You can learn more about sending email, using templates, and using expressions with workflow in the Workflow: Sending Email section.

The most common support questions for workflow rules are:

  1. Why isn't my workflow rule working?
  2. Why didn't the email arrive?
  3. Why isn't the email attachment formatted correctly?
  4. Why are the attachment images too large or too small?

Why isn't the "Test" button working?

If clicking the "Test" button on the Behavior > Workflow pane does invoke your workflow rule for testing, make certain that your browser is not blocking pop windows. 

For the Google Chrome browser:

  1. Click the Customize and control Google Chrome button on the top right of the browser's toolbar.
  2. Select Settings from the dropdown.
  3. Expand Advanced settings at the bottom of the page
  4. Under Privacy and security, click the arrow following Content settings.
  5. Click the arrow following Pop-ups and redirects.  
  6. Add

Why isn't my workflow rule working?

Use Audit History to troubleshoot workflow problems. 

Do this as follows:

  1. Open your application in the AppSheet Editor.
  2. Go to the Manage>Monitor tab and click "Audit History". Then click "Get audit history records".
  3. Look for audit records with an "Action" value of "Change workflow rule" or "Scheduled report".
  4. You may need to wait for up to five minutes for the audit record to appear. We group audit records and periodically write the grouped audit records to reduce overhead. This can result in a delay before an audit record appears in the audit history. You may need to wait a short while and then click "Get audit history records" again to see the audit record.
  5. Click the "Details" icon to see the outcome of the workflow rule.
  6. If the workflow rule did not fire, the Details give the reason for this.
  7. If you see "Result": "Success" at the end of the audit record, then AppSheet successfully fired the action in the workflow rule.

Emails are Only Sent to App Creator

While the app is in test mode (i.e. it has not passed a Deployment Check), any emails sent from workflow actions will go only to the app creator. This ensures that you do not inadvertently send email messages, send SMS messages, send notifications, or post HTTP messages while debugging your workflow rules.

Why didn't the Email arrive?

Firing the action (usually sending an email message) from the AppSheet server does not mean that the action was successfully completed (the email message was received by the recipient). Since email is the most commonly used action in a workflow rule, here are the steps to follow if the email was sent but was not received by the recipient.

  1. It may have been blocked by an email filter. Check the "spam" email folder to see if the email was redirected there.
  2. It may have been blocked by the email service because the attachment was too large.


Why isn't the email attachment formatted correctly?

In your workflow rules, you can define parameterized Google Doc document templates that will be instantiated, converted to PDF files, and sent as attachments with the workflow email. Occasionally, these attachments are not formatted identically to the original document template. To troubleshoot such problems, it is important to understand the three steps followed by AppSheet in processing these attachments:

  1. Export Google Doc to HTML
  2. Modify HTML to replace placeholders with values
  3. Convert HTML to PDF

Inconsistencies in format could be introduced at step 1 or step 3 because neither maintains complete fidelity in the document format. Most commonly, the problems are at Step 1 and can be fixed by you. The trouble-shooting steps to follow are:

  1. Try to export the Google Doc straight to PDF and check that it does it correctly. If not, try tweaking the formatting options in the Doc until it exports to PDF the way you want.
  2. If it exports correctly to PDF, then export to HTML and open that in a browser. Check if the format is right, and tweak the formatting options to ensure that it exports with the right format.


Why are the attachment images too large or too small?

You can control the size of images shown in the workflow email body or attachments. By default, columns/expressions of type Image are shown larger than columns/expressions of type Thumbnails. You can specify a Format Rule (in the UX>Format Rules section of the app editor) to further control the size of images in your workflow email content. In the format rule, you get to choose the table, one or more columns, an optional condition, and the image size (Tiny, Small, Medium, Large).

Why is the parent record displayed but the child records are missing?

Currently, when you add a parent record along with one or more children records, we first add the parent record, and we then add each of the child records. If your workflow rule is triggered when the parent record is added, the workflow rule will not display the child records because they have not yet been added when the workflow rule runs.

Topic "Sending Email After Adding a Parent Record and All of Its Children" in this article explains how to deal with this.

Why is the error "Request cancelled: took too long to process" occurring?

AppSheet has a mechanism to prevent runaway applications from consuming too much time and impeding other applications that are running at the same time. 

When we begin an Add, Update, or Delete request, we start a timer that runs for 2 minutes. We expect the request to finish within that 2 minute time limit. This includes the time to perform the Add, Update, of Delete as well as the time to perform any workflow rule triggered by that Add, Update, or Delete. 

We check the time limit when:

  1. Computing Virtual Columns
  2. Applying Security Filters
    This can occur when we are evaluating an expression that requires reading a table and applying a Security Filter to it.
  3. Fetching Values from a Table
    This can occur when you have Virtual Columns that contain expressions that refer to other tables. We must read those tables, apply the Security Filters for those tables, and compute the Virtual Column values for those tables.

You may exceed these time limits if:

  1. You have lots of Virtual Columns having AppFormulas that are expensive to evaluate.
  2. You have Virtual Columns having AppFormulas that require reading other tables. When evaluating these AppFormulas, we must read those other tables, apply Security Filters for those tables, and compute the value of the Virtual Columns for those tables.
  3. You have workflow rules that are expensive to perform. Workflow rules having complex Body or Attachment templates can be expensive. They may include Start expressions that require reading other tables, applying Security Filters for those tables, and computing the values of the Virtual Columns for those tables. 
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