Airtable Webhooks Integration: Triggers & Automations Simplified 101

on Airtable, Airtable, Project Management Tool, Relational Database, Spreadsheet Application • October 4th, 2021 • Write for Hevo

Getting more done on Airtable means more tasks, more checklists and these days you have less time to achieve it all. But worry not, this is where Airtable Workflow Automation comes into the picture, to help you. It is the process of converting large & repetitive manual Business Processes and Workflows into faster and smoother Digital Workflows. In addition, on implementing Airtable Webhooks Integration, you can automate workflows by setting up Triggers and Actions on receiving data from other applications through Webhooks.

Airtable Automations allows automating tasks with tools, and technology to achieve your goals efficiently, consistently and accurately. With Airtable Automations, you can build custom, Automated Workflows to generate reports or perform other repetitive steps. You can do a lot of that through Airtable’s Graphical User Interface or use JavaScript to build your Custom Flows and Integrations, too. When Airtable Automations provide such benefits on a regular basis, they become much more effective. As a result, you’ll be able to save a few hours every week. The more you can Automate Data entry and Data consumption, the more useful your Airtable Bases will become.

In this article, you will gain information about Airtable Webhooks Integration. You will also gain a holistic understanding of Airtable, its key features, Airtable Automations, Webhooks and the steps involved in setting up Airtable Webhooks Integration. Read along to find out in-depth information about Airtable Webhooks Integration.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Airtable

Airtable Webhooks Integration - Airtable Logo
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Airtable is a Spreadsheet-Database Hybrid, with the features of a Database but applied to a Spreadsheet. Users can store information in the form of Customized Spreadsheets that are visually appealing and easy to use. Along with that, relationships can be established among these Spreadsheets by just extending their functionality as Databases (Airtable Bases), thus increasing its flexibility and efficiency. 

The User Interface of Airtable is Straightforward, Colorful, and User-friendly. Its intuitive capabilities allow anyone to create a Database in minutes. You may use it to create a Database, set up column types, add records, link tables, sort records, organize tables, collaborate on information about anything, including employee directories, product inventory, and even student records. You don’t even need to know SQL, in fact not any kind of scripting. A few common use cases of Airtable are Content Calendar, Project Management, Event Planning, Product Catalog, Job Hunting, CRM, etc.

For further information about the services and usage of Airtable, please follow the Official Documentation.

Key Features of Airtable

  • Templates: For the Template gallery, Airtable has assembled a variety of pre-made Template Bases. They cover a wide range of basic use cases and are ideal starting points for creating your custom Bases.
  • Calendar Management: You can integrate your Calendar app with Airtable. If you use Airtable to plan and schedule, you can import information from Airtable to an external Calendar app that you’d like to keep in sync. You can even move your events from your Calendar into Airtable.
  • Social Media Integration: On integrating, Airtable allows you to easily manage your Personal or Business Social Media Profiles. You may also archive posts from your social media pages in a Database. You can also post to your Social-Media profile or Page from Airtable.
  • Customized Views: Airtable provides Customized views. You can use them according to the way you want to view the data. Some examples of views are the Grid View, Calendar View, Kanban View, etc.
  • Relational Database Functionality: The Bases in Airtable follow the functionality of the Relational Database. Data is stored in the form of Records (rows) and Fields (columns) in a Table. And the Tables are related through Linked Airtable Records.
  • Application Integration: Integrations help you automatically move information back and forth between Airtable and other apps. Airtable has built-in support for many popular Applications and a Robust API. Some of the Application Integrations offered by the vendor are Dropbox, LinkedIn, WordPress, Slack, Gmail, GitHub, Twitter, etc.
  • Snapshots: Airtable automatically takes snapshots of your Bases regularly, and you may also manually take a snapshot. Restoring a Base from a snapshot will produce a new Base that will not interfere with your existing Base.
  • Collaborative Workspace: The collaboration capabilities enable different divisions to effortlessly collaborate and manage teamwork.

Understanding Airtable Automations

Airtable Automations enables you to generate custom trigger-action workflows directly from your Airtable Base. This will save time for your team automating repetitive tasks, improving communication efficiency, and lowering the overall margin of error.

Automations can only be created/edited by individuals with Owner or Creator permissions. Collaborators with Editor level or below permissions can see but not edit Automations.

An automation is made up of a Trigger followed by one or more Actions.

A) Triggers

Trigger is a specified event that initiates the automation. Some of the available Triggers include:

  • When a record enters a view. 
  • When a record is created.
  • When a record is updated.

B) Actions

An Action is a step that performs a task such as sending an email. When the Trigger fires and the subsequent actions are complete, the automation is said to be executed. 

A few examples of available Actions are:

  • Send an email.
  • Create record.
  • Update record.
  • Find records.
  • Send a Slack message.

Introduction to Webhooks

A Webhook, also known as a web callback or HTTP push API, is a method for an application to deliver real-time information to other applications. It is sometimes referred to as “Reverse APIs,” although in reality, it allows users to skip a step involved in the API concept. Most APIs involve a request followed by a response. Whereas, no request is required for a webhook; it just delivers data to the applications when it is available. Webhooks become considerably more efficient as a result, for both provider and consumer.

To leverage a webhook, initially you register a URL with the firm that provides the service. That URL is a location within your application that will accept the data and process it. In some cases, you can inform the supplier when you’d want to receive data. Whenever there’s something new, the webhook will send it to your URL. They’re quite useful and have a low-resource approach to handle event reactions.

The sole disadvantage of webhooks is the difficulty in setting them up at the beginning. For the webhook to function, you must create an API. The webhook will send an HTTP request to your app (usually a POST), and you will then be charged for interpreting it.

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Understanding Airtable Webhooks Integration

The incoming Webhook Trigger will generate unique URL in Airtable that you can leverage to initiate an Airtable automation. This URL can be used with another service’s webhook configuration UI or directly from your own custom code (e.g. from an internal tool). When Airtable receives a request at this URL, then the automation that you configure will be triggered aand then the following actions(s) attached will be executed.

This helps you to integrate with services that Airtable does not presently support or to programmatically trigger automations, avoiding the need to develop custom code or maintain your own infrastructure.

You can integrate Airtable with many of the tools and products that you and your team use by using the incoming Webhook Trigger for automations (whether a third-party service or an internal tool).

Airtable Webhooks Integration Workflow
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Setting Up Airtable Webhooks Integration

The steps involved in setting up Airtable Webhooks Integration can be essentially broken down into 3 parts and those are as follows:

A) Generate a Webhook URL in Airtable

The steps involved in creating a Webhook URL for any particular event in Airtable are as follows:

  • Step 1: Log in to your Airtable account.
  • Step 2: Go to the Airtable Workspace and select the Base where you want to add a Webhook automation.
  • Step 3: Now, go to the Base’s top right corner and select the “Automations” option.
  • Step 4: Now, to begin the setup process, select the “Create an automation” option.
  • Step 5: From the list of possible triggers, choose the “When webhook received” option.
Airtable Webhooks Integration - Automations
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  • Step 6: After you’ve chosen a trigger, you’ll be directed to a new screen that displays your unique webhook URL and other details.
Airtable Webhooks Integration - When webhook received
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B) Send an Example Webhook

To set up the Airtable Webhooks Integration, you’ll first need to send an example Webhook the unique URL created in Airtable. The process to send an example Webhook to the URL for implementing depends on the application that you’re connecting to.

The generic steps involved in the process are as follows:

  • Step 1: Obtain the webhook URL from the application to which you wish to send data i.e, Airtable.
  • Step 2: Use that URL in the Webhook section of the application from which you wish to receive data.
  • Step 3: Select the kind of events you want the application to alert you about.

An example demonstration has be shown below as a step-by-step guide to sending an example Webhook in order to implement Airtable Webhooks Integration.

  • Step 1: Visit https://reqbin.com/, an API testing platform.
  • Step 2: Paste the webhook URL, generated by Airtable, into the textbox near the top of the screen.
  • Step 3: Now, select the “Post” option.
  • Step 4: Paste the webhook URL into the text box and select the “POST” option. 
Airtable Webhooks Integration -request bin textbox
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  • Step 5: Further, click the “Content” button directly below where you pasted your webhook URL.
Airtable Webhooks Integration - JSON object
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  • Step 6: You can send over any JSON object in the test. Here, a simple has been used: {“Company”: “Airtable”}.
  • Step 7: After entering the JSON object, or selecting the event from the list of events, you can click the “Send” button to send a POST request to the Airtable Webhook.
Airtable Webhooks Integration - Send button
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After sending the example Webhook, you would receive a success or failure message. 

I) Successful Requests

If your example Webhook is successful then you will receive a response of {“success”: true} as illustrated in the above image. If you receive this successful response then you can continue on to Testing the Webhook in Airtable.

II) Failed Requests

If your example Webhook request fails, then there are certain things to help you troubleshoot:

  • Make sure you supplied a proper JSON payload. A tool such as https://jsonlint.com may be beneficial.
  • Check that your request was submitted with a “application/json” Content-Type header.
  • Check that you made a POST request.

C) Test the Webhook

After receiving a successful response for the example Webhook, the Webhook needs to be tested directly in the Airtable Automation.

The steps involved in Testing the Webhook in order to implement Airtable Webhooks Integration are as follows:

  • Step 1: Go back to the Airtable “When webhook received” window.
  • Step 2: Click the Run test button to start the test.
  • Step 3: You’ll receive a “Test ran successfully” message after the successful completion of the test. You can even test again if you want to.
Airtable Webhooks Integration - Run test in Airtable
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After successful completion of the test, you can now add an automation action to make use of the data you want to send to the Webhook.

D) Add an Automation Action

The data you pass to the incoming Webhook can now be used in any automation action while integration Airtable Webhooks.

A simple example has been illustrated below where JSON object setup example in the above case is passed on to Slack. The steps involved are as follows:

  • Step 1: Select “Add action” button below the automation trigger.
Airtable Webhooks Integration - Add action
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  • Step 2: Now, select the “Send message” action for Slack.
Airtable Webhooks Integration - Selecting Slack
  • Step 3: Select the connected Slack account, and pick a channel.
  • Step 4: Now, you can insert the JSON object into the body of the Slack message.
Airtable Webhooks Integration - Send a message in Slack

Step 5: After customizing the Slack message and running a test, your automation is now complete and the Airtable Webhooks Integration is implemented succesfully.

For further information about Airtable Webhooks Integration, you can follow the Official Documentation.

Conclusion

In this article, you have learned about Airtable Webhooks Integration. This article also provided information on Airtable, its key features, Airtable Automations, Webhooks steps involved in implementing Airtable Webhooks Integration.

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