AirtableCache always keeps and index of all records of Base by airtableId. airtableId is unique within your Base (not just within Table), that's why index is built as airtableId > record, not airtableId > Table > record.

    Linking

    Any linked field in Airtable creates link in both directions (between 2 tables). Convention is to "hide" one link (typically "back-link") in Airtable UI to indicate that it's not used (if it's indeed not used and stripped from data by joi schema).

    There was an idea to have a "resolve step" when downloading Airtable Base as json, to be able to replace airtableIds in links to whole objects. The problem there is that it creates a circular dependency in javascript which is a very bad thing (e.g you cannot console.log such object, or send it over the wire). Decision was made to NOT have a resolve step but instead have a AirtableCache with the index of all base records (from airtableId to Record), so it's possible to quickly resolve links in runtime. This is a design decision.

    Backup / restore

    Backing up Airtable base to json file stores all airtableIds that are used to resolve links.

    When restoring from json to Airtable Base airtableIds cannot be preserved, that's Airtable limitation, it needs to generate an airtableId every time an "insert" is made. Restore still works though, with some extra logic. It relies on existing links in json file, builds a map from "oldAirtableId" to "newlyGeneratedAirtableId" and this way preserves the linking. Next time backup to json is made from Airtable base - airtableIds will be different (non-deterministic), something to be aware of.

    Backing up (as per current Airtable API) does not preserve order of rows. Restoring from json - does preserve order (but requires to upload records sequentially one-by-one, which is slower than concurrent uploading). To overcome this limitation it's recommended to specify "sort order" in AirtableTableSchema, which allows order to be deterministic. Same order needs to be applied in the UI, to be consistent between UI and json export.

    Packaging

    • engines.node >= 10.13: Latest Node.js LTS
    • main: dist/index.js: commonjs, es2018
    • types: dist/index.d.ts: typescript types
    • /src folder with source *.ts files included

    Install

    npm i @naturalcycles/airtable-lib

    DownloadsWeekly Downloads

    478

    Version

    2.12.0

    License

    MIT

    Unpacked Size

    117 kB

    Total Files

    41

    Last publish

    Collaborators

    • kirillgroshkov
    • cervicalmucus
    • kribor