Managing Airtable automations
  • 01 May 2024
  • 7 Minutes to read
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Managing Airtable automations

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Article summary

Plan availability

All plan types with varying limitations

Permissions

  • Owners/Creators - Create, delete, duplicate, configure, or rename an automation and edit an automation's description.

  • Editors - View an automation's configuration or copy an automation's URL.

Platform(s)

Web/Browser, Mac app, and Windows app

Related reading

After you've successfully set up an automation, there are a few things to know about managing an automation. Learn about the considerations and options that matter most when organizing, managing, and modifying automations in a base.

Understanding automation management options

Turning automations on and off

After successfully setting up and testing your automation(s), you can activate your automation by clicking the "On/Off" toggle in the upper left-hand corner of the automation configuration window. After turning the automation on, the toggle will be green. To turn the automation off, simply click the toggle again.

Renaming, editing the description of, copying the URL of, duplicating, or deleting automations

Next to the name of an automation, click the arrow dropdown to reveal a menu where you can click:

  • Rename automation - You can rename an Automation if you have "Editor" permissions or above in the base where the automation resides. With the automation's setup window opened you can either click the dropdown menu next to the current name and choose "Rename automation" or simply double-click on the name to begin editing.

  • Edit description - Add a description of the automation to help other users better understand what it accomplishes.

  • Copy automation URL - This is a direct link to the automation, that only collaborators with Editor permissions in the base or higher can access. For example, this can be helpful to add to descriptions across Airtable so that other users have clarity about the automations in a base.

  • Duplicate automation - There are times when you may already have built an automation that is close enough to another automation you are going to build. Or perhaps you want to tweak or test a few things while maintaining your original automation.

    • Duplicating the automation will cause a new automation named "{Your automation's name} copy" to be created.

    • Note that whatever testing state the trigger and action(s) steps have in the original automation will be matched in the duplicate.

    • Additionally, if the tests have all run successfully on the original, but now something has changed in the duplicate, then the trigger or action(s) will need to be successfully retested.

  • Delete automation - To delete an automation you need to turn it off first. Deleted automations will be stored in the base trash for a short period of time should they need to be restored.

Updating automation configurations

In cases where you have edited an automation’s configuration while the automation is still “On” you can update an automation without having to turn it Off and back On again by clicking the Update button that appears. You can also click Discard changes to reset the configuration to the state it was in before the edits were made.

Automation run history

  • Sometimes you may need to access information in your automation's history (e.g. troubleshooting to see who may have not received an email automation, etc.) To access this information, you will need to navigate to the "Run history" section in your automation's setup window.

  • Here you will be able to see the run history of both failed and successful automation attempts. Clicking on a log item will show the details of the executed automation. The time of execution will be displayed in each collaborator’s local time.

  • Within the "Run history" window, you will not be able to see any tests that were performed as part of the setup process, so your automation will need to have triggered at least one action while an automation was turned on for you to see any run history.

  • In your Automation run history, you can also choose to "Rerun" any past failed runs of an Automation. This can be especially helpful for troubleshooting and testing automations.

    • Sometimes, clicking the rerun option will also fail. It's possible that some part of the automation is broken and needs to be updated. However, even after updating the automation to run correctly, the rerun option will still not work. This is because the automation is still attempting to run the automation in its previous state, the configuration state of the automation when the run was first attempted. In this case, you may need to build out a custom automation using a different manual trigger, such as a checkbox field, to "rerun" the automation.

Note

The individual user who last toggled the Automation "On" is the user who will receive failed automation run notifications.

Sorting and sections in automations

If the list of automations isn’t already showing, click the Automations list option near the upper left corner of the automation configuration screen. Once open you can sort and section (group) automations:

  • Sorting

    • When hovering over the automation you want to move, you'll see a six-dot icon appear to the right of the automation you are hovering over. Your mouse will appear as a hand icon and you can then click and drag the automation to move it somewhere else.

    • You can also sort sections and move automations from one section to another. We'll cover that below.

  • Sections

    • Near the bottom portion of the automations list under “Create…” click the Create section + option. Once clicked, a new section will appear that you can rename.

    • You'll also see a "More" section automatically created. This is where automations not nested in a section you've created will appear.

    • You can also collapse and sort sections. It's worth noting that the default "More" section will always appear at the bottom.

    • Last, if you want to delete a section, then click the ... three-dot icon next to that section and then click Delete section. When a section is deleted, any automations nested in that section will be moved to the default "More" section unless no other sections now exist.

Changing an automation’s trigger

Note

You will be unable to undo the trigger change, so consider making a duplicate automation first and then adjusting the trigger.

In some cases, you may want to change an automation's trigger step because the previous trigger was either incorrectly chosen or is no longer relevant because of changes made to the base. By navigating to the automation's setup window and opening the trigger step you can click the “Trigger type” dropdown menu to choose a different trigger for that particular automation.

There will be a warning message letting you know that changing the trigger may invalidate certain configurations that you've previously set up. Be sure to work back through both the trigger and the action steps, filling in any parts that may have become invalidated, and retest those steps.

Changing an action in an automation

Note

You will be unable to undo an automation step's action change, so consider making a duplicate first and then adjusting your action type.

In some cases, you may want to change one of your automation's action steps, because the action type you chose wasn't quite right for the job at hand. You can change an automation step's action type by navigating to the step in question, and clicking on the dropdown menu below the "Action type" section. Then, choose another action type from the menu.

A warning will appear asking whether you are sure you want to make the change. Be sure to work back through both the trigger and the action steps, filling in any parts that may have become invalidated, and retest those steps.

Changing the details of triggers and actions

Sometimes you may want to change certain details of an automation that you have created. In these cases, the best practice is to create a duplicate automation in case you need to refer back to the previous state of the automation. However, during the course of making updates, if you decide that the changes you have made should be discarded, then click Discard changes and the automation will revert back to the state it was in before you began making those changes. This is an all-or-nothing option. Individual actions or triggers cannot be reverted in a more granular way at this time.

Viewing workspace runs and limits

Consult the following support article for more information about the workspace setting page. You’ll want to look under the “Usage” section of the workspace settings page, but keep in mind that only workspace owners have access to this page.

Automation run limits reset on the first of the month. Note that there isn't a way to purchase additional automation runs other than upgrading to a higher plan level.

FAQs

What email address is used when emails are sent from Airtable automations?

Emails sent from Airtable Automations come from noreply+automations@airtableemail.com to ensure that emails aren't flagged as spam. There isn't a way to change the email sender to appear from another email address.

Who gets notified when a workspace approaches and/or reaches the monthly automation execution limit?

Workspace owners will receive an email that their workspace is approaching the limit when the threshold is 80%, 90%, and then 100% reached.

How can I change who “owns” and automation?

While an automation is ON, that automation will send an email notification whenever it fails. However, if you'd like to have someone takeover "ownership" of the automation and its failure notifications, then that collaborator will need to toggle the Automation Off then back On. Then, they will receive those failure notifications going forward.


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