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Restrict automation to only once per record, no matter how many subsequent data changes?

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hauwi
6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

Hi. Still learning here! This support is invaluable, thank you. 🙏

I have an automation that sends an email with when 3 specified fields are 'not empty'. The email contains an invoice as an attachment. I want to make absolutely sure that the automation will never run again on that record under any circumstances, - even if I accidentally change a field and the record records a new modified date/time.

Is this possible please?

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Accepted Solutions
Ben_Young1
11 - Venus
11 - Venus

Hey @hauwi

While it's not a built-in feature, there are a few ways to approach this problem.
The most straightforward way is to create a new field that you can use to represent the state change. A checkbox is an easy pick, but you could use other field types depending on your required level of complexity.

Change the permissions on that checkbox field to restrict anyone from editing the value of the field. You will, however, want to leave the option enabled for automations to edit the field value.

Now, head into the automation workflow in question. Here, you'll need to do two things.
First, add a new condition to your trigger that specifies that the trigger should not continue if that newly created field returns true.
Lastly, in your Update record action, have the automation set the value of the checkbox field to true.

Now, I can foresee a world in which you might want to manually retrigger an automation flow for a record. If that's something that's applicable to your use case, you can update the field permissions to only allow specific users to edit the values of your checkbox field.

See Solution in Thread

3 Replies 3
Ben_Young1
11 - Venus
11 - Venus

Hey @hauwi

While it's not a built-in feature, there are a few ways to approach this problem.
The most straightforward way is to create a new field that you can use to represent the state change. A checkbox is an easy pick, but you could use other field types depending on your required level of complexity.

Change the permissions on that checkbox field to restrict anyone from editing the value of the field. You will, however, want to leave the option enabled for automations to edit the field value.

Now, head into the automation workflow in question. Here, you'll need to do two things.
First, add a new condition to your trigger that specifies that the trigger should not continue if that newly created field returns true.
Lastly, in your Update record action, have the automation set the value of the checkbox field to true.

Now, I can foresee a world in which you might want to manually retrigger an automation flow for a record. If that's something that's applicable to your use case, you can update the field permissions to only allow specific users to edit the values of your checkbox field.

henrypieterson
5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

If you want to restrict automation to trigger only once per record, regardless of subsequent data changes, you'll need to implement a mechanism to keep track of whether the record has already been processed. Here are some general steps you can take, depending on the tools or platforms you are using:

  1. Use a Field to Track Processing:

    • In your data source (e.g., Google Sheets, database), add a field specifically for tracking whether a record has been processed. This could be a simple boolean field (True/False) named something like "Processed."
  2. Update Field on Initial Trigger:

    • When your automation initially triggers and processes a record, update the "Processed" field for that record to indicate that it has been processed.
  3. Set Conditions in Automation Platform:

    • In your automation platform (e.g., Zapier), set conditions to check whether the "Processed" field is already marked as "True" for a given record. If it is, the automation should skip processing for that record.
hauwi
6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

Thanks so much to both of you. That works perfectly. 😁