Automation incorrectly removing part of a record

Hi everyone! In a client’s base, they have a form where applicants essentially fill out a job application. Applicants upload their resume, and then I have an automation set up that pushes their demographic information into a “Contacts” table and the job-specific information, including their resume, into an “Applications” table. This works perfectly about 90% of the time. Seemingly randomly, some resumes aren’t appearing in the Applications table. When I look at the record history, I see this:

Why would the automation add the resume only to immediately delete it? Has anyone run into this before?

My gut says that the file isn’t fully saved at the point that the automation is trying to copy it to the [Applications] table. What it’s probably doing is trying to save it, but it’s not successful because the original file hasn’t fully posted, so it takes it back out. (You’d think that resume files would be small and quick to upload, but technology being what technology is, it doesn’t always work that cleanly.)

My suggestion: create some kind of delay so that Airtable doesn’t try to run the automation immediately. Something like this in a formula field:

DATETIME_DIFF(NOW(), CREATED_TIME(), "minutes") > 1

That will output a 1 only when at least one minute has elapsed since the record was created. In reality, it’ll most likely trigger later than that because the NOW() function output only updates every 15 minutes when the base is open, and roughly every hour when it’s closed.

At any rate, change your automation trigger to “When record matches conditions,” with the condition being that this formula field is equal to 1. That should allow more than enough time for the original file to save before it’s copied elsewhere.

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Thanks, @Justin_Barrett! This makes sense to me. I’ve implemented your suggestion and I’m having the clients keep an eye out for persisting issues.

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