Zapier integration - make triggers Instant


#1

Hi

I am finding I am using Zapier to automate stuff in a client project and it would be much more useful if the integration were of the Instant type (as some other database products have with Zapier).

Example use cases

  1. I have an app where a user can add an article to a table and the app needs to then work out which clients are due to receive that article based upon some logic (Javascript largely) in a Zap.
  2. I specialise in HR software generally - in a leave app you need to be able to create records for each day of a leave (so that you can properly analyse it). This involves comparing the date for each day with the employee’s working pattern and also a list of public holidays to determine which ones are actually leave days. This should happen immediately when the ‘parent’ record is created.

I believe that this would greatly increase the flexibility of the product.


#2

This would help me a lot.

One clunky workaround is to use slack as the in-between. Airtable has an instant push directly to slack, and slack has an instant push to Zapier.


#3

Thinking about this some more, another issue is the whole thing of Zapier only running normal Zaps once for each triggering record. Instant Zaps (which use Webhooks I believe) would be great for things like this because they don’t de-duplicate as far as I understand.

There are loads of use cases I can think of where de-duplication is a problem - and that you need processes (zaps) to happen instantly…

In the Absence management example above, for example, a user may change a date and you would want the process to run again - and every time the data is changed. At the moment this is not possible with Airtable / Zapier.

With a more positive hat on though the Airtable / Zapier implementation is otherwise excellent (the Find / create feature for example).


#4

I agree, this would be very useful.


#5

It would be nice to have a comment from Airtable about this - the combination of Instant Zaps and Airtable would be a game changer. Zapier really could be the Automation tool which Airtable needs quite badly.


#6

Any update or comment on this - it would be a real game changer for Airtable in terms of Automation?


#7

Does Zapier have such a thing at all? AFAIK the basic Zaps run every 15 minutes and even the most expensive service runs @ 5 minutes…


#8

Hi Tuur

It does - the Knack database and Podio both have instant Zaps available. The additional good thing about them is that they don’t ‘deduplicate’ - with a lot of Zaps you would want to do on Airtable they need to be able to run every time a record changes for example - and this won’t happen if that app has run for that record before.

With instant zaps this isn’t the case - the trigger could be a field change, for example, ant it would always run.

I see this as a real game changer for Airtable (which already has a good Zapier integration) in that you could use Zapier to automate almost anything within a base - such as running some calculations when a field changes and updating something.


#9

Hi @Julian_Kirkness,

Sure! I agree. Didn’t know they were using webhooks.

Are those by any chance also what Zapier calls ‘Premium’ apps?


#10

Hi @Tuur,

No - Premium apps are things like SQL Server.

However, to do anything very useful you need to have at least the Basic paid plan because this allows you to write Multi Step Zaps and these can include Code in Javascript or Python (within ‘Code’ Zap steps) which makes them pretty powerful.

As an example, I created one for a client who provides articles for customers based upon categories - customers subscribe to categories of articles and articles have one or more categories. When a new article is created a Zap finds all customers with the category and creates a Client - Publishing record for each client who has the category in another table. This is done using a combination of Lookup fields and views and uses Javascript to loop through each customer/category/article as required and then creates new records (unless they already exist).

This also relies upon a feature of a Zap in that if a step returns an Array of Objects then the subsequent steps will run for each object in the array - quite neat and not too difficult for even me (who’s never used Javascript before).

If you then make it possible for Airtable to trigger Zaps instantly based upon field changes etc this would be amazing and totally transform the products capability.


#11

Cheers @Julian_Kirkness!

Sounds a lot like my project… :slight_smile:


#12

What’s the latest on that?


#13

Going strong. A couple of companies are live now. I’ll get back to you!


#14

Is Slack still the only integration that has an instant trigger for trello?

I have a problem running a trigger in Trello to send new comments to Airtable. Because the zap doesn’t seem to trigger instantly it is only being triggered on the most recent comment and is skipping comments in between each time zapier runs.


#15

Any updates on this? This feature would really be a game-changer for boosting Airtable’s credentials as a powerful productivity tool


#16

Hopefully, Airtable won’t make us find workarounds when they could easily make our lives easier :thinking:


#17

+1 please add webhooks or make zaps instant similar to how slack does it


#18

+1 for instant zaps, not workarounds!


#19

I’ve been thinking about this some more in relation to Airtable’s paradigm of updating fields as you enter them (as opposed to other databases which normally submit entire new records or record updates at once).

The problem here is that you may not have all the data you need for the Zap entered when the Zap triggers and this can cause significant problems with your logic (and unexpected/incorrect behaviour). For instant Zaps, in particular, there would need to be some notion of your interaction with a record as a whole being complete (or have them triggered by specific field changes).

I think this is probably an issue with Zapier integration with Airtable as it is now - if your timing is unlucky. You could have a Zap run when you’ve just started entering a record - this would have incomplete data and may not do what you need it to do - and of course it won’t run again for that record.

You can get around this if you use Integromat instead of Zapier in that you can set up Scenarios which find records based on search criteria and perform actions on them. You aren’t then limited to running the process only once per record.


#20

Yeah, the problem is more or less the same with every solution since Airtable does not support real transactions (or post-leave / post-edit triggers). Without a mechanism like that you can never be sure when a user is ready with updating a record.

I’ve been creating workarounds by reloading the record after e.g. 30 seconds to check if it has been changed again.

Is this possible with Integromat?