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Automations being phased out?!

  • 1.  Automations being phased out?!

    Posted 06-22-2021 19:21
    With the recent email informing us that automations will be phased out over 6 months, the first person who has daisy chained automations and tries the tool to migrate those....let me know if it works! :)

    This caught me off guard, considering they have been reassuring us automations were not going anywhere.

    ------------------------------
    Mike Tamoush
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Automations being phased out?!

    Posted 06-22-2021 19:47
    I have not had time to successfully test as yet, but I can tell you that the conversion tool that they have does not handle all the nuances of what Automations.  I believe that  will be working intensively over the next 6 months on improvements to the migration tool to be able to Auto Migrate the vast majority (but probably not) all the functionality of Automations.

    I see that there is a webinar scheduled which I plan to attend to demonstrate the automation tool and that would be a great opportunity to put into the chat a question as to the roadmap for expanding the scope of the types of automations which can be Auto Migrated converted into pipelines.  

    For example I tried to do a test on one today which involve deleting records and it came back and said that the conversion tool currently does not have the ability to create a pipeline which deletes records. So obviously they will do that and it would be good to know the roadmap timeline for when these additional Auto Migrate features will likely come in.
    We do have 18 months to get all the automations converted over into pipelines so having that road map the timing of these enhancements will give us some idea of which ones just to leave for a few months until the enhancements in the conversion tool come along and which to maybe tackle now if there is no plan to handle that feature in the conversion tool.

    I do know that they did not take this decision lightly and they feel that the technology platform that supports Pipelines is so much more reliable and scalable to that of Automations, that it in fact is in the best interests of the users, even though there will be some short term pain to get from here to there. 




    ------------------------------
    Mark Shnier (YQC)
    Quick Base Solution Provider
    Your Quick Base Coach
    http://QuickBaseCoach.com
    mark.shnier@gmail.com
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Automations being phased out?!

    Posted 06-23-2021 13:02
    To follow up on the webinar that Mark mentioned we are hosting two upcoming webinars on Pipelines to help users interested in them build up their knowledge. On July 8th we have The Future of Automating Workflow with Quickbase hosted by Adam Hoover and Bree Mackey from our teams and it walks through the future of automating with Pipelines and they will be walking through the migration tool and taking questions/feedback. On July 15th there is also a session on Leveraging Quickbase Pipelines to Automate Procurement Processes where Phillip Dennis, of Watkyn, a Quickbase Silver Partner, and Jorge Abadia, Customer Adoption Manager at Quickbase are goin to share how Quickbase Pipelines can help automate business processes to improve supply chain management.

    We wanted to make the announcement well ahead of the dates where we would be restricting the ability to create new Automations so that users who would be impacted have time to learn more about Pipelines and begin to make the transition. Beyond the migration tool we are going to be rolling out guides to some of the common use cases in Automations and how to build them in Pipelines so as users go to build new workflows they will have steps to help them walk through it. Feedback on ways we can make Pipelines more accessible to users and pain points they are experiencing today are very important as we begin this transition as it will help us to continue to provide resources and drive changes in Pipelines.

    ------------------------------
    Evan Martinez
    Community Marketing Manager
    Quickbase
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Automations being phased out?!

    Posted 06-23-2021 13:29
    Evan,

    If they can implement a Pipeline action that is a table to table import, that would be HUGE. Bare minimum, clear instructions on how to use Pipelines and perform a table to table import.

    ------------------------------
    Mike Tamoush
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Automations being phased out?!

    Posted 06-23-2021 13:49
    It would be nice if they did plan to support T2T imports in the tool..

    If that does not happen, then a T2T import can be run by an API.  That means running a Webhook step.

    Here are my cheat notes how to run any Quickbase API.  This is an example for API_RunImport.

    Webhook.
    Make Request
    a bunch of the top fields are left blank

    URL like 
    https://mycompany .quickbase.com/db/bqxxxxx

    Method
    POST

    (more)

    Content Type
    Application/XML

    (strangely, the Body is entered next but when saved comes back in the sequence below)

    Headers (list)
    Name
    QUICKBASE-ACTION

    Value
    API_RunImport

    Body
    <qdbapi>
    <usertoken>bxv4tx_wve_dtkc6xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx</usertoken>
    <id>10</id>
    </qdbapi>

    (in this example I'm running the sales T2T import #10.   You can see the ID# in the URL


    ------------------------------
    Mark Shnier (YQC)
    Quick Base Solution Provider
    Your Quick Base Coach
    http://QuickBaseCoach.com
    mark.shnier@gmail.com
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Automations being phased out?!

    Posted 06-23-2021 14:01
    Hi Mike,

    I have run into that one myself before using Pipelines. One of the how to guides we are working on right now for our Automations to Pipelines Hub is actually for using the Bulk Record actions option in Pipelines to be able to do table to table imports, it is just still getting edited and worked on at the moment. It makes use of the Bulk Records action call so that you don't have to maintain a separate T2T import saved which is nice since saved T2T imports when they run will pull apps into the same server. As an alternative I know a number of people have called the existing T2T with a webhook channel Pipeline like Mark outlined below (thanks for throwing in an example there Mark it is always handy to have those).

    ------------------------------
    Evan Martinez
    Community Marketing Manager
    Quickbase
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: Automations being phased out?!

    Posted 06-23-2021 07:33
    I have to say I was really disappointed to see this.  I knew at some point it was going to happen but I GREATLY prefer automations to Pipelines for Quick base to quick base functionality and simple things.  The interface is just so much easier and faster.  Plus pipelines does not support a lot of functionality yet.

    On top of all of that, I still have a lot of work to do to get the javascript out of my app and now this is another one I need to work on.  As a "citizen developer" where this is not my full time job it is frustrating to stop new development so I can rework functioning parts due to features being removed.  

    I am all for pushing the platform further but it seems like we have half baked tools (the migration tool failed on the first 6 migrations I tried) and not a full functioning system in pipelines and we are eliminating proven automations.

    Just my rant as this is very frustrating to me.

    ------------------------------
    Ivan Weiss
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: Automations being phased out?!

    Posted 06-23-2021 08:44
    Ivan,

     On the JavaScript issue, here's another way to look at it. QuickBase is bound and determined to get a higher security clearance than they had before. I'm not an expert on the different levels but for example SOC 2,  is an example of a security level achievement which needs to be passed with a thorough audit by independent auditors. By having that certification it opens doors for them to get into whole industries or sectors where they have been blocked. Perhaps US federal regulated industries or certain healthcare industries or maybe one day industries where financial information and credit cards are stored. 

    I figure that's a good thing because the bigger QuickBase gets the more engineers they can hire and the quicker we get more features. Typically when they develop new features everybody gets to use them and not just the giant accounts.

     As for converting your existing JavaScript, QuickBase is probably obligated to tell you that you have a theoretical security risk by allowing use of JavaScript in your applications.  We all know that for most of us that security risk is purely theoretical.   Your existing JavaScript will work forever they have not announced that it is ever going to break.  

     So it is up to you as to when and if you convert that JavaScript. For my clients my focus has been on knowing whether or not if we did need to make a change to a button for some reason would I know how to change the button to make it compliant. But I have no intention of suggesting a project for all of my clients to review all of their uses of JavaScript and remove it from the apps. In my case I prefer to let sleeping dogs lie and I will worry about updating buttons when and if I ever have to change the functionality of that button.


    ------------------------------
    Mark Shnier (YQC)
    Quick Base Solution Provider
    Your Quick Base Coach
    http://QuickBaseCoach.com
    mark.shnier@gmail.com
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: Automations being phased out?!

    Posted 06-23-2021 16:36
    Hi Mark, I think you might have misunderstood what I meant.  I do not mind at all the javascript change from a security standpoint.  I fully understand it.  My point was when retiring features that require a lot of work from developers in the community do one at a time.  If the Javascript end of life is coming up in a few months dont start the clock on automations until after that.

    I know it seems like 18 months is a long time away...  But I have some things that are not supported in pipelines to my knowledge.  Like a table to table import.  So what do I do there?  I assume their answer is it will be supported before automations is retired but get the replacement product 100% up to speed before announcing a retirement of an old one.  

    And most importantly finish your first retiring on functionality before adding a second.

    ------------------------------
    Ivan Weiss
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: Automations being phased out?!

    Posted 06-23-2021 18:06
    Hi Ivan,

    Our hope is that giving users this longer period of notice will give them time to get to know Pipelines before they need to transition and make sure they aren't continuing to build Automations that they would need to migrate at a later date with the hope that in the 18 months those Automations that have built up can be transitioned. You are correct that there is not a direct action in Pipelines to call a T2T import, the work around some are using is like the one Mark laid out to call it via the webhook channel. 

    There is a function in Pipelines to help you get the same effect of moving data like T2T imports, it is achieved using the Bulk Records action. This would allow you to find data in Pipelines and then move it in bulk, it just uses a different function so everything stays contained within your Pipeline instead of having to go out to another feature and access it. As an added bonus in the case of T2T imports that go across applications this Pipeline action doesn't pull your apps into the same server when it runs unlike T2T imports across apps which do. We do not have a guide made up to step by step doing this type of set up but it is in the works right now, it is still getting edited and worked on. Once it goes live I can definitely drop the link to it here and it will be in our Automations to Pipelines hub.  Then in the future the tool will be seeing some expansions to support migrating over more Automations and workflow use cases.

    Your feedback and the feedback of other users on the timing is something we are passing on to the team overseeing the retirement of Automations. We wanted to be able to give those with Automations concerns and JS concerns as much time as possible to be able to consider their planning for both, though unfortunately that does mean there is some overlap in our communications we didn't want to cut down on the window we were offering customers, especially since some customers want to be able to plan for both at once. Definitely let us know where you are finding gaps in the functionality and where the process is painful for you as we want to make sure we keep making this process better. 


    ------------------------------
    Evan Martinez
    Community Marketing Manager
    Quickbase
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: Automations being phased out?!

    Posted 06-24-2021 06:40
    Evan, instead of coming soon can we get estimated dates on when support is coming out?  80% of my automations use work dates which is not supported by Pipelines.  Another 10% use Table to table imports which is not supported.  I am not familiar with webhooks so now I need to learn and get educated vs just continuing to let things work.

    the last 10% I can probably migrate.  I really need dates on when this functionality is going to be available vs "Coming Soon" so I can plan.  I have about 20 automations in this app, and more in another app so it will take some time

    ------------------------------
    Ivan Weiss
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: Automations being phased out?!

    Posted 06-24-2021 10:01
    Ivan - I have 77 Automations in one of my apps......and many with T2T imports. I am in a lot of trouble.....I am with you on this. This will cost me a month of work.

    ------------------------------
    Mike Tamoush
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: Automations being phased out?!

    Posted 12 days ago
    Unfortunately, same boat here. 
    And, like you, I have a full set of job responsibilities, and have to find a way to manage QuickBase for our company's users on the side. 
    While I understand the need for upgrades, every hour that I have to spend to redo something that is working is an hour essentially wasted.  (And it is rarely ever in the single digits here.)
    I am certain that the new capabilities are great, but if I don't need them, that is the definition of waste.


    ------------------------------
    Chris Sipes
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: Automations being phased out?!

    Posted 06-24-2021 14:59
    Hi Ivan,

    I'm taking your question on the T2T imports and Automations and work dates support back to the team to see if they have any more specific insights. I'm also seeing if I can get an early edition of that guide on how to do imports of data from table to table using Bulk Actions instead so I can post it up on Community a little sooner so you can see what the Pipelines alternative set up would look like.

    ------------------------------
    Evan Martinez
    Community Marketing Manager
    Quickbase
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: Automations being phased out?!

    Posted 06-24-2021 16:32
    Edited by Ivan Weiss 06-24-2021 16:32
    I appreciate that.  I am REALLY uncomfortable taking PERFECTLY functioning parts of a mission critical app, and having to learn new technology (webhooks) to try it here and hope it works right.  Just seems like this is making things WAY harder on citizen developers.  I get the programming guys are not scared of it...  But I went to Quick Base because I am not a software developer :)

    Keep me posted, if we can make this a lot simpler it would go a long way.  I rely HEAVILY on automations for my app to work right so i understand we have 18 months but this shot my anxiety through the roof.  And I have no issues with Pipelines, I use them all the time as well.  It just doesnt work for everything (today).

    And please dont forget about work dates!  I use work date fields extensively and pipelines does not support them.  So I am stuck there too.  This change breaks so much for me.

    ------------------------------
    Ivan Weiss
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: Automations being phased out?!

    Posted 06-25-2021 16:56
    Edited by Evan Martinez 06-25-2021 16:57
    Hi Ivan,

    I have passed on some of the questions that keep coming up here and in our public slack on the migration tool and support for specific features to our Product team and they are working up some more information for everyone. We also got together that how to I had mentioned on using Bulk Actions in Pipelines to accomplish mass record changes like Table to Table imports. In Building Table-to-Table (T2T) Imports Using Pipelines you can find steps for building a Table to Table Import using just Pipelines in the QB channel so you wouldn't need to rely on a saved T2T import, the Webhook channel, or manual imports. This guide would be more helpful for someone looking to build a new T2T or looking to convert to Pipelines to take advantage of the other features Pipelines can offer them and then more info coming back on what to expect from the migration tool and for those Automations that can't be migrated with it today.

    Changes like these absolutely come with growing pains and our team is very interested in helping to close those gaps. We wanted to make the announcement to give users plenty of time to start learning Pipelines before they would be fully needing to transition over to them, and also to get feedback on the changes and what more was needed. Thank you for the continuing feedback and definitely keep the questions you have coming. 

    ------------------------------
    Evan Martinez
    Community Marketing Manager
    Quickbase
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: Automations being phased out?!

    Posted 06-25-2021 18:08
    Evan,
    Thank you for posting that link for that blog article about table to table imports. I noticed at the end he refers to using up step runs. Am I correct that that information is outdated as all native quick base to QuickBase operations are not counted as step runs?  Should that should that be updated?

    ------------------------------
    Mark Shnier (YQC)
    Quick Base Solution Provider
    Your Quick Base Coach
    http://QuickBaseCoach.com
    mark.shnier@gmail.com
    ------------------------------



  • 18.  RE: Automations being phased out?!

    Posted 06-28-2021 08:59
    Hi Mark, yes you are absolutely right. I just updated the article. Good catch!

    ------------------------------
    Brian Cafferelli
    Product Marketing Manager | Quick Base
    ------------------------------



  • 19.  RE: Automations being phased out?!

    Posted 06-27-2021 00:48
    Hi Evan,

    I followed the T2T Imports Using Pipeline Guide however I am getting this error message.

    Remote service reported an error: 1 : Unknown error : Some record IDs specified were not found in the table. -- Processed: 0 - Added: 0 - Updated: 0 - Unchanged: 0

    ------------------------------
    Tim Egerton
    ------------------------------



  • 20.  RE: Automations being phased out?!

    Posted 06-28-2021 09:09
    Hi Tim,

    I've only built this particular kind of Pipeline once myself and didn't run into that error, if you are still having trouble with that error message I would suggest putting a case in with out Care team and they can help take a look at that Pipeline to find out where the error is coming from. You can create a case right here from community by clicking on Support where it appears in the navigation at the top of the page. You can also create a case right in Quickbase by clicking on the question mark icon that is at the top of the page when you are in an application and selecting Manage Support Cases. That will help you get in touch with the Care team and they can take a closer look to figure out what is causing that error for you.

    ------------------------------
    Evan Martinez
    Community Marketing Manager
    Quickbase
    ------------------------------



  • 21.  RE: Automations being phased out?!

    Posted 06-27-2021 06:31
    Hi Evan,

    I will see how that link you posted works for the pipelines replacement for T2T imports.  I appreciate it.  With regard to your comment about changes come with growing pains and closing gaps, etc.  As a software company can't you see what functionality is being used before making such an announcement?  This is not the first time this happened and if you look at what the functionality is and provide a solution before announcing retirement you will not get everyone's hair up on end (I dont mean you personally of course).  Even if you say we have 3 years to eliminate features telling us that the features we use are being related without a direct replacement today saying "Coming Soon" is not very reassuring.

    Again just my 2cents, since joining Quick Base I have seen the level of development increase significantly which is amazing.  But just slowing the pace a bit to ensure you have users in mind goes a long way.

    ------------------------------
    Ivan Weiss
    ------------------------------



  • 22.  RE: Automations being phased out?!

    Posted 07-01-2021 09:52
    I got a chance this week to chat with Gev who is the PM for Pipelines and get a little more information on the roadmap for the Migration tool and Pipelines. They are currently working on V2 of the Migration tool to expand its support to more use cases and you can expect some updates to be announced in our July release notes and then others are going to be rolling out during this quarter (Q3) of this year. More may be added as possible but as of right now the plans include:

    • Support for Automations that use the old value from records
    • Use cases with automations that effect more than one app at a time
    • Automations base don a scheduled trigger
    • Automations that query records base on a filter criteria and then delete them

    I know a number of you were also very interested in support for T2T imports in Pipelines. We still recommend that for new Pipelines being built to move data between tables that Bulk Actions is used as that Pipeline function will continue to get more support and development but the ability to call Table to Table Imports support for the Quickbase channel in Pipelines has been added to the plan. Right now it is expected to be rolled out in Q4 of 2021 but as we get closer we will of course update with the specific dates it is going to go live. With the support for T2T imports we would also be planning to add that to the Migration tool as well. 

    This isn't a definite list of everything we are going to be working on, this is just those things we have a more specific timeline on right now as we continue to listen to feedback from customers on where we can fill in the gaps to support migration. Our PMs are keeping an eye on the feedback we get here in Community, via our public slack, and User Voice.

    ------------------------------
    Evan Martinez
    Community Marketing Manager
    Quickbase
    ------------------------------



  • 23.  RE: Automations being phased out?!

    Posted 07-03-2021 12:46
    I understand that there will need to be considerable focus on the migration tool, but can we expect other improvements to pipelines alongside these changes?

    As I'm sure you know, there are many requests for important improvements to the editor (save/undo, adding comments, reliably inserting/moving steps, changing triggers, popups resizing etc.), governance (organising pipelines/version control) and operational control (notifications of errors, interrogation of the activity log, run-time analytics to understand headroom v. limits). I really like the concept and am investing a lot of time in pipelines, but it's hard going at the moment.

    ------------------------------
    Jeremy Anson
    ------------------------------



  • 24.  RE: Automations being phased out?!

    Posted 29 days ago
    Hi Jeremy,

    You can absolutely expect us to continue to deliver continuing improvements on Pipelines, that is a big focus for the retirement of Automations so that we will have even more resources to devote to the growth of Pipelines. While we are working on enhancing the Migration tool to support more use cases we are going to be continuing work on Pipelines with our same focus. In fact you can expect some changes and updates coming in our July release notes. When they go live you should definitely look at them.

    ------------------------------
    Evan Martinez
    Community Marketing Manager
    Quickbase
    ------------------------------



  • 25.  RE: Automations being phased out?!

    Posted 29 days ago
    Thanks for the update Evan. That's great to read.

    ------------------------------
    Jeremy Anson
    ------------------------------



  • 26.  RE: Automations being phased out?!

    Posted 29 days ago

    Evan,

     

    I am trying to follow these instructions and it says to create an "upsert".  However, in my import I do not ever want to update existing records.  I am copying tasks from a "template task table" into my tasks table.  How do I do a bulk insert without a merge field?

     

    Ivan J. Weiss, CFSP | Executive Vice President & COO elite|studio e

    631.949.6635 www.elitestudioe.com

     

    Connect with us. LinkedIn | Instagram

     






  • 27.  RE: Automations being phased out?!

    Posted 28 days ago
    You should be able to leave the merge field empty and avoid any updates.

    ------------------------------
    Jeremy Anson
    ------------------------------



  • 28.  RE: Automations being phased out?!

    Posted 27 days ago
    Are you sure?  It has an asterisk next to it and is flagging it as a missing field.  I can try to turn it on with it missing but I was under the impression it is needed from the look of the screen in pipelines

    ------------------------------
    Ivan Weiss
    ------------------------------



  • 29.  RE: Automations being phased out?!

    Posted 27 days ago
    HI Ivan,

    I asked around just to be sure but to my understanding when creating the call you would specify a Merge Key for the upcert which you can leave set to Record ID. This sets up the way the calls would be structured overall, then when you set up your add row step you would simply not add anything to map into that field. This should then be like uploading a CSV that has no field for Record ID and it will add records without updating. 

    Alternatively, if your list of tasks is small enough you can build them individually in a Pipeline as well and they can live in that Pipeline all set up for being added into place. It would depend on how many template records you had and the number of different templates this might call. If you want help going through the Pipeline in more depth the Care team can help give you a second set of eyes on the setup within your Pipelines and make sure it all looks good before you release that Pipeline into the wild.

    ------------------------------
    Evan Martinez
    Community Marketing Manager
    Quickbase
    ------------------------------



  • 30.  RE: Automations being phased out?!

    Posted 27 days ago
    Yes, this is working for me. I don't see an asterisk next to Record ID# and I can save and run the pipeline with no value specified.  This is the first approach Evan has described and it's working for me.



    ------------------------------
    Jeremy Anson
    ------------------------------



  • 31.  RE: Automations being phased out?!

    Posted 21 days ago
    Hi Everyone,

    Just wanted to make sure everyone on this thread was aware our July Releases Notes have gone live for our release on 7/18/21 with more information on the enhancements for the migration tool. 

    After the release you will be able to move more types of automations to Pipelines, including:

    • Scheduled automations

    • Automations that have references to more than one app

    • Automations that have references to an old record:

    We are also rolling out to GA a new My Pipelines page with a number of enhancements to the way you can search, filter, sort, and view your Pipelines. You can read more about the release and the changes coming in our July Release Notes. You can expect to see more in the future for both the Migration Tool and Pipelines.

    ------------------------------
    Evan Martinez
    Community Marketing Manager
    Quickbase
    ------------------------------



  • 32.  RE: Automations being phased out?!

    Posted 21 days ago
    Nothing to do with Automation, but being able to use Summary Report Formulas in chart is an important and welcome enhancement.

    It allows, for example to make a chart of "Average Selling Price" by month, or GP% by month or say defect rates by week.

    ------------------------------
    Mark Shnier (YQC)
    Quick Base Solution Provider
    Your Quick Base Coach
    http://QuickBaseCoach.com
    mark.shnier@gmail.com
    ------------------------------



  • 33.  RE: Automations being phased out?!

    Posted 13 days ago
    Thanks Evan. The inclusion of an error count on the My Pipelines page is very welcome as are the pipeline stats.

    ------------------------------
    Jeremy Anson
    ------------------------------



  • 34.  RE: Automations being phased out?!

    Posted 06-23-2021 18:55
    100% with you Ivan.

    ------------------------------
    QuickBase Girl
    ------------------------------