Airpress

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Airpress is a WordPress plugin that integrates Airtable with WordPress, allowing you to use Airtable data the way you want. Features Shortcodes for displaying, formating, and looping t

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Description

Airpress is a WordPress plugin that integrates Airtable with WordPress, allowing you to use Airtable data the way you want.

Features

  • Shortcodes for displaying, formating, and looping through fields
  • Robust ORM-like PHP methods for advanced queries and coding
  • Filters and actions for easily customizing field output
  • Advanced caching with asynchronous background refresh
  • Automaticly fetch Airtable records based on URL or Post Type
  • Easily create completely “virtual” or runtime posts/pages
  • Populate/fetch related records (and filter, sort, limit)
  • Access records from multiple Airtable bases
  • Use multiple Airtable API Keys

Basic Usage

Automatic Airtable Requests

Airpress comes with two built-in extensions—Virtual Fields and Virtual Posts—both of which are used to map certain WordPress objects or URLs to Airtable records (one to one or one to many or many to many). Records that are automatically requested are stored in the variable $post->AirpressCollection

<?php
$e = $post->AirpressCollection[0];
echo $e["Name"].": ".$e["Start Date"]."<br>";
?>

or you can use the shortcode wherever shortcodes are allowed:

[apr field="Name"]: [apr field="Start Date"]

Manual Airtable Requests

Airpress can be used to manually request records from Airtable by specifying the desired table, view, filter, sort, etc.

<?php
$query = new AirpressQuery();
$query->setConfig("default");
$query->table("Events")->view("Upcoming");
$query->addFilter("{Status}='Enabled'");

$events = new AirpressCollection($query);

foreach($events as $e){
  echo $e["Name"].": ".$e["Start Date"]."<br>";
}
?>

Both manual and automatic requests can be configured and used entirely within the WordPress admin dashboard or entirely via PHP code.

Related Records

Related records may easily be retrieved both in PHP code and via shortcodes. When a related/linked field is “populated”, the linked records actually replace the corresponding RECORD_ID().

Consider a base with two related tables: Events and Locations, if you populate the “Events” field of the Locations collection, it goes from being an array of RECORD_ID()s to an AirpressCollection with AirpressRecords.

[apr_populate field="Location" relatedTo="Locations"]
[apr_populate field="Location|Owner" relatedTo="Contacts"]
[apr name="Name"] at [airfield name="Location|Name"] owned by [airfield name="Location|Owner|Name"]



<?php
$events = $post->AirpressCollection();
$linked_field = "Location";
$linked_table = "Locations";
$events->populateRelatedField($linked_field, $linked_table);

// You can even populate linked fields of linked fields!
$events->populateRelatedField("Location|Owner", "Contacts");

echo $events[0]["Name"]." at ";
echo $events[0]["Location"][0]["Name"]." owned by";
echo $events[0]["Location"][0]["Owner"][0]["Name"]."<br>";
?>

You may also specify a complete query with which to retrieve the linked records. For example, if you want to find all upcoming Events for a particular Location:

// default is the name of the Airtable Connection configuration
$query = new AirpressQuery("Locations", "default");
$query->filterByFormula("{Name}='My Local Pub'");
$locations = new AirpressCollection($query);

$query = new AirpressQuery("Events", "default");
$query->filterByFormula("IS_BEFORE( TODAY(), {Start Date} )");
$locations->populateRelatedField("Events", $query);

This will update each record in the $locations collection with associated events that are after TODAY(). Any other linked events will be removed—NOT from the Airtable record, just from the $locations collection.

Airpress Collections and Records

There are two reasons why AirpressCollections should be used even when dealing with just a single AirpressRecord.

  1. All Airtable linked fields are arrays, regardless of it you uncheck ‘Allow Linking to Multiple Records’. And until the Airtable Metadata API is available there’s no way to know if your linked record might contain more than one record.
  2. Airpress allows you to automatically (or manually) retrieve one or more Airtable records. And when you’re dealing with populating related fields for multiple records, Airpress intelligently aggregates ALL the RECORD_ID()s for the same field in all the records, making a single API request, then “collates” the resulting records back into the appropriate “parent” record. Essentially, Airpress does everything it can do to minimize the number of API requests. Dealing with just a single record would mean many many more API requests.

Both AirpressCollection() and AirpressRecord() are PHP ArrayObjects. This means that they behave like arrays even though they can store custom properties and methods as well. So for an AirpressRecord $r[“Field Name”] and $r->record_id() both work! This allows easy foreach iteration through records and fields while allowing custom methods as well.

Airpress needs better documentation regarding how it “implodes” fields from multiple records when using the shortcodes and AirpressCollection methods.

Airtable Connections

Airtable Connections store your API credentials and allow Airpress to “talk” to the Airtable API. You’ll need to enter your API KEY and APP ID.

Multiple connections to the same base can be used if you want different multiple caching or logging settings. For example, you may have a single base but you want all requests made to the Events table to be refreshed every 5 minutes, however any requests made to the Locations table only need to be refreshed daily.

The name you give the connection is how you’ll refer to this Connection from other settings pages and in any PHP code you write. (You can also refer to the first connection configuration numerically using a zero-based index).

<?php
$query = new AirpressQuery();
$query->setConfig("default");
$query->table("My Airtable table name");
?>

Error Handling

Since version 1.1.46 the AirpressQuery has the hasErrors() and getErrors() methods that should be used when doing any syncing operations as Airtable doesn’t have a perfect ‘uptime’ record and you don’t want to sync empty results just because your request either timed out or return a 422 error or something.

<?php
$query = new AirpressQuery("My Table Name",0);
$records = new AirpressCollection($query);

if ( $query->hasErrors() ){
    print_r($query->getErrors());
    print_r($query->toString());

    // or

    $code = $errors[0]["code"];
    $message = $errors[0]["message"];
    $string = $query->toString();
} else if ( is_airpress_empty($records) ) {
    // Query was fine, just returned no results
} else {
    // Do something with $records
}
?>

Caching

The Airpress cache saves the results of each Airtable API request using a hash of the request parameters. Each subsequent identical request will be served from the local database.

When a cached request is no longer considered “fresh”, the cached result will be served one last time while the cache is updated asynchronously in the background so as not to slow the page load.

If a cached request has expired completely, then the page load will wait for “fresh” data to be requested.

Airpress gives you control over what is considered “fresh” and “expired” data via these two variables:

Refresh: The number of seconds after which Airpress will perform a background refresh on a cached Airtable API request.

Expire: The number of seconds after which Airpress will no longer serve the cached request.

Query var to force refresh: During development (and even while in production) it can be extremely helpful to force Airpress to load all requests directly from Airpress. Hosts like GoDaddy and MediaTemple already provide a query var to flush the cache, so if you set Airpress’ force refresh to the same var, you can flush everything at once.

Assuming “Refresh” is set for five minutes and “Expire” is set for an hour:

  1. Visitor loads a page triggering a request at 8:00am. No cache exists, so data is fetched in real-time, significantly slowing the loading of the page.
  2. Visitor reloads the page at 8:04am, so data is fetched from the cache.
  3. Visitor reloads the page at 8:06am (1 minute past the refresh time), so data is loaded from the cache while an asynchronous background request is made to refresh the cache. Page load is NOT affected.
  4. Visitor reloads the page at 9:07am (1 minute past the exire time—remember the data was last refreshed at 8:06am), so the data is fetched from Airtable in real-time, significantly slowing the loading of the page.

Airpress plays nicely with object caches and page caches. Please note that some hosts aggressively purge the transient cache (which is where cached requests are stored) resulting in more requests than might be expected. Also, if you have a page cache that bypasses PHP and directly serves cached HTML, then obviously Airpress won’t be able to check the “freshness” of the data until the cached page is regenerated.

Shortcodes

  • apr_populate
  • apr
  • apr_include
  • apr_loop
  • apr_loop_0..10

filters

  • airpress_configs ($configs array, option group “airpress_cx, airpress_vf, airpress_vp//
  • airpress_include_path_pre ($include)
  • airpress_include_path
  • airpress_shortcode_filter_{date}
  • airpress_shortcode_filter
  • airpress_virtualpost_query
  • airpress_virtualpost_last_chance

Actions

  • airpress_virtualpost_setup

Functions

  • airpress_debug
  • is_airpress_force_fresh
  • get_airpress_configs
  • is_airpress_record
  • is_airpress_empty
  • is_airpress_collection