Should an automation stop in condition not met?

Hi! Having some issues with an automation.

In summary:

2 tables:

  • Customer ‘Orders’ table
  • Customer ‘Leads’ table

Automation:

  • Step 1 (Trigger) : New record is added to Orders.
  • Step 2 (Action): Find record in ‘Leads’ that has a matching email address (as the record in Step 1).
  • Step 3 (Update): In ‘Leads’, update a field in the record found in Step 2.

Outcome:
When a matching email address is found, everything works as expected :slight_smile:

However, when there is no match found:

  • Step 2 reports ‘Step Successful’, but returns 0 records found (this is as I would expect)
  • Step 3 throws a ‘Received invalid inputs’ error.

I would expect Step 3 to not run at all, if Step 2 doesn’t find any matching records.

So I guess the question is, is there conditional logic built into automations that does something like the following:

  • If Step 2 finds record, go to step 3
  • If Step 2 doesn’t find record, stop.

Any help appreciated!

Welcome to the community, @Owen_Smith.

Unfortunately, what you have discovered is the way that Airtable has currently setup their automations.

It’s very disappointing, isn’t it? Finding zero records isn’t an error, but Airtable treats it as an error and then sends you an email to let you know that an error occurred.

Furthermore, Airtable Automations have absolutely no conditional logic capabilities at the current time, so you can’t workaround this issue — unless you custom-write your own JavaScript script.

Even worse, the “Find Records” action step doesn’t work as you would expect, either. It only works as expected if it finds ONE RECORD ONLY.

If it finds multiple records, Airtable doesn’t loop through those records to perform an action on each one of those records. If it finds multiple records, Airtable will ALSO return an error message to you! (Except under very unique circumstances, such as sending a group email or updating a linked record field.) Again, you can workaround this limitation with your own custom Javascript.

All of this is to say that Automations are pretty weak at this point.

You can workaround most of the weaknesses by writing your own custom JavaScript code, but if you don’t want to dive into JavaScript code, you can use a no-code/low-code automation platform like Integromat to handle all of your automations for you. Integromat is a very easy point-and-click environment, and it’s free for the first 1,000 automations per month.

(Note that I am a professional Airtable consultant and a Registered Integromat Partner, and the Integromat link contains my personal referral code.)

Thanks for the detailed reply @ScottWorld, really helpful!

I was worried that would be the answer :frowning:

I was excited when Automations was released, we use Zapier a lot (rather than Integromat) so was hoping I could migrate some automations from there into Airtable.

However this won’t possible, at least until some conditional logic and the other issues you explain so well are addressed.

@Owen_Smith Oh, one other thing: Please be sure to email support@airtable.com about all of this missing/broken functionality in Automations, so they know that it’s important to you that these things be fixed. They don’t spend much time on these forums, and it’s important that they hear from people about this.

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