Data is generated every moment, and organizations are investing extensively to store data in electronic form. Most businesses create a database to gather pertinent details of the company. However, they face difficulties in developing front-end interfaces to streamline the workflows among multiple databases. One of the most popular platforms that assist in creating front-end low-code applications and supporting collaborative work on multiple databases is Airtable. It integrates features of the database, excel, and google forms. As Airtable simplifies handling data, any new user can get started with Airtable without prior knowledge of query language.
This article provides brief information about Airtable and SQL Server along with other relational databases. It also highlights the importance of Airtable and making an Airtable SQL Server connection. You will also gain an understanding of the step-by-step procedure to establish Airtable SQL Server Integration with three different approaches.
Table of Contents
- Introduction to Airtable
- Introduction to SQL Server
- Understanding the Importance of Airtable SQL Server Integration
- Understanding the Methods of Airtable SQL Server Integration
- Understanding of spreadsheets.
- An idea of databases functionalities.
Introduction to Airtable
Airtable is a cloud collaboration/groupware easy-to-use SaaS (software as a service) platform that helps in building low-code applications and facilitating collaborative work on multiple databases. It combines the features of a spreadsheet and the power of a database, adds records, links tables to one another, sets up column types, sorts records, collaborates, and publishes views to external websites. This hybrid solution addresses businesses to spin up with databases in minutes.
Key Components of Airtable
The below are the following six major components while working on Airtable workspace:
- Bases: A base is a collection of tables. You can create a project with just the information available in a Base. They can be built from existing templates provided by Airtable or from scratch, from a spreadsheet, or an existing base.
- Tables: A table is similar to a spreadsheet consisting of fields (columns) and records (rows).
- Views: Views are virtual tables customized to show the desired set of information from the source data. They can be beautified in six different forms and saved for future purposes.
- Fields: Each entry in a table is a field and is not just restricted to hold text. Airtable offers 16 basic field types, they are single-line texts, long text articles, file attachments, check-boxes, single select from the drop-down list, multiple-selects from drop-down lists, date and time, email ids, phone numbers, currency, numbers, URLs, auto-number, percentage, formulae, and barcodes.
- Records: Each row of a Table is a Record, and Airtable facilitates all the versions of edits in each record.
- Workspaces: A workspace is a collection of Bases in Airtable, and there are no limitations in the number of workspaces.
Airtable enables users to organize, collaborate, and store information, replicating the interface of the spreadsheet. This software not only acts as a unified location for ideas, projects, content, and record but also allows users to migrate data from one database to another while ensuring data integrity.
Benefits of Airtable
- Collaboration: The most important use of Airtable is for collaboration and project management. It helps in sharing real-time updates to stakeholders, reducing duplications of work. As Airtable offers advanced functionalities, the admin can set user permission levels to restrict database access. This allows organizations to manage their data to minimize operational costs by reducing computation requirements to process information. Data management also streamlines tasks with contractors, clients, and other users to submit forms or showcase information with read-only access.
- Simplicity: Users find managing rows and columns swiftly with the use of drag-and-drop tools. They can quickly change the order of data, hide fields, sort records, and other display customization. Airtable also provides a personalized dashboard of the information they need, even when other team members are accessing the same main/primary database.
- Customizable: With Airtable sync, the feature can be linked by synchronizing records from a source base to one or more destination bases. It has many custom tools to beautify and automate the workflows with custom trigger-action. For instance, using it as a CRM (customer relationship management), one can link the tables to display sales, marketing campaigns, and record service issues to respective departments enabling data confidentiality.
- Views: Airtable comes with six different views for each table and provides those views to share either by link or by embedding it on a website. This is useful to provide a summary of information having frequent changes to stakeholders without providing them the detailed input of data. It becomes useful for someone even with limited knowledge of calculating skills. Airtable also helps create forms similar to Google Forms where the data is submitted directly into tables, which can be used to estimate and integrate with the rest of the tables in a database.
Introduction to SQL Server
SQL Server is developed by Microsoft as a relational database management system (RDBMS). It supports ANSI SQL, the standard SQL (structured query language) language. SQL Server comes with its implementation of the proprietary language called T-SQL (transact SQL). SQL server management studio (SSMS) is the main interface tool, consisting of a client and server. A client is an application for sending requests to the SQL Server installed on a given machine, whereas a server is capable of processing input data as requested.
Relational databases store and manage data in a traditional table format. Businesses use relational databases to handle data from their applications and ensure they always have access to critical information.
Different RDBMS Software
- MySQL Workbench: MySQL is an open-source relational database, it comes bundled with its IDE MySQL Workbench. The purpose of MySQL workbench is to provide the interface to work with databases using SQL. It supports all objects such as tables, views, triggers that make up a database. However, when queries are subjected to large amounts of data, this software may crash.
- PostgreSQL: Postgre is an open-source object-relational database management system (ORDBMS). It supports both SQL and NoSQL and is primarily used in large systems where read and write speed is important at scale. Unlike MySQL, Postgres is highly extensible and supports several advanced data types.
- MariaDB: MariaDB is a powerful open-source relational database and comes with various inbuilt features, usabilities, security, and performance improvements. This DBMS is an improved version of MySQL and performs faster query operations.
Understanding the Importance of Airtable SQL Server Integration
Establishing Airtable SQL Server Integration provides a lot of functionalities, making it essential to connect these two technologies:
- A user can have access to all the data in the Airtable base if all the data from the SQL servers be brought to one database.
- One can directly run all the SQL functionalities on the data and extract information in any desired manner.
- Once data is in Airtable base, it becomes easy to integrate with all other data visualization tools like Tableau or Power BI.
Ways to Make a Airtable SQL Server Connection
This is a simple 3-step process for establishing Airtable SQL Server Integration that involves three tasks namely creating a connection manager, configuring Airtable source, and configuring SQL server destination.
In this method for making an Airtable SQL Server connection, you first need to create a CSV file of the table to be exported in SQL Server. Import this table to Airtable and then you need to open an Airtable account and create a new workspace. You can then import the CSV file in the Airtable base. Once the file is imported, Airtable features can be used for further analysis.
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Understanding the Methods of Airtable SQL Server Integration
Integrating Airtable and SQL Server can be done with three methods:
- Method 1: Using SQL Server Software for Airtable SQL Server Integration
- Method 2: Using Airtable for Airtable SQL Server Integration
- Method 3: Using Hevo for Airtable SQL Server Integration
Method 1: Using SQL Server Software for Airtable SQL Server Integration
It involves three tasks — creating a connection manager, configuring Airtable source, and configuring SQL server destination.
To set up the integration, the following steps should be followed:
- Step 1: Creating Connection Manager
- Step 2: Configure Airtable Source
- Step 3: Configure SQL Server Destination
Step 1: Creating Connection Manager
- The first step in this process involves adding a new Airtable source and SQL Server ADO.NET destination to a new data flow task.
- Create a new connection manager and select Airtable in the SSIS (SQL server integration service) connection manager dialog.
- Configure connection properties: To establish a connection with Airtable, the configuration of APIKey, BaseId, and TableNames parameters is necessary.APIKey: To obtain the API key of your account, log into your account, and in the API section, click generate an API key.
- BaseId: To obtain the Id of your base, navigate in the APIKey section. Click on Airtable API, or navigate to Airtable API and select a base.
- TableNames: A comma-separated list of table names for the selected base. These are the same names of tables as found in the User Interface.
Step 2: Configure Airtable Source
- Open the source component editor from the Airtable source and select the connection manager previously created.
- Next, you need to specify the query to use for the data extraction and close the Airtable source control and connect it to the ADO.NET Destination
Step 3: Configure SQL Server Destination
- Next, you need to open the ADO.NET Destination and add a New Connection. Enter your server and database information in the dialogue box.
- In the Data access mode menu, select “table or view” to populate.
- Configure any properties of interest to be displayed on the Mappings screen.
After the execution of the SSIS Task, databases will be populated with Airtable data.
Method 2: Using Airtable for Airtable SQL Server Integration
If the choice is to work on the Airtable interface, the following steps can be followed:
- In SQL Server, create a CSV file of the table that is to be exported and then imported into Airtable.
- Open Airtable account and create a new workspace, import CSV file in the Airtable base.
- Once the file is imported, Airtable features can be used for further analysis.
Method 3: Using Hevo for Airtable SQL Server Integration
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This article explains the procedure to establish Airtable SQL Server Integration in three different approaches. It also briefs about Airtable, SQL Server, and other RDBMS software. Furthermore, the benefits of Airtable are explained along with the importance of Airtable SQL Server Integration.
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