By using Airtable, you can share data from multiple databases and integrate them on your platforms. Similar to Airtable, another free and widely used open-source database is PostgreSQL. Airtable PostgreSQL Integration helps you easily transfer data from Airtable to PostgreSQL. This process plays a pivotal role in linking both these technologies and setting up any applications that require data from both these tools.

In this article, you will learn how to set up Airtable PostgreSQL Integration. You will also be given a brief overview of both Airtable and PostgreSQL and some features of Airtable PostgreSQL Integration too. Read along how you can set up Airtable PostgreSQL Integration for your organization.

Methods to Set Up Airtable PostgreSQL Integration

Understanding the working process of Airtable can be a challenge sometimes. As it looks and gives a feel like it is a database but in reality, it is not possible to query it like a database. In general, there are 2 methods to set up Airtable PostgreSQL Integration.

Method 1: Using Hevo Data to Set Up Airtable PostgreSQL Integration

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Extracting Data from Airtable Using REST API

You can use REST API as a Source to fetch data from Airtable. Follow the steps mentioned below to use REST API as a Source

Step 1:Connect REST API as Source

Follow the steps mentioned below to configure REST API as a Source in Hevo:

  • Click PIPELINES in the Navigation Bar.
  • In the Pipeline List View, click on + CREATE.
  • Select REST API on the Select Source Type page.
  • The Configure REST API Source page appears:
Image Source
  • Set up the REST API Source

To extract data from your REST API Source using Hevo, do the following:

Step 2: Connect PostgreSQL as Destination

  • Configure PostgreSQL Connection Settings

The steps to configure PostgreSQL as a Destination in Hevo are:

  • Click DESTINATIONS in the Navigation Bar.
  • From Destinations List View, click + CREATE.
  • In the Add Destination page, select PostgreSQL.
  • In the Configure your PostgreSQL Destination page, fill required details:
  • Read into the Hevo documentation of PostgreSQL connector for more information.

Check out what makes Hevo amazing

  • Data Transformation: It provides a simple interface to perfect, modify, and enrich the data you want to transfer. 
  • Schema Management: Hevo can automatically detect the schema of the incoming data and maps it to the destination schema.
  • Incremental Data Load: Hevo allows the transfer of data that has been modified in real-time. This ensures efficient utilization of bandwidth on both ends.

Method 2: Manual Airtable PostgreSQL Integration

You can directly export data from Airtable and transfer that data into PostgreSQL. This way you can establish a connection between Airtable and PostgreSQL. You can do this by following 2 simple steps:

Step 1: Extracting Data from Airtable

The Airtable API key requires the following information to extract data out of Airtable:

  • Connection URL: The Connection URL is all you need for many applications and programming libraries. 
  • ‘psql Commannd’: Click-to-Copy command can also be included to run ‘psql’, which is a great command-line client for PostgreSQL.
  • Raw Credentials: In the end, there is some flexibility for you to provide the programming and application libraries through the parameters entered individually. These are the credentials usually needed:
    • Host: This is a URL needed to access the database.
    • Database: This is the name of your database, you created.
    • User: This is the username for your database, you created.
    • Port: This is a port used for syncing. 
    • Password: Password created for your database. 

After these things have been provided, these will extract data out of Airtable with the help of the Airtable API and load it onto the PostgreSQL database.

Step 2: Querying Data in the PostgreSQL Database

In Airtable, each Airtable base maps one-to-one with the PostgreSQL database. The name of the database can be edited as well. Usually, there are two schemas in your database:

  • public‘: This is where usually all the tables are located and this is what is generally used. 
  • public_swap‘: This is used for syncing operations which is not needed at the moment.

Finally, after loading the data, this is how your Airtable data is looking into PostgreSQL.

Airtable PostgreSQL Integration Data
Image Source:Self

As you can see, any field in Airtable can hold multiple values including multiple select, attachment, and lookup. 

Airtable and PostgreSQL Arrays

  1. Before moving towards dealing with practical problems, it is important to know about Postgres arrays a bit in detail as they provide all the functionalities to work with. 
  2. Typically, arrays in PostgreSQL Tables are delimited with curly braces {}, instead of [].
  3. The Lookup Field provides the connectivity between different parameters of the database as shown in the below figure in the form of Product Inventory. 
PostgreSQL Arrays Example
Image Source:Self

The following query can help in selecting some columns.

SELECT product_inventory_updated FROM warehouse_locations_updated;

The product_Inventory comes out to be as One Column as shown below.

Product Table
Image Source: Self

While setting up Airtable PostgreSQL Integration, fields can contain multiple values and we can extract the values one by one that helps in making the extraction process simple. Some of these queries are given below:

  1. Unnest()

The unnest() functionality allows one to un-nest each item of an array onto its own or a separate row.

For example, if one wants to see which employee works for more than 8 hours and is performing his duties well, he can simply pull the list of all employees and their working hours. 

To get this data, a simple query needed to be written is:

SELECT employees FROM HR_data WHERE working_hours::integer > 8;

2. ANY

ANY can be used to check if any specific quality needs to be checked in any employee, for example, hard-working nature, punctuality, etc. This is shown below.

SELECT Employee[1]
FROM HR_data
WHERE 'quality' = ANY(punctuality);

3. JOINS

Join us for one of the most important functions offered by PostgreSQL with the database. 

It would be nice to see how many employees are in each branch of the office. Airtable lookup can help out in giving answers to this question but will not let you know exactly what you want. Moreover, in Airtable it will not be a simple process so one can leverage the functionality that PostgreSQL offers with the help of Join functionality. 

Let’s use ANY with a JOIN to see how many employees are in each office:

SELECT
    Office_locations.name AS "Office",
    SUM((employees.numbers_present[1]::INTEGER) 
FROM office_location
JOIN office_employees
    ON EMployee_employee.id = ANY (office_location.employee_number)
GROUP BY office_locations.name
ORDER BY office_locations.name ASC;

Limitations of Using Manual Method for Airtable Postgres Integration

  • Time-Consuming: The manual method can be time-consuming as it requires a lot of time to write and debug code.
  • Error Prone: The manual method is prone to inaccuracy and requires a skilled team with sound knowledge of coding. 
  • PostgreSQL is not widely supported by many open-source apps. Also, its processing performance is slower than MySQL.

Best Practices for Syncing Airtable With Postgres

  • Optimize data mapping: Ensure your data mappings are accurate and optimized to reduce the possibilities of errors and improve sync performance.
  • Schedule syncs during off-peak hours: If using a batch process, schedule your sync processes during periods of low database usage. This will minimize the impact on performance.
  • Regularly monitor and optimize database performance: Monitor your database performance metrics and make adjustments as needed to ensure optimal operation.
  • Data security and privacy: Use strong authentication methods and credentials for both Airtable and Postgres. This will prevent unauthorized access. Also,regularly review user access and permissions in both Airtable and Postgres to limit potential data breaches.
  • Handling schema changes: Before making schema changes in either Airtable or Postgres, pause the sync process to prevent errors or data corruption.To reflect the schema changes update your data mappings and configurations in your third-party tools or custom scripts.

About Airtable

  1. Airtable is a very easy-to-use SaaS platform that helps in the creation and the sharing of relational databases. I
  2. ts features include a very user-friendly interface, easy-to-understand functionality, and a simple user onboarding process, unlike other databases.
  3. One can perform the functionalities like organize, store, and collaborate (if needed) on the information that is stored in a database, for example, product inventory, employee directory, house rent lists, etc.. depending on what type of parameters are present in your dataset. One most important thing is, one doesn’t even need to understand the basics of SQL to work with it.

Understanding PostgreSQL

  1. PostgreSQL is one of the most widely used open-source relational databases you can use for free. In addition to being open-source, it is highly extensible as it allows you to define your data types, develop your own custom functions & write code in different programming languages without even recompiling and updating your database.
  2. PostgreSQL also adheres to SQL Standard more closely than other databases like MySQL. It is highly scalable and can safely store the most complicated data workloads.
  3. Furthermore, it runs successfully on all major operating systems and is ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability) compliant too.

Use Cases of Airtable PostgreSQL Integration

  • Consolidating data: Airtable to Postgres integration enables you to consolidate data from different sources. This improves the efficiency of data analysis and reporting.
  • Data migration: This integration helps you to migrate your data without losing valuable information.

Real-time analytics: you can run real-time analytics and generate up-to-date reports and visualizations based on the latest information through Airtable PostgreSQL integration.

Airtable & PostgreSQL Arrays

  1. Airtable provides a very user-friendly interface and makes it possible for users to add or create new tables, change or edit any existing columns and delete the columns if needed. 
  2. To consider, let’s say we have an Employees table with a column that contains the employee’s Photo Id. If more Photo IDs are needed, we just need to drag another image and replace the existing one.
  3. There is no need to migrate the columns or delete previous columns etc. It is that simple.  
  4. This flexibility can be used easily to pull data out of Airtable into PostgreSQL with the help of Airtable API.
  5. The pulled data is represented as PostgreSQL Arrays. Therefore, if any image is added, PostgreSQL tables provide the flexibility to support it without one to perform any migrations, changes in existing queries, or anything else. 
  6. Airtable API helps in containing multiple values including lookups, collaborators, multiple select & attachments, and all these field types are represented in PostgreSQL as the arrays which are first-class in PostgreSQL.

Conclusion

  1. It also gave you an overview of both Airtable and PostgreSQL along with some code snippets when setting Airtable PostgreSQL Integration.
  2. Overall, Airtable PostgreSQL Integration can be set up using either the manual method or by using Hevo, but if time, ease of use, and minimal engineering requirements are parameters for you, using automated data platforms like Hevo can help you to set up Airtable PostgreSQL Integration seamlessly!
  3. If you want to integrate data from data sources like Airtable into your desired Database/destination such as PostgreSQL, and seamlessly visualize it in a BI tool of your choice, then Hevo Data is the right choice for you! It will help simplify the ETL and management process of data sources and destinations.

Sign Up for a 14-day free trial and experience the feature-rich Hevo suite first hand.

Muhammad Faraz
Freelance Technical Content Writer, Hevo Data

In his role as a freelance writer, Muhammad loves to use his analytical mindset and a problem-solving ability to help businesses solve problems by offering extensively researched content.

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