Tip for Triggering Automated Workflows Without Having to Open the Sheet

Jim Hook
Jim Hook ✭✭✭✭✭✭

I'm rewriting my seven year old Smartsheet app to make it easier for myself, and others, to administrate it. Weekly, monthly and when special events occur, I need to trigger automated workflows on multiple sheets that copy rows to archive sheets. Since it was inconvenient to have to open each sheet that needed to have rows archived to trigger the automated workflows, I went looking for another way. While it is impossible to trigger a workflow from another sheet via a incoming link or cross sheet reference formula, I discovered that I can trigger workflows on multiple sheets from reports simply by changing the value in cells in the report that will be saved to the trigger cell in the other sheets and saving the report. Apparently when the Smartsheet servers automatically open those other sheets to update them it will also trigger the workflows. My sheets with automated workflows tend to be quite large (30 - 40 columns with over 1000 rows) with many complex formulas, I didn't want to have others accessing them just to trigger workflows.

I couldn't find any reference to this approach to triggering workflows in the Smartsheet learning center so I thought it was worth mentioning here.