Preparing for Automations End of Support in June 2022
Workflow automation has taken many forms in Quickbase over the years. It could be a simple email notification, a dynamic form rule, or even a complex script triggered by a webhook. But one thing that’s clear is that workflow automation is only going to increase in importance for customers and use cases of all kinds. To meet those evolving requirements, we have spent the last year growing and improving the workflow automation capabilities of our powerful new Pipelines technology. Now, as we continue to look toward the future, we must also evaluate the role of older and less flexible features like Quickbase Automations. That’s why we will be retiring Quickbase Automations in favor of Pipelines. In June 2022, Automations will reach End of Support.
What End of Support means for you
The next step in retiring Automations will come in June 2022, when the feature will reach End of Support. At that time, you will no longer be able to create new automations. This also means that the Quickbase Technical Support team will not be able to assist with the Automations feature after June 2022. Existing automations will continue to be editable, and they will continue to run until Automations reaches End of Life in January 2023.
We had initially set January 2022 as the End of Support for Quickbase Automations. Once we reach End of Support, customers would no longer be able to create new Automations. After listening to customer feedback, it became clear that our customers with many different Automations owners did not feel comfortable migrating away from Automations towards Pipelines. The three most common areas of concern with migrating from Automations to Pipelines that we plan to address are:
- Account admins being able to choose which channels each user has access to Automations, including the ability to query the previous value of a field
- Helpful notifications to pipeline owners when an error occurs
- App admins having visibility into all pipelines that are connected to their Quickbase app
We will deliver new features to service these needs, which we plan to have ready by the new June End of Support date. If your company does not feel confident migrating your automations without the features listed above, you can still begin planning your migration now. We'll soon share resources which will help you plan your migration.
Read on to learn about the benefits of using Pipelines instead of Automations, and how you can prepare for Automations retirement by migrating your existing automations.
Improving your workflow using Pipelines
We have been continuously adding new capabilities and tools that will make it easy for you to migrate your workflow automations to our newer and more powerful Pipelines technology. Not only will this ensure that you don’t experience any disruption to your business or your processes, but it also opens the door to new workflow ideas that can connect across multiple systems.
- Pipelines supports all Automations features – Pipelines now supports all the features you’ve been leveraging within Automations, including the ability to query the previous value of a field.
- Pipelines enables more sophisticated logic than Automations – Pipelines supports more powerful business logic than Automations, including branching and looping, as well as parsing text.
- Pipelines gives you the ability to scale workflow across systems – In addition to orchestrating workflow within your Quickbase ecosystem, Pipelines includes point-and-click integration with over 30 products including Outlook, Slack, and Sharepoint.
We are committed to supporting every Automations use case. That’s why all Quickbase customers get unlimited use of Quickbase-to-Quickbase Pipelines included with their service plan at no additional cost.
Focus areas for improving Pipelines
We’ve gotten feedback from many of you on Pipelines, about what’s going well and where we have opportunity to improve. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. Getting this perspective is essential to help us evolve our product and make sure we are serving this community well. There are three main areas we are focusing on to further support you as you migrate from Automations:
- Ease of use – We are working on improvements to make it faster and more intuitive to build pipelines. For example, in the January 2022 release we are making our builder wizard generally available. Using the wizard, the user first chooses which steps to include. Then, they are directed to the pipelines designer page where they fill in the details for how each step should work. We have also extended our Pipelines educational resources in Quickbase University, with the release of our new Pipelines Builder certification exam.
- Performance – In December 2021, we rolled out the new “Blaze” engine to offer better reliability, performance, and efficiency for Pipelines. Compared to November 2020, usage of our Pipelines capability has multiplied by more than 71 times, and the Blaze engine helps support that exponential increase in workload. It also lays the foundation for the next round of exponential growth in integration and automation use-cases which companies are looking to create with Quickbase Pipelines. We’ve seen pipelines run 30 times faster on average since releasing the Blaze engine.
- Governance – We are making major investments to make it easier to manage your pipelines at scale. Account administrators will be able to set access to Pipelines channels by individual user, or by user group. Pipelines builders will also be notified when one of their pipelines encounters an error. And finally, app builders will be able to see a list of pipelines connected to their app. Each of these features will be available in the first half of 2022, before we reach the End of Support date for Automations.
Preparing to migrate
There are three steps you can take to prepare for your migration from Automations to Pipelines:
- Make sure you have access to Pipelines – Some of you are app builders who have built automations but have not had a chance to start working with Pipelines. It’s worthwhile to check the top-left of your Quickbase view to make sure you have Pipelines access set up. If you do not see the Pipelines tab, you’ll need to contact one of your account admins to get access.
- Create new workflow automations using Pipelines instead of Automations – Since Automations will not be supported starting in June 2022, this is the perfect time to stop creating new automations and creating pipelines instead. We have many resources available to bring you up to speed. (Check out our list on the community.)
- Begin migrating your existing automations to Pipelines - We’ve developed a simple migration tool you can use to create a corresponding pipeline for each of your automations, which you can do in just a few clicks. We have been improving the migration tool over the past few months, and it is now ready to migrate virtually any automation. (Learn more about using the migration tool in our help article.)
Over the next year, we will be following our standard feature retirement lifecycle, and taking several steps along the way to retire the Quickbase Automations feature. End of Sale is highlighted in green since we have already reached that milestone.