Kuovonne's Guide to Airtable
Kuovonne's Guide to Airtable

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Web API Calls for External Integrations

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If you integrate some other software service with Airtable, chances are you are using the .

History of Web API Call Limits

Prior to August 2023, web API calls were subject to only one limit: 5 calls per second. This rate limit applied equally to all bases in all plans from free through Enterprise. It was not clear if this limit was per API key, per base, or per workspace.
In August 2023, Airtable announced monthly limits on API calls for free and team plans. This limit appears to exist at the workspace level, similar to how automation run limits are per workspace. Business and Enterprise Scale have unlimited monthly API calls. However, the rate limit of 5 calls per second still applies, in addition to the monthly cap.
The limits on Web API calls do not apply to a script or custom extension that accesses its own host base. (If the script or extension uses the Web API, then the limits apply).

What can be done with 1 API Call?

Get records. One API call can read up to 100 records in a single table. Reading all the records in a table with 1,000 records, will take 10 API calls. A single API can only get records from a single table, so if you want data for both a record and its linked records, you will need at least two API calls.
Creating, updating, and deleting records. One API call can create, update, or delete up to 10 records in a single table at a time. However, many integration systems act on only one record at a time, requiring one API call per record.
Get or change schema. An API call can get, update, and create some aspects of a base schema (table, fields, views). The exact capabilities are listed in the documentation. Integration platforms that display table and field names need to use API calls to get this information. Every time you ask your platform to check for new tables or fields, it takes a new API call.

What can be done with 1,000 API Calls

You could do any one of the following with 1,000 API calls in one month
Read 1,000 records (in batches of 100) every day, three times a day
Delete 1000 existing records and create 1000 new ones (in batches of 10), once a week
Update 30 existing records (one at a time) every day
Have three users each get several dozen records across 3 tables and update 10 of those records (one at a time) every business day
Have up to 500 users each view and update their own record once
Have an automation service get up to 100 records in a filtered view, every hour, and create 6 new record each day

Ways to limit API call usage

Some third-party services store a copy of your Airtable data on their servers using a technique called caching. This reduces the need to go back to Airtable to get new information, which can be great if you have thousands of records that rarely change. However, if you have a third party portal where data can change frequently (including from people not using the portal), you run the risk of having stale data in the portal.
Portals that cache data may let you set how old the cache can be before checking for fresh data. Increase the age of the cache to reduce API calls (at the risk of having stale data).
If your portal service does not cache data, but calls the web API with each page load, limit how often you refresh your portal page or switch between pages.
Integration services like or that periodically check for new data need to perform API calls at each interval.
Check for new data less frequently. If you ask one of these services to check for new data every 5 minutes, you are performing new API calls every 5 minutes, or close to 9000 times every month. If you switch to every 15 minutes, API calls will be sent out only 3000 times per month. Keep in mind, each time might involve multiple API calls if there are more than 100 records in the table or view. Getting all the records in a table of 10,000 records every 15 minutes would require close to 300,000 API calls.
Limit checking for new data to a filtered view. A table of 10,000 records requires 100 API calls to get all the records, most of which will not be new. However, if the filtered view has 100 or fewer records, they can all be retrieved with only one API call.
Switch from polling for new data every few minutes to using webhooks.
When you call a webhook in or , it can be tempting to send just the Airtable record ID, and then have Make or Zapier ask Airtable for the rest of the record data. However, requesting the data will require an API call. You can eliminate that call by sending the relevant record data when you call the webhook.
Even if you are on a plan with unlimited API calls, very heavy API usage can slow down a base.
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