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Simple Solutions: Top 5 Simple Pipeline Hacks for Quickbase

advanced intermediate jinja pipelines simple solutions Apr 26, 2022

I've been working with Pipelines for a while now and by necessity, or by accident, I've come across a number of hacks that have saved me time and/or have increased the pipeline's functionality.

Here are my Top 5 Simple Pipeline Hacks!

 #1 Copy/Paste Fields

When specifying fields for use in steps, after adding your fields you can click on the pencil icon to the right of the field to reveal a comma-separated list of field ids.

You can easily copy this list and paste it into a similar "select fields to specify values" box when repeating a similar step or when making a similar pipeline.

To paste the list of values, you'll first need to click on the pencil icon. When you click off of the box the field names should appear. However, sometimes I've noticed the names do not immediately appear, but the fields below them do.




 #2 Access Previous 'Old' Values

In automations, webhooks, and notifications it's possible to access the 'old' version of a field. The old version is the value of the field prior to the most recent save.

This makes it possible to capture from/to field changes.

This is also an option in Pipelines, though it isn't obvious and the syntax is different.

Wherever you are populating a value such as {{a.status}}, you can add "$prev." before the field name, like this: {{a.$prev.status}}.

For example, you may want to add a note showing the from/to status change:

The status changed from "{{a.$prev.status}}" to "{{a.status}}".


 #3 'Revert' to Prior Version

If you make an accidental change to a Pipeline that previously ran prior to the change, you can "revert" back to that saved version of the pipeline.

  1. Open the Activity for that Pipeline for the last time it ran with the configuration you want to revert to.
  2. On the right side, look for the link to "View Pipeline Summary"
  3. Copy the YAML displayed on the screen
  4. Return to the Pipeline Dashboard
  5. Click on the down arrow next to "Create Pipeline" and select "Import Pipeline"
  6. Paste the copied YMAL into the bottom box
  7. Click "Import Pipeline"
  8. Verify it looks good, then delete the "old" Pipeline


 #4 Is Empty Condition

What happens if your Search/Query step comes up empty?

When a search is empty you may want to take specific actions such as sending an email or creating a new record.

But how?

Using a condition, that's how!

  1. After the Search's "For Each - Do" loop  (and not inside of it), click on "Insert a condition"
  2. Click on "Add conditions" and select the search step from the dropdown
  3. Select "is empty" (it will default to this initially)
  4. Add additional steps below the condition based on what should happen if the search comes up empty


 #5 Use Jinja

Jinja, Jinja, Jinja... I can't say enough about how important it is to know some Jinja.

Jinja is the programming language that we can use in Pipelines to do all sorts of cool things!

Here are a few examples:

Add two values together

{{a.value_1 + a.value_2}}

Clear/remove/delete a value
Must use all caps


Clear/remove/delete a value when the field populating it is null/empty, otherwise enter the value
Strangely if the value of the field is null, the pipeline will not overwrite the existing value with 'null' unless it is specified like this.

{{CLEAR if a.status is none else a.status}}

Reverse a checkbox (from checked to unchecked or from unchecked to checked)

{{not a.checkbox}}

Count the number of items found in a search/query (where the search step is A)
Note, this is used after the search and outside of the "For Each - Do" loop


EXTRA Tip: If you need to enter Jinja in a multiple-choice field, click on the pencil icon first to write or paste in a value.


I highly encourage you to start a log of all the Jinja you use and find useful. I have one myself that I refer to often.

For access to my library of 50+ Jinja functions and video guides on using Jinja, check out the Intro to Jinja for Pipelines course.

I hope you've enjoyed these 5 simple pipeline hacks! 




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