Build your own Airtable extensions

Custom extensions allow you to extend the power of Airtable, so your base can handle specific requirements not already in the product. Our custom Blocks SDK lets you quickly, flexibly develop the exact custom capabilities you need.

What are custom extensions?

Extensions are powerful tools built on top of the data in your existing Airtable base. With custom extensions, you can create your own real-time, interactive extensions to plug into your workflow

There are hundreds to choose from in the Extension marketplace—some built by Airtable, some by the makers of other services like Typeform and Miro. Some of our favorite extensions were built by users who wanted to add specific functionality to their bases. 

Airtable Extensions are built using the Blocks SDK, based on React and Javascript. If you have a background with these tools, or are willing to work with a consultant, there are no limits to what you can build. 

Let’s go through the basics of how to get started building custom extensions, and unlock the way you work.

1. Start developing, no hosting needed

Custom extensions allow you to develop quickly.We host your code, so you don't have to worry about servers or setup. You can create the frontend of your app in your own environment and use Airtable bases as the backend. 

Pro Tip: Scripting vs. Custom extension

Compared to writing a script, custom extensions take more upfront effort to create, but give you greater flexibility.

2. Get inspired with open source Starter extensions 

One of the best ways to learn how to use Airtable’s Blocks SDK is remixing and disassembling Starter extensions. These are pre-built extensions that you can take apart to see how they tick, and learn the ins and outs of the Javascript underpinnings of the SDK. 

The power of writing your own extension comes from the flexibility and speed with which you can build something new—and the best way to kickstart your skills is by getting started with an example:

The Base schema extension works off the interlinking nature of the fields in your base, and can be used to understand how everything connects.

With the print records extension, you can see how to quickly assemble printable pages combining multiple fields. This allows you to pull together disparate information into an external file format.

Build off the Flowchart extension to quickly map ideas and create your own flowchart system. Export your graph to SVG for further editing or PNG for sharing.

3. Share your creation

Once you’ve built an extension you love,  you can share your creation on the Extensions marketplace—just go through the submission process to get it listed.

Try it now: Start building a custom extension

If you're interested in developing a custom extension, there are multiple ways to get started for all skills levels:

About the author

AirtableOur mission is to democratize software creation by giving everyone the power to create—and not just use—the tools they work with every day.

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