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Trigger automations when focus is lost rather than on every keystroke

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5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast
Status: New Ideas
What is the proposed idea/solution?

...include an option for automation on field updates to not trigger on each keystroke (i.e. to trigger when focus is lost on the watched field or some other solution)

How does is solve the user problems?

...triggering automations on each keystroke causes several problems, especially with two-way sync either within Airtable or with external sources (discussed here:

How was this validated?

...I have a base that this is causing issues for

Who is the target audience?

...anyone who has automations in bases that are enabled with two-way sync

5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

The problems are similar as with the regular interface. After a second or two the field gets saved... and any automation attached will run.

In the interface I have mitigated this by creating a separate field and a button that runs the automation.

Long text "Log" field contains certain timestamped record updates done by users or automations. When a user wants to log a note to the Log field they have a "Add note" field. 
Problematic version: Automation runs when field "Add note" is not empty. A note is logged for each keystroke done within 1-2 seconds.
Working version: The automation runs ons a button pressed event. The user can enter a note without things happening. As soon as the button is pressed, the automation runs, (copies the "Add note" with timestamp and the old "Log" field contents in the "Log" field and empties the "Add note" field). However, it does take a few seconds before the note is processed.

P.S. You can only attach 1 button to a button triggered automation. If you want to repeat this process within other pages in your interface without hitting your automations limit, go this route:
- create an extra checkbox field called "process note"
- trigger the automation based on if record matches condition (check is active for "process note")
- For each button in your interface, have it update the record and check the "process note" field.
- The automation should not only clear the "Add note" field but also the trigger checkmark.

And of course, this work with any type of automation/calculation scenarios which are affected by this issue.

5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Thanks, Arnoud.

Your workaround is great for when you have an interface and when the user is motivated to press the button, but not all automations work that way. Many automations work behind the scenes without the user knowing what's happening. Relying on them to press a button doesn't work in those cases.