⚡ Updated Row Trigger & Insert Multiple Rows Action for Google Sheets

Hello Activepiecers :wave:,

We’re thrilled to announce exciting new functionality for the Google Sheets piece. Introducing the New or Updated Row Trigger and the Insert Multiple Rows Action .

  1. New Or Updated Row Trigger (Instant):

Now, capturing changes to existing cell values became easy with this instant trigger. You can use it to capture new rows also.

Although the trigger is instant, there might be occasional delays of up to three minutes for Google to send the actual event.

  1. Insert Multiple Rows Action:

With our new action, you can now insert multiple rows simultaneously in Google Sheets. Simply map multiple rows by clicking Add Item in the Action menu. Ensure you have headers in the first row.

Happy Automating!

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If the updated row trigger works as intended, you guys are insane (in a good way) - thanks a ton! :muscle::raised_hands:

Especially @kishanprmr :facepunch:

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@kishanprmr even better would be if we could choose to watch a specific column for an edit, instead of every change in a row. Yes I could add a filter, but the flow would still trigger on each change. For example, if I have a “Stage” column for a prospect and only want the flow to trigger when the Stage is changed.

4 Likes

Great to see this could be implemented so quickly!
I finally got a chance to try it today, but unfortunately it seems like the current implementation suffers from similar usability and fragility concerns as the “New Row” trigger.

  1. As @S_M said, we need the ability to limit the trigger to a subset of columns. Changing a “Notes” column after “Approved” has already been checked will re-fire the flow.

  2. Sometimes I get spreadsheets with multiple tables/lists on a single sheet, so I’d love to be able to scope the trigger to a (named) range instead of a whole sheet. This applies to the “New Row” trigger and some of the actions too.

  3. There’s no way to get the “old value” of a row, so it’s not clear what has actually changed. This is probably a little tricky to implement, but it’s essential for a lot of workflows.
    For example, one of my sheets has multiple checkbox columns. The actions to run depend on which one was (newly) ticked. In particular, if the flow is triggered by an update to column D, I need to know if checkbox B was already ticked before, to avoid re-running actions.

  4. I’ve noticed some flakiness around duplicate rows, but I can’t seem to reproduce it reliably… Usually the flow runs for every new/updated row, but sometimes it seems to miss a couple.

  5. Reordering rows re-triggers the flow for those rows. From a programmer’s perspective I understand that swapping two rows means both of them were updated, but for a (non-technical) user this is fragile.

  6. In line with #5, inserting a row anywhere but the end will re-trigger the flow for all rows below it. Again, I understand how this happens, but it’s fragile. For example, I can’t add rows at the top for extra information and explanation for my non-technical colleagues.

  7. There’s no warning about the delay from Google Drive, like for the “New Row” trigger.

The combination of these things, in particular #1, #3 and #6, unfortunately makes this trigger not yet usable for me. While I absolutely see how these bugs came about, I have to say I’m surprised they managed to slip into production. I’ve discussed possible implementations and potential issues for this trigger at length with someone from the team on Discord, but this seems to not have been taken into account.

However, given the speed at which you guys have been polishing lately I’m looking forward to the next iteration!

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I can’t seem to get it to recognize any changes/trigger.

I managed to work around #1 by creating a secondary sheet that QUERYs only the immutable columns.
This approach only works if you don’t need any mutable values in the rest of the flow, usually I’m not so lucky :smiling_face_with_tear:

In theory you could bring in the mutable values with “Find Row” on the primary sheet, but then you’d effectively need to manually implement the “identity key” mechanism I’ve been discussing with @abuaboud.
However, because these pieces work with row numbers this’d leave the door wide open to lots of fun race condition shenanigans.

Hi @here,

Two improvements were pushed by @kishanprmr: watching out for certain columns and adding a note about a 3-minute delay.

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