IN THIS ARTICLEOverview
Testing automation steps
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Automations allow you to configure custom trigger-action workflows directly within your Airtable base. This will allow you and your team to save time by automating repetitive tasks, increasing communication efficiency, and reducing the overall margin of error.
Automations are scoped to individual bases and can be found next to the Share button in a base on desktop/browser versions of Airtable. Automations on our iOS and Android apps are unavailable at this time.
Automations can only be created/edited by individuals with Owner or Creator permissions. Collaborators with Editor level permissions and below will be able to view but not edit Automations.
An automation consists of a trigger followed by one or more actions.
A trigger is a specified event that initiates the automation. Available triggers include:
- When a record enters a view (Note: records that leave and re-enter a view will trigger again)
- When a record is created
- When a record is updated
- When a record matches a condition
- At a scheduled time automation trigger
- New row trigger for Google Sheets
- New response trigger for Google Forms
- Event triggers for Google Calendar
- Outlook automation triggers
- Incoming webhooks trigger
NOTEExisting records in your base will not trigger a newly created automation. Only after you've turned your automation on, will any record that meets the new trigger condition cause the automation to run. For making big updates to multiple existing records in your base we recommend checking out the Batch update app.
An action is a step that performs a task such as sending an email. When the trigger fires and the subsequent actions are complete, the automation is said to be executed.
There are many actions currently available:
- Send an email
- Create record
- Update record
- Find records
- Send a Slack message
- Send a Microsoft Teams message
- Outlook actions
- Run a script (*Only available on the Pro and Enterprise plans)
- G Suite actions (Send email from Gmail account, Create new row in Google Sheet, Create a response to a Google Form, and Create a Google Calendar event)
- Create issue in Jira Cloud
- Create post action for Facebook Pages
- Create Twitter tweet
- Hootsuite: Schedule post
- Salesforce: Create a new record
Testing automation steps
Each step of an automation must test successfully before an automation can be turned on. In the trigger step of an automation, a test record can be chosen for use throughout the rest of the automation configuration process. Once you've set the configuration options, click the "Choose record for testing" button. This will open up a pop-over of any records that match the configuration of your trigger configuration. You'll be able to search for or scroll to a record and select whichever one you'd like to use as the test record.
This is helpful, because if something does not go as planned later in the automation configuration process, then you can adjust data in the test record that you have chosen. You can also go back to the trigger configuration and choose a different test record. Always remember to retest any previously tested steps in your automation to ensure that the most recent version of your base has been captured.
NOTEChoosing test records is not available for any action steps in Automations. However, retesting and choosing a new test record in the trigger step will typically cause a different test record to appear in later action steps. More on test records in this article.
This feature also works with Google workspace triggers, with the Google Forms trigger being one exception. For example, if you are using the "Google Calendar: When event created" trigger, you'll be able to select an upcoming event or an event that's occurred within the past 3 months to use as a test event.
Tips to ensure proper setup
- A status field changed to 'Ready to send email' or other appropriate phrase for the particular action.
- A 'Created On' field using the created time field type. Set the view filtering conditions to only include records before today. This will create a delay on when records are sent.
- Use a form. By only using a form to create new records, all fields are added simultaneously upon submission. Ideal for automations that trigger when a record is created.
- For a simple way to mark a record as complete, add a checkbox field.
NOTEThe individual user that toggles the Automation "On" is the user who will receive failed automation run notifications.
If you’d like, you can add up to 50 automations to a base. Additionally, you can create up to 25 actions in one automation.
TIPAdding up to 25 actions in one automation may help if you find yourself getting close to the total limit of 50 automations.
Where applicable, an action can use outputs from previous actions in the same automation.
|Workspace Plan||Automation runs (per month, per workspace)||Automation run history||Notes|
|Plus||5,000||6 months||“Send email” action can only email collaborators on the base, not arbitrary email addresses|
|Free||100||2 weeks||“Run a script” action is unavailable|
NOTEAutomation run limits are reset on the first day of each month.
Our system counts an automation “run” each time a trigger is invoked. This means that both failed and successful automation attempts will count against a workspace’s monthly run allowance.
Starting on January 25th 2022, Airtable made a change to URL formatting in Automation triggers and actions. Now, the base ID (appXXXXXXXXXXXXXX) will appear at the start of the URL path. This change coincides with the recent change to include base IDs in Airtable URLs throughout the rest of product. The change in record URL format will occur in these places:
- The url property of a record output by a trigger/action.
- The url property of a Table or View model retrieved by the Run Script action.
This may be a breaking change if your automation makes hard assumptions about the format of a URL property (e.g. by deconstructing the returned URL into its component parts or similar). No action should be needed if your automation only uses the URL for navigational purposes. Browser navigation will continue to work for the old-style Airtable URLs via redirects, although these redirects may not be supported indefinitely in the future. If your automation constructs Airtable URLs from scratch, we recommend updating the construction logic to also include the base ID.