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A PostgreSQL Interface for Airtable Data

Use the Remoting features of the Airtable JDBC Driver to create a PostgreSQL entry-point for data access.

There are a vast number of PostgreSQL clients available on the Internet. From standard Drivers to BI and Analytics tools, PostgreSQL is a popular interface for data access. Using our JDBC Drivers, you can now create PostgreSQL entry-points that you can connect to from any standard client.

To access Airtable data as a PostgreSQL database, use the CData JDBC Driver for Airtable and a JDBC foreign data wrapper (FDW). In this article, we compile the FDW, install it, and query Airtable data from PostgreSQL Server.

Connect to Airtable Data as a JDBC Data Source

To connect to Airtable as a JDBC data source, you will need the following:

  • Driver JAR path: The JAR is located in the lib subfolder of the installation directory.
  • Driver class: cdata.jdbc.airtable.AirtableDriver

  • JDBC URL: The URL must start with "jdbc:airtable:" and can include any of the connection properties in name-value pairs separated with semicolons.

    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.

    Built-in Connection String Designer

    For assistance in constructing the JDBC URL, use the connection string designer built into the Airtable JDBC Driver. Either double-click the JAR file or execute the jar file from the command-line.

    java -jar cdata.jdbc.airtable.jar

    Fill in the connection properties and copy the connection string to the clipboard.

    A typical JDBC URL is below:

    jdbc:airtable:APIKey=keymz3adb53RqsU;BaseId=appxxN2fe34r3rjdG7;TableNames=TableA,...;ViewNames=TableA.ViewA,...;

Build the JDBC Foreign Data Wrapper

The Foreign Data Wrapper can be installed as an extension to PostgreSQL, without recompiling PostgreSQL. The jdbc2_fdw extension is used as an example.

  1. Add a symlink from the shared object for your version of the JRE to /usr/lib/libjvm.so. For example: ln -s /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk/jre/lib/amd64/server/libjvm.so /usr/lib/libjvm.so
  2. Start the build: make install USE_PGXS=1

Query Airtable Data as a PostgreSQL Database

After you have installed the extension, follow the steps below to start executing queries to Airtable data:

  1. Log into your database.
  2. Load the extension for the database: CREATE EXTENSION jdbc2_fdw;
  3. Create a server object for Airtable: CREATE SERVER Airtable FOREIGN DATA WRAPPER jdbc2_fdw OPTIONS ( drivername 'cdata.jdbc.airtable.AirtableDriver', url 'jdbc:airtable:APIKey=keymz3adb53RqsU;BaseId=appxxN2fe34r3rjdG7;TableNames=TableA,...;ViewNames=TableA.ViewA,...;', querytimeout '15', jarfile '/home/MyUser/CData/CData\ JDBC\ Driver\ for\ Salesforce MyDriverEdition/lib/cdata.jdbc.airtable.jar');
  4. Create a user mapping for the username and password of a user known to the MySQL daemon. CREATE USER MAPPING for postgres SERVER Airtable OPTIONS ( username 'admin', password 'test');
  5. Create a foreign table in your local database: postgres=# CREATE FOREIGN TABLE sampletable_1 ( sampletable_1_id text, sampletable_1_Id text, sampletable_1_Column1 numeric) SERVER Airtable OPTIONS ( table_name 'sampletable_1');
You can now execute SELECT commands to Airtable: postgres=# SELECT * FROM sampletable_1;