In this article, we’ll see how to use Airtable to store realtime messages using a group chat app as an example. We’ll use Ably’s realtime infrastructure to power the chat app and make use of WebHooks to publish messages to Airtable directly in the correct order from Ably.

What is Airtable?

Airtable describes itself as ‘Part spreadsheet, part database, and entirely flexible’ and that’s exactly what it is to the word. It caters to the engineering and commercial departments in an organization alike with its robust REST API and very nice visual UI with custom fields to manage and represent the data. It combines a bunch of different tools like task managers, databases, CRMs, spreadsheets, etc, into a single product.

Example table in Airtable

Airtable REST API

Airtable comes with a simple REST API

Making multiplayer games just got easier

TL;DR — I built a realtime communication framework so game developers can build multiplayer games without needing to worry about the networking side of it and instead focus on their game logic. It is powered by Ably’s realtime infrastructure which primarily operates on WebSockets and is built in Node JS and Vanilla JS (use it with any JS framework you like 😉). It also implements Node JS worker threads to simulate multiple ‘game rooms’ so different groups of players can simultaneously play the game. You should check it out:

A few months back I got into…

With the new Channel Metadata API, you can keep abreast of changes in metadata associated with your channels; or request this information whenever you need it. Read on to understand how this overcomes the classic n-squared problem you’d face with presence when you have all your clients subscribe to receive updates about other clients joining and leaving your app.

  • The state changes in a channel’s lifecycle.
  • Occupancy changes, (such as the number of publishers, subscribers or presence members).
  • Enumeration (or ‘listing’) of all the active channels in a specific app.

We are knee-deep into the real-time world by this point with so many applications working with live data. It’s high time there was an explanation of all the events leading up to this point in a technological stance. So, here goes…

HTTP -> Long Polling -> WebSockets

Back in the day, HTTP’s stateless request-response mechanism worked perfectly well for the then use-cases, letting any two nodes communicate over…

Srushtika Neelakantam

Developer Advocate for Ably Realtime | Mozilla Tech Speaker and Rep

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