Work with Airtable Data in MS Excel on Mac OS X

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Airtable ODBC Driver

The Airtable ODBC Driver is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with live data from Airtable, directly from any applications that support ODBC connectivity.

Access Airtable data like you would a database - read, write, and update Airtable Tables, etc. through a standard ODBC Driver interface.



Create a Data Source Name in iODBC with the CData ODBC Driver for Airtable and work with Airtable data in Microsoft Excel on Mac OS X.

Microsoft Excel features calculations, graphing tools, pivot tables, and a macro programming language that allows users to work with data in many of the ways that suit their needs, whether on a Windows machine or a Macintosh machine. This article walks through creating a DSN for Airtable data in iODBC and accessing Airtable data in Microsoft Excel, all on a machine running Mac OS X.

Installing the CData ODBC Drivers on Mac OS X

The CData ODBC Driver for Airtable is preconfigured for the iODBC driver manager, as are many other products like Microsoft Excel. This makes the driver easy to use with these tools.

Licensing the Driver

In a terminal run the following commands to license the driver. To activate a trial license, omit the key input.

cd "/Applications/CData ODBC Driver for Airtable/bin"
sudo ./install-license <key>

Defining a DSN for iODBC with odbc.ini

You can define ODBC data sources in sections in the odbc.ini file. User data sources can only be accessed by the user account whose home folder the odbc.ini is located in. System data sources can be accessed by all users. You can find the correct odbc.ini in the following paths:

Privileges  Path
User/Users/myuser/Library/ODBC/odbc.ini
System/Library/ODBC/odbc.ini

Modifying iODBC's system-wide settings requires elevated permissions; to do so, you can use following to open a text editor from the terminal:

sudo nano /Library/ODBC/odbc.ini

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.

When you configure the DSN, you may also want to set the Max Rows connection property. This will limit the number of rows returned, which is especially helpful for improving performance when designing reports and visualizations.

In addition to the connection properties required to connect to Airtable, the Driver property specifies either a driver definition in the odbcinst.ini file or the path to the driver library. Place your connection properties at the beginning of odbc.ini:

[CData Airtable Sources]
Driver = CData ODBC Driver for Airtable
APIKey = keymz3adb53RqsU
BaseId = appxxN2fe34r3rjdG7
TableNames = TableA,...
ViewNames = TableA.ViewA,...

If you wish to authenticate using OAuth, you will need to add an additional connection property to ensure that the OAuth flow can execute properly:

Other = CheckPromptMode=False

Additionally, in the ODBC Data Sources section, the DSN must be set to a driver defined in the odbcinst.ini file. For example, below is the entry for the DSN created during the driver install:

[ODBC Data Sources]
CData Airtable Source = CData ODBC Driver for Airtable

Registering a DSN for iODBC with odbcinst.ini

You may need to modify the installed driver definition if you change the path to the driver library. To register an ODBC driver, modify the odbcinst.ini file. With iODBC, drivers can be available to only one user account or drivers can be available system wide. You can find the correct odbcinst.ini in the following paths:

Privileges  Path
User/Users/myuser/Library/ODBC/odbcinst.ini
System/Library/ODBC/odbcinst.ini

Drivers are defined in sections in the odbcinst.ini file. The section name specifies the name of the driver. In this section, the Driver property specifies the path to the driver library. The driver library is the .dylib file located in the lib subfolder of the installation directory, by default in /Applications/CData ODBC Driver for Airtable.

[CData ODBC Driver for Airtable]
Driver = /Applications/CData ODBC Driver for CData/lib/libairtable.odbc.dylib

The ODBC Drivers section must also contain a property with the driver name, set to "Installed".

[ODBC Drivers]
CData ODBC Driver for Airtable = Installed

Testing the Connection

You can test your connection using the iODBC administrator.

  1. Open a terminal and enter the following command to start the iODBC Administrator with the necessary permissions:
    sudo /Applications/iODBC/iODBC\ Administrator64.app/Contents/MacOS/iODBC\ Administrator64
    
  2. On the Users tab, select CData Airtable Source.
  3. Click the Test button.

Accessing Airtable Data from Microsoft Excel

You can use the DSN configured above to access Airtable data from Microsoft Excel.

  1. Open Microsoft Excel and open a spreadsheet (new or existing).
  2. Navigate to the data ribbon and select New Database Query From Database
  3. Select the User or System DSN that you previously configured and click OK.
  4. Build your SQL query in the Microsoft Query wizard:
  5. Click Return Data to execute the query and pull data into Excel.

Using the CData ODBC Driver for Airtable, you can easily pull your Airtable data directly into Excel. Once there, you can leverage all of the powerful features native to Excel to analyze, report, transform your Airtable data, and more!