Is Airtable down? Don't worry, here's what you can do
Luc Meijer • Updated on Sep 20, 2021 • 4 min read
It can be very frustrating when the software you rely on suddenly stops working. Unfortunately, with software the question isn't if, but when it will break. This is in part because of the agile mindset of 'move fast and break things' that is common in tech startups. Airtable, a collaborative no-code database tool is no exception. However, there is no need to panic. Airtable is very secure software, built for reliability as well as fast development with frequent feature updates. In this article, we'll go over how you can get real-time updates on the situation, what might be causing it, and how Airtable secures your data.
Check the Airtable status
All servers crash sometimes, even Airtable. As of the time of this writing (April 2021), Airtable has had an incident 1.3 times per month on average. You can check whether that's the case right now on the status page. While you're there, make sure to subscribe for updates via e-mail or Slack to get notified immediately when something changes. You can also follow the designated Twitter account @AirtableStatus.
When Airtable goes offline, updates are given regularly. The average downtime during an outage is 3h 32m, but sometimes it only takes a few minutes. You can be sure that the Airtable team is working hard to fix whatever problem is encountered.
Check if AWS is Down
Just like us, your app or website may depend on Airtable to run. Airtable in turn depends on other service providers to run their website. One of those is Amazon Web Services (AWS), which powers many software products including those from Adobe, Autodesk, Notion, 1Password, and The Washington Post. If AWS goes down, many software products stop working partially or entirely. In some sense, this is a good thing: because so much depends on the reliability of these services, there is a lot of incentive to resolve them quickly and prevent it from happening again.
Is My Data Lost?
No, almost certainly not. Although it could be that the last few minutes of work didn't get saved. Airtable keeps backups across different parts of the world, so that your data is always safe. Even from national emergencies. If something somehow were to happen to the data, there are system recovery plans which are regularly reviewed and rehearsed. Services are monitored 24/7.
If you don't want to depend solely on Airtable's services being up and running, you might opt to make regular backups of your databases, or even mirror them on another spreadsheet program, like Google Sheets.
Airtable offers an CSV export function that you can use. Simply click on the three dots next to the view name, and then 'export as CSV'.
There's also the option of connecting Airtable to Zapier or Integromat. Just create an automation that triggers when a new record is created, and then add a row to your favorite spreadsheet program with the same data. Do keep in mind that moving the data back to Airtable when you've edited it in Google Sheets after the downtime might be a bit of a hassle.
Some Things May Still Work
Sometimes only parts of Airtable are temporarily offline, for example, Airtable Apps. If you're a developer working with the Airtable API, it might be worth checking if you can still reach the Airtable website and work on the base manually. Or if one of the API's: the metadata API or the REST API is still working.
What this means for Softr
Unfortunately, when Airtable is down, Softr also temporarily won't fully work. Because we care about data security, when you make a website in Softr with an Airtable base, we actually don't copy data but make an Airtable API call. Unfortunately this means your listings will also be temporarily unavailable. As soon as Airtable is back up and running, so will your Softr website listing.