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Build a Simple VCL Application for Airtable Data

How to build a simple VCL Application to view Airtable data in RAD Studio using the CData FireDAC Components for Airtable.

Embarcadero RAD Studio provides a development environment for Delphi and C++Builder applications. With the CData FireDAC Components for Airtable, you gain access to live Airtable data within RAD Studio, abstracting the data into tables, views, and stored procedures that can be used to retrieve Airtable data. This article will walk through connecting to Airtable and creating a simple VCL application with the Form Designer.

Creating a VCL Application for Airtable Data

The following instructions show how to use the Form Designer to create a simple VCL Forms application that shows the basic FireDAC objects needed to connect to Airtable from any application.

The following example populates a TDBGrid control.

  1. Create a new VCL Forms Application.
  2. Drop a TFDPhysAirtableDriverLink and TFDConnection object onto the form.
  3. Double-click the TFDConnection object. The FireDAC Connection Editor is displayed. Select "CData.Airtable" in the DriverId menu and configure the connection properties.

    APIKey, BaseId and TableNames parameters are required to connect to Airtable. ViewNames is an optional parameter where views of the tables may be specified.

    • APIKey : API Key of your account. To obtain this value, after logging in go to Account. In API section click Generate API key.
    • BaseId : Id of your base. To obtain this value, it is in the same section as the APIKey. Click on Airtable API, or navigate to https://airtable.com/api and select a base. In the introduction section you can find "The ID of this base is appxxN2ftedc0nEG7."
    • TableNames : A comma separated list of table names for the selected base. These are the same names of tables as found in the UI.
    • ViewNames : A comma separated list of views in the format of (table.view) names. These are the same names of the views as found in the UI.

  4. Drop a TFDQuery object onto the form and set the properties below:

    • Connection - Set this property to the TFDConnection object, if this object is not already specified.
    • SQL - Click the button in the SQL property and enter a query.
    • Active - Set this property to true.
  5. Drop a TDataSource object onto the form and set the following property:

    • DataSet - In the menu for this property, select the name of the TFDQuery object.
  6. Drop a TDBGrid control onto the form and set the following property:

    • DataSource - Select the name of the TDataSource.
  7. Drop a TFDGUIxWaitCursor onto the form. This is required to avoid a run-time error.

You now have an executable application that displays the results of the SQL Query set in the TFDQuery object.