Record a Date not working in automation

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I have a record a date automation. That is not working and it doesn't seem to be just a delay issue. I found none had updated in days even after a refresh. Is something wrong with my automation my other record dates are working in different sheets.



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Answers

  • Garrett Henke
    Garrett Henke ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Is the Published checkbox an inbound reference?

  • Yvonne Stamm
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    It is a formula associated with a linked cell.


  • Genevieve P.
    Genevieve P. Employee Admin
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    Hi @Yvonne Stamm

    In a workflow, actions that will automatically modify the sheet (such as Record a Date) cannot be triggered by formulas that refer to another cell with an inbound cell link or cross sheet formula. See the bottom "note" in this article: Trigger Blocks: Define When Your Workflow is Executed

    What if you ran this workflow based on a Date, instead of when something changed? You could have the workflow run at the end of the day and have a condition be that the status is "Published", like so:


    Cheers,

    Genevieve

  • Yvonne Stamm
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    That is still not triggering the record a date.

  • Garrett Henke
    Garrett Henke ✭✭✭✭✭
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    @Yvonne Stamm Does your formula for the checkbox column work correctly?

  • Yvonne Stamm
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    Yes that works just fine.

  • Genevieve P.
    Genevieve P. Employee Admin
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    My apologies, I should have identified that one of your conditions also needs to be that this current column (Published Date) is blank.

    Can you post a screen capture of your updated workflow with a date as the trigger?

  • Yvonne Stamm
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    Yes I had already added that condition and it did not work.

  • Kimberly Loveless
    Kimberly Loveless ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    How is the status updated?

    Would it be possible to use that change as the trigger for the automation rather than the checkbox?

  • Genevieve P.
    Genevieve P. Employee Admin
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    Based on the screen capture it looks like the status is changed by a cell link. Cell links cannot be set as the trigger for an automation that makes changes to a sheet.

    I have to admit I'm surprised this didn't work:

    Can you change it to be Run daily instead of run once?

  • Garrett Henke
    Garrett Henke ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 06/10/21
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    A work around that I have used in the past to navigate this is to make a helper column and set that to be the value of the inbound cell reference. In your case do the following-

    • create a Status Copy column that has the formula =VALUE(Status@row)
    • set the condition for the Record A Date workflow to run off of the Status Copy column
    • set the workflow to run every day at a time of your choosing
  • Genevieve P.
    Genevieve P. Employee Admin
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    @Garrett Henke

    I haven't tested this recently, however the Help Center article on Trigger Blocks notes that this won't be a viable solution.

    These types of workflows cannot be triggered by formulas that refer to another cell with an inbound cell link or cross sheet formula. (See: Trigger Blocks: Define When Your Workflow is Executed)

  • Yvonne Stamm
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    the status copy with the formula =Value(Status@row) is giving an error

    with this being the status column

    The status column is a cell-link.

  • Jim Hook
    Jim Hook ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    Genevieve, you mentioned a couple of times that workflows cannot be triggered by an incoming link or cross sheet reference formula. I am successfully doing that but I don't fully understand how it works. In my case when a project passes the number of hours to reach an invoice point (via a cross sheet reference formula) I have the sheet send me a notification email. I use two workflows to accomplish this. The first workflow uses Record a date to write today's date into a date column in the row where the trigger occurs. Then the second workflow sends the email to me based on the fact that a cell with a formula indicates that "Yes" the invoice point has been reached. This works flawlessly without me ever opening the sheet with the workflows. I believe this is because the Smartsheet server has to open the sheet with the workflow to write the date in a cell and then save the sheet thus triggering the second workflow. My confusion comes from the fact that I never see the Record to date value appear in the date column and yet without the date-related workflow the second workflow never executes.

    I also trigger workflows from reports that write trigger values into sheets that are part of the report. This also causes Smartsheet servers to open the sheet, write the value entered into the cell from the report and saving the sheet (I never open the sheet with the workflows).

  • Genevieve P.
    Genevieve P. Employee Admin
    edited 09/03/21
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    Hi @Jim Hook

    Some workflows can be triggered by cross-sheet formulas, it depends on the type of trigger and the action block. Actions that modify a sheet (such as Move Row, Assign People, Record a Date, etc) are the ones that can't be triggered directly from a cell link or cross-sheet formula.

    This is likely why you don't see a date in the Record a Date column, but why your second workflow runs as expected (since it's a Notification action, not a sheet modification action). See: Trigger Blocks: Define When Your Workflow is Executed

    If you're seeing issues, can you post screen captures of your source sheet as well as the workflow set-up? (But please block out any sensitive data!)

    Cheers,

    Genevieve