Steps: The Essentials

A step is a basic element in a process that defines a task to be carried. A process can have several steps.

Add a step in a process and configure the step type, as described in the following sections.

Add a step in a process

To add a step in a process, click Add a step in the process flow and do one of the following:

  • Choose from the list of suggestions
    AppSheet Automation is an intent-aware platform. The platform understands user intent and recommends configuration options that align with what you are trying to achieve. For example, selecting the following bot suggestion would configure a step with a basic Send an email task for you:
    When a new NationalParks record is created, send an email

  • Create a custom step
    Click Create custom step, select a step type from the drop-down list, and configure the step as described in the following sections.

Supported step types

The supported step types are described in the following sections.

Run a task

The Run a task step type allows you to run a specific task, such as Send an email. For a complete list of types, see Supported task types.

In the following example, the Send welcome email step runs a task named Send an email against the data provided to the process, such as a new employee record.

Run a task and Send an email are selected for Send Welcome email step

Run a data action

The Run a data action step type allows you to perform a data change action on your app, including one of the following:

  • Add new rows: Add rows to the selected table.

  • Delete row: Delete the current row.

  • Set row values: Set values for specific columns using the Expression Assistant. To add additional columns, click Add.

  • Run actions on rows: Run the selected action on one or more rows in the selected table. Specify the rows using the Expression Assistant.

  • Grouped actions: Run a group of actions. To add actions, click Add.

Run data action selected as new step

Branch on a condition

The Branch on a condition step type allows you to implement conditional logic in your process. For example, if <condition> , then <do step>, else <do another step>. The condition value can be any valid expression.

Branch on condition selected for Is employee a manager? step. True if Role is set to Manager.

Wait

The Wait step type allows the process to pause execution and before resuming:

Note: Process execution will not resume at the exact time that time period is met. There may be a delay of up to 5 minutes. For example, if the timeout period is set to 5 minutes, process execution may not actually resume for up to 10 minutes (factoring in the potential 5 minute delay). Therefore, the Wait step does not support use cases where accurate timing is required.

Wait for a condition

Wait for a condition to evaluate to TRUE (based on a data change) or a timeout period to be reached before resuming execution.

Wait for a condition, namely approval input. If timeout period is reached, send an email and auto reject the request.

 

Add a Wait step to the process flow and configure the following settings:

Setting

Description

Wait for

Select A condition from the drop-down list.

Condition

Enter an expression that defines the condition that if TRUE enables execution to resume.

Custom timeout

Optionally, enable Custom timeout and do the following:

  • Enter an expression in the Period field that specifies the maximum amount of time to wait before resuming execution if the condition does not evaluate to TRUE. See Date and Time Expressions. The minimum period is 5 minutes and the maximum period is 30 days. Values outside of the minimum and maximum range will result in an error.

  • Optionally, add one or more steps to the Timeout branch that will run in the event that the custom timeout is reached. Use Return values as the last step to exit the process flow after the Timeout branch completes; otherwise, execution returns to the main process flow.

If Custom timeout is not enabled, the process execution will terminate after 30 days if the condition does not evaluate to TRUE.

 

Wait for a period of time

Wait for a period of time before resuming execution.

Wait for a period of time. Period is set to 2 hours.

 

Add a Wait step to the process flow and configure the following settings:

Setting

Description

Wait for

Select A period of time from the drop-down list.

Period

Enter an expression that specifies the period of time to wait before resuming execution. See Date and Time Expressions. The minimum period is 5 minutes and the maximum period is 30 days. Values outside of the minimum and maximum range will result in an error.

Call a process

 The Call a process step type allows you to invoke another process within the same application. You can pass data to the process being invoked using literal values or expressions.

Select one of the following options to process the input:

  • Add: A new row will be created using the data you supply. If another row exists with the same key, that row will be updated and used.

  • Lookup: The row will be retrieved using the key. Any additional columns will be used to update the row. (Only non-composite keys are supported.)

Call the Job Approval process and add Email and Location values to create a new field service request.

Return values

The Return values step type allows you to return specific values from within your current process. Typically its the last step in your process. The return values are accessible to the process that calls your current process via the Call a process step.

You might want to have a parent process invoke a child process, and use the return value of the child process to determine the next steps to be performed.

For example, a child process contains a Return values step that returns two values ApprovalAmount and ApprovalDecision, as shown below:

Return ApprovalAmount and ApprovalDecision values.

The parent process calls the child process using the Call a process step and references the ApprovalDecision value from the child process using the expression [Send for approval].[ApprovalDecision].

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