Introducing Unlimited Quickbase Channel Usage in Pipelines

By Adam Hoover posted 02-17-2021 16:15

  

Introducing Unlimited Quickbase Channel Usage in Pipelines


We all rely on a wide range of tools to get work done every day, and for most of us the idea of being unable to use one of those tools is a scenario too horrible to even imagine.  As our Pipelines technology becomes an increasingly vital tool in many of your lives, we recognize how important it is to keep removing any barriers that threaten your productivity.  That’s why we’ve just made a change to Pipelines that will give you and your teams the freedom to experiment with new processes, test and adapt your existing Pipelines, and automate workflow between Quickbase Applications, all without worrying about limits getting in the way. 

Starting on February 18th, 2021 usage of the Quickbase Channel in Pipelines will not be counted toward your limit of available Step Runs. With this change our goal is to remove a big obstacle that has been standing between you and the innovative new workflow solutions that you've been thinking about.  This post will provide some additional information and details about the change to how Step Runs are measured, as well as resources to help you maximize the value that your business receives from Pipelines


No time to read the details?  Skip ahead to our FAQs

Background

Whether you build Automations and Webhooks like a pro, use Pipelines every day, or just keep things simple with your Quickbase Applications, one thing that's always true is that the way we do work will continue to evolve, and your processes need to be able to adapt in order to keep up.  That simple idea is a big part of the reason we continue to invest so heavily in tools like our Pipelines technology, which give you the power to automate workflow of all kinds, and connect processes across the Applications and Software that you rely on. 

When we introduced Pipelines, we knew that these benefits would be meaningless if we didn't also work hard to protect our customers from any potential risks that could be encountered over time.  One way we've done that is to focus on building and maintaining highly scalable and reliable underlying technology.  Another has been to create limits that help govern usage, protecting new users from accidentally DDOS'ing their own Applications, and reminding experienced problem solvers to be thoughtful about the design of their workflow when building new Pipelines.  As we've continued to listen to feedback from our customers, one thing that's become clear is that these limits have had the unintended side effect of putting a big barrier between users and their ability to experiment with new processes.

By making usage of the QB Channel in Pipelines free and unlimited, we're getting rid of the barrier that has been standing between you and the ideas you have wanted to pursue.  If you're an experienced Pipelines builder then you can now enjoy the freedom to experiment with new ideas in Pipelines, testing and refining your business logic as much as necessary until you have a powerful integrated workflow that’s ready to add value.  If you're comfortable with designing automated tasks and processes, but you've been waiting to take Pipelines for a spin, then this opens the door to our most flexible and scalable workflow automation tool ever.  You can take your ideas to the next level, creating powerful multi-step Pipelines without having to worry about running up a bill.  And if you haven't had a chance to start automating some of your more repetitive work, then we encourage you to take a look at some of the resources below.  You'll find inspiration on what to try first, and guidance to help you continuously improve the user experience and value of your Quickbase Applications.

Details about the Change

As you may know, every Pipeline is configured by defining a series of one or more Steps that will run when the Pipeline is triggered, as long as their conditions are met.  Steps can vary widely in complexity, ranging from something as simple as updating a single line of text, to complex evaluations of thousands of rows of data.  That's why the basic unit of measurement for Pipelines is a “Step Run”, making it easier to track, monitor, and manage your Pipelines accurately, no matter how widely varied their workflow is.

Step Runs are simply a count of the number of times that each individual step in the Pipeline has been asked to run, and then completed its work successfully.  However, now that we've excluded the Quickbase Channel from your account limit we will be introducing 2 new sub-categories of Step Runs to help you keep track of exactly what's happening:

  • Billable Step Runs – The number of Step Runs completed by Pipelines which do not use the Quickbase Channel, this is the measurement that shows how close you are getting to your Account limit
  • Total Step Runs – The total number of Step Runs completed by Pipelines, including Quickbase Channel usage. This number is informational, and is simply there to provide helpful reference and clarity about usage patterns

These changes will soon be reflected on your My Pipelines page as well, with separate counters for both new categories in order to provide you with more detail:


Billable_Step_Runs.png



Example Scenario

John has a Quickbase account with an annual subscription at the Premier level.  He has built several Pipelines that use the Quickbase Channel to automate tasks between his Quickbase Applications.

On Friday 2/12/2021, he checked his Pipelines usage and saw that he has use 20,000 Step Runs during his current billing cycle.  He also noticed that he only has 10,000 Step Runs remaining before he hits his Billable Step Run limit of 30,000 Step Runs per year.  On Thursday 2/18/2021, John is happy to find out his usage of the Quickbase Channel will no longer count toward his Billable Step Run limit, and that he can continue to run his existing Pipelines without worrying about having to pay more money or being cut off.

Over the next few months John continues to add more Pipelines, automating even more work between his Quickbase Applications and consuming 50,000 more Total Step Runs, but he is happy to see that his Billable Step Runs have not gone up from the 20,000 Step Runs he had already used before the change.

Resources

How-to's

Build better trend reports with Pipelines - Automate routine work to save time, improve morale, and reduce risk. Many companies use automations to supply the data for trend reports today. Did you know you can power trend reports using pipelines?

Generate template records with Pipelines - Perfect your unique business processes by automating routine work in real-time. Learn how to use Pipelines to generate a set of template child records removing manual work without losing the value of highly flexible processes.

Improve your monthly insights with Pipelines – Creating the ability to analyze your Quickbase data by month can help you unlock the insights of your data but building and maintaining it all can take valuable time. Learn how you can build monthly reporting in QB and power it with Pipelines. This walkthrough even includes an example app where you can test and learn.

Training and Documentation

Getting Started with Pipelines – In our Quick Base University lesson learn how to use pipelines to enhance the capabilities of your Quickbase and third-party apps. Join Chantelle and Sam as they build their first pipelines.

Pipelines Help Documentation – Our help resources will walk you through accessing Pipelines, setting up a Quickbase channel Pipeline, and the full roster of channels you can access.

Pipelines Webinar Series – Our 4-part webinar series teach you how to more easily create Pipelines to automate workflow across multiple systems. It highlights connecting to Quick Base Apps, Salesforce, Marketo, Outlook, Box, and even shows show you how to use Pipelines to integrate with third-party API’s

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Learn More

So You Want to Learn Pipelines! -  One of our Best Practice Consultants, Bree Mackey, gathered a collection of resources including example apps, articles, and previous Empower presentations to give you a crash course in unlocking the power of Pipelines.

Automatically book meetings on your Outlook calendar using Pipelines - Do you ever find yourself manually booking meetings in Outlook, based on project work you’re tracking in Quick Base? Find out how to replace that manual step with the power of Pipelines.

How to Accelerate Your Workflow with Email and File Management - This How To will take you into how to use Pipelines to solve for three key problems: manual data re-entry, inaccessible order documents/forms, and scheduling delays.



FAQs

 

What qualifies as usage of the Quickbase Channel in Pipelines?

Every Pipeline is configured to run a series of one or more Steps when the Pipeline is triggered.  A “Step Run” is the basic unit of measurement for Pipelines, and it is used to count of the number of times that each individual step in the Pipeline has been asked to run and then completed its work successfully. 

When a Step is added to a Pipeline, it is typically configured using the pre-built capabilities of a Channel.  The Quickbase Channel can be used to configure Steps that interact with a Quickbase Application and request, add, or modify data when the criteria is met.  Anytime a Pipeline runs, and completes Steps that are configured with the Quickbase Channel, it is considered Quickbase Channel usage and will no longer count towards your Billable Step Run limit.

How are Step Runs calculated when a Pipeline uses more than one Channel?

Any Steps in the Pipeline that are configured with the Quickbase Channel will no longer add a Billable Step Run when triggered, but Steps in the same Pipeline that are configured with any Channel other than Quickbase will still count as usual.

When can I expect to see a change in my usage?

Right now!  If you have Pipelines that use the Quickbase Channel you may already be able to see a change in the rate at which new Billable Step Runs are being used.  

I need to do anything in order to activate this change for my Account?

Not at all!  Your account has already been updated to ensure that usage of the Quickbase Channel does not count towards your Billable Step Runs, and you are free to begin enhancing your Quickbase Applications with powerful automated workflow that is ready to scale as much as you do. 

Where can I see the number of Step Runs that have been used for my Account?

There is a gauge right on the “My Pipelines” page that shows the exact number of Billable Step Runs which have been used during your current billing period.  We are also adding a counter to show your Total Step Runs right next to your Billable Step Runs as a helpful point of reference. 

What is the difference between “Billable Step Runs” and “Total Step Runs”?

Billable Step Runs are the cumulative number of qualifying Steps Runs that have completed successfully during your current Billing Period.  Any Step Runs that use a Pipelines Channel other than the Quickbase Channel qualify as Billable Step Runs. 

Total Step Runs is a count of all Step Runs completed by Pipelines over the same period as Billable Step Runs, regardless of the Channel used.  This provides a view of the Pipelines usage on your account with Quickbase Channel usage included.  This number is informational, and is there to provide helpful reference and clarity about usage patterns. 

When does my Step Run usage reset?

Step Runs are reset at the end of your billing period.  This means that Annual customers are given a large pool of Billable Step Runs which only resets on the next billing anniversary for the Account.  The Billable Step Runs gauge on the My Pipelines page has an indicator to show how much time remains before the next billing period begins, and customers who need to increase their allotment of Step Runs can always purchase additional Step Runs when necessary. 

How can I get more information about this change?

If you have additional questions about Pipelines or the change to Billable Step Runs, we always encourage you to reach out to your Account representative or submit a support case to our world class Customer Care team.

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Comments

03-02-2021 10:53

@Ryan Farrington this particular announcement is specific to the stepruns in the Quickbase channel, so it wouldn't include those other purple channels such as Bucket, CSV Handler, Callable pipelines, Clock, JSON Handler, Text, and Webhooks.

02-25-2021 13:02

Are the "purple channels" also free now? Bucket, CSV Handler, Callable pipelines, Clock, JSON Handler, Text, and Webhooks? I'd like to use some pipelines that apply a number of regular expressions, but it would very quickly eat up our step runs. (These are in the Text channel.)

02-18-2021 15:19

Great Announcement!  Looking forward to expanding out Pipeline implementations especially as we look to options for existing JS solutions that need to evolve.