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Richard CrumJul 1, 2021 2:38:00 PM4 min read

Converting Your Quickbase Actions and Automations to Pipelines


If you’ve set up any of your essential workflows in Quickbase, it’s likely that you’ve used automations or actions to streamline your processes. These features allow you to reduce repetitive tasks and the number of clicks needed to transfer data from one system to another. Moving forward, however, Quickbase is consolidating action and automation features into their pipeline function.

quickbase pipeline interface

The good news is that pipelines are a similar means to fully integrate your data and automate key elements of your business processes. With Quickbase pipelines, you can connect your SaaS tools (such as GMail, Slack, or OneDrive), and streamline how data moves between interfaces. For example, using a pipeline to connect Quickbase with your Salesforce account will make adding or updating contacts synchronous across both databases.

Quickbase pipelines do serve a similar purpose to actions and automations, however, it’s important to understand that they don’t operate in exactly the same manner. Quickbase actions and automations will be phased out over the next 18 months, and after January 2023 they will no longer be supported. It’s important to start planning now to ensure a smooth transition to the pipeline function.

Plan Ahead to Make Converting to Pipelines Easier

Many Quickbase users have actions and automations so embedded in their workflows and integrations that it could be significantly problematic to push things too close to the deadline. Getting a head start on converting your Quickbase actions and automations to pipelines is the only way to make sure your systems are fully operational when the old functions are phased out. 

Most likely, actions and automations are an important part of your system’s applications, and converting them to pipelines is a process that needs to be planned for. Because pipelines do offer similar functionality, the conversion might be a relatively simple one. However, it might not. You won’t know until you look into how embedded your actions and automations are and how they’re connecting your various tools.

Primary Use Cases for Pipelines

For those of you that haven’t used Quickbase pipelines before, there are two primary use cases. Pipelines can be used to do automatic “actions,” and specify how data flows to complete various processes. In other words, pipelines are a way to create workflow automation within Quickbase. Working with pipelines, you can choose times and frequency for actions to occur. You can include conditions, such as if-then statements and stop blocks, and control how your workflows operate within Quickbase itself.

The second main use case for Quickbase pipelines is to integrate other software without the use of a heavy amount of code work. Using pipelines, you can create workflows across multiple pieces of software. This allows for triggers in external software to connect with and automate “actions” within your Quickbase application. These triggers might be things like external webhooks, data changes within the external software (called “channels” in pipeline terminology) or you can connect triggers from other pipelines.

Questions to Consider for Converting to Pipelines

Pipelines can be more powerful than Quickbase actions and automations, which is excellent from a workflow functionality perspective. However, sometimes that means more options and complexity. Converting your actions and automations to pipelines will ultimately provide your system with greater opportunities for integration. The process may take some time, however, and should be carefully thought through before the old operations are phased out.

What's the difference between automations and pipelines? 

The primary difference between Quickbase automations and pipelines is that pipelines allow you to integrate with external systems. Automations, in contrast, only function within your Quickbase application. Pipelines allow you to work outside of Quickbase and maintain full integration of your data across all your existing cloud-based software tools. This powerful functionality means that pipelines are coded differently and can be more complex to implement.

Will converting automations to pipelines be a 1:1 switch?

Switching your actions and automations over to pipelines might be a straightforward process, but it also might not be. Because pipelines are an exceptionally robust tool, they offer more options and settings to work through. Consequently, it may take longer to set up a pipeline because there’s a longer learning curve.

Can I convert automations to pipelines myself?

There is and will be plenty of material online to help you plan your pipeline and convert your existing actions and automations. If you learned to set up your Quickbase system, then you can learn to work with pipelines, too. However, if you don’t have the technology capabilities on your team, you may want to consider reaching out to VeilSun’s Quickbase consultants to help with the transition.

How should I roll out the new pipelines?

One of the most important factors to consider when converting your actions and automations to pipelines is the timing. You have to think through how to turn off one without disrupting the functionality of the other. To be frank, the roll out strategy will likely be the most complicated part of the conversion process.

Most users have hundreds if not thousands of actions and automations folded into their application’s workflows. Consequently, the roll out will entail not only a technical investment but also a fair bit of time to process your conversions. Hiring VeilSun’s Quickbase consultants to process the updates for you will save you a tremendous amount of time and headache.

We’ll be providing more information through this process, so stay tuned for further details. You can also reach out for help determining the impact of this change on your Quickbase applications. As the 2018 Quickbase Partner of the Year, 2019 Quickbase People's Choice Solution Provider, and a Quickbase Solution Gold Partner, we’re dedicated to finding the solution that is right for your business.

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