Why is the Bubble Airtable Plugin so much slower than the API?

I’ve been using the Airtable plugin for quite a while now because it was simple to set up. I was always frustrated by the speed though. Just recently I started playing with the API and I’m fascinated by the difference in speed. I’m interested in finding out the reason for this and would be grateful for any feedback regarding this.

Thanks,
George

bump…

Nobody has any feedback regarding this?

Probably helps prevent hitting the potential rate limit and getting your airtable connection severed for several seconds while it cools down.

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Thanks @jared.gibb

@gnelson I’m reviving this thread as I’m having the same question. The airtable API seems rather fast but displaying a list of a few tens of products through the airtable integration is very slow. Our workload to airtable is read-only.

We typically have a repeating group fed from airtable and looking at the network traffic, it seems that there is one request fired to the airtable API for each product which seems very non optimal (vs bulk fetching all records and then displaying them).

As I’m still new to Bubble, I’m not entirely sure that going with a manual API connector will work (also we have some references to the records fetched using the Bubble plugin and I’m not sure a manual API connector would be compatible).

Happy to hear if you managed to improve the performance in your case!

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Once I discovered the problem, I had no issues with the API going both directions. The plug-in is so simple , but the speed to pull in the data makes it almost unusable. Didn’t matter so much sending data to AT. I’m done with that project. So happy to not have to deal with AT anymore. Some people in here really love it. I never saw what they saw.

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hey, we actually just launched a Bubble connector at Whalesync, which might be helpful here.

Unlike the native Airtable plugin, Whalesync works by syncing Airtable with the Bubble DB, so all the data ultimately lives in Bubble. While there are still Airtable API limits for bulk changes, it should speed things up significantly when it comes to displaying Airtable data.

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@matthew14

“…turn Airtable into an internal tool that manages data in your Bubble site.“

Why would anyone want to do that, considering AT’s row limits?

I realize AirTable is popular, but I’m still trying to understand why.

Thanks,
George

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Is everyone here turning into me? If so… good. That means you’re making progress. :billed_cap:

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I actually started out building my ERP in Airtable. Tried a number of front end solutions for a year and used Miniextensions (Airtable plugin) for a while with quite a bit of success.

Problem with that method was i had to build fields to generate all my HTML. When my needs expanded i restarted my search for frontend solutions and weirdly it was in Softr’s forum that someone recommended Bubble.

I was impressed with how flexible Bubble was and started building a frontend for my Airtable. Man that was a frustrating experience that i do not want to repeat.

So now I always recommend anyone trying to use Airtable as a backend to NOT do so. I think AT has now added lots of frontend features that you don’t really have to go out of their ecosystem. Downside is that it’s expensive and you have to pay on a per user basis to access those frontend features (AFAIK).

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I checked y’all out last night, and started watching the bubble<—->AirTable integration video. Can’t wait to finish it. I liked what I saw. Where were you guys a year and a half ago when I was forced into needing exactly this scenario? LOL.

Good thing is I may have an opportunity coming up to actually use this. Thanks for tagging me.

George

:joy: Lolol. A year and a half ago we were actually just writing our first lines of code for Whalesync.

But so glad you liked the video! Definitely let me know if you have any questions.

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Airtable does have a 50k row limit, so if you have more than 50k records it’s definitely a problem.

That being said, the big reason why people gravitate toward Airtable as a backend is that they make it so easy to work with your data. It really is as simple as a spreadsheet, but as powerful as a database. On top of that, once your data is in Airtable you can use their views, interface builder, automations, and integrations to make working with your data or building internal tools even easier.

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Hello guys,

Our plugin offers a solution to these problems Bubble to Airtable Two-way Sync. The documentation contains video instructions on how to set it up.

Let me know how it goes:)

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Right. But why use AT views, interface builder, automations when integrating with bubble? Just asking, not disagreeing. Still learning.

Thanks again,
George

Thanks for the suggestion. I tried this a while back, but it didn’t seem to work as I needed it to. Don’t remember the specifics.

:joy: Yes we are. :wink:

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Ah gotcha! So really it comes down to the question of “do I need to work with this data in some way?”. If so, then Airtable makes that much easier. Often this is when there is some manual updating aspect of your business such as admin management, or fulfilling product orders.

For example, we did a demo with 9x where we started with an Airbnb clone in Bubble and then hooked it up to Airtable so that we could manage whether a new Airbnb-user would be approved.