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2022 Quickbase Connections Investments: Easier Management and Governance of Pipelines

By Adam Hoover posted 06-30-2022 16:40


We all know that in the world of software, things move pretty fast.  If you’ve been keeping up with all the recent product releases here at Quickbase then you’ll certainly agree that we’re no exception!  For the most part, all that speed is typically a good thing, but we’ve learned that if you don’t stop once in a while, you can miss things.  That’s why we make the conscious choice to periodically stop and take stock of how all these new product updates are working for you, our customers.

Over the last year, we’ve listened to feedback from many of you about different aspects of the Workflow Automation and Integration capabilities that are supported by our Pipelines technology.  One theme that has come through clearly is that Quickbase customers need to be able to move fast too, and that requires tools that make it easier to manage and govern Pipelines at scale. We recognize that each of your organizations has its own unique IT ecosystem and policies, and it’s clear that this means that everything from our access controls to our error notifications must be flexible enough to adapt to your needs.

In response, we made it a high priority to begin working on a couple specific updates to Pipelines that we believe will begin to unlock the speed and scale you’ve been waiting for: 

  • User Level Access to Pipelines Channels
  • Pipeline Error Notifications

Governing User Access to Specific Pipelines Channels

In our May 2022 release, we introduced a new set of permission options that give realm administrators the ability to control access to individual Pipelines channels at a user level.  

This update is a bit unique because it was actually driven by conflicting feedback that we had received from customers!  As Pipelines usage began to grow, we discovered that our customers have a surprisingly diverse range of philosophies on how to manage access for their users. 

  • Open Access - On one end of the spectrum there are companies who prefer to simply open the flood gates by granting all users access to build Apps & Pipelines, removing any barriers standing between their teams and innovation.
  • Protected Access - Customers at the other end of the spectrum have talked to us about their need to keep access restricted in order to protect themselves from data security or integrity risks that their users could inadvertently introduce if they are not trained properly.

This granular new set of permissions gives admins the flexibility to choose exactly how much they want to fine tune the access that each individual user has to the integration capabilities of Pipelines.  With nuanced controls that are easy to find and easy to configure, we are already hearing about organizations who are implementing policies to increase the amount of access a user has as they pass milestones like receiving their Pipelines Builder Certification.  As a result, Pipelines are creating value and addressing challenges without adding risk!

You can now access these new permissions by simply toggling on the “Use new permissions options” feature in the Permissions tab of the Admin Console.


Proactive Notifications for Pipelines Errors

Another change that we introduced in May was to automatically notify the owner of a Pipeline about any errors that Pipeline may be encountering. 

The Pipelines Activity view has always provided insight into any errors that may be occurring when a given Pipeline runs, but as we began to collect feedback on how best to ensure that users were made aware of these issues, we realized that it couldn’t be as simple as sending out an email for each and every error.  While sending one email per error might work well for simpler Pipelines that run infrequently, in many scenarios we found that this could lead to your inbox being flooded with hundreds of emails in a matter of minutes!

To address this, we added a counter to track the number of errors that each Pipeline encounters in a given day.  That way, we are able to send an email for the 1st, 10th, and 100th, errors that particular Pipeline encounters that day, ensuring that your inbox doesn't get flooded with redundant emails.  Of course each individual error can still be seen from the Activity feed once you're ready to start troubleshooting.  This means that you'll quickly be made aware of any issues that need to be addressed, you'll still have access to the detailed logs, and you won't need to worry about us overloading your email server.

Beyond adding tools to manage and govern your Pipelines, we are investing to improve many other aspects of our Pipelines technology as well.  You can read more about the improvements to usability we’ve introduced.

And as a reminder, Quickbase Automations is being retired in favor of Pipelines. On June 30th, 2022, the ability to create new Automations will be disabled. You can read more about this process and the timeline to retire Automations here.