Table Record Update for Calculating Formulas

Just checked out @Pete_Hartnett 's demo on the Translation function that is coming to Automations. This is a really exciting feature…

BUT I think it’s even more exciting because this will help users get more comfortable with the model of writing data to tables and letting Automations handle calculations and formulas asynchronously. Basically, users/apps will write to raw data columns, and Automations will detect changes in this data and run background logic to fill in all the calculated columns. In this case, the translated text.

This is huge because you can apply the exact same formula/calculation logic in one central location to better control data quality. Less trigger logic in apps. Less worrying about updating formulas. And it will even run if someone updates data in the admin console!

However, I do think that we will need some controls on how frequently to fire events. The current functionality only allows for firing these automations on Table Record Update. If this behavior is going to become more common, I think there is a very valid need for being able to fire Table Record Update only when specific columns change. Currently there is no way to implement this. So in this example, you would end up firing AI translation events over and over again even if you are not changing the text to be translated.


Hi @danielpomeranz,

Thanks to @Pete_Hartnett for his great demo on the translation feature.

I agree with you on controls on firing automation events - this is something the automations team will be working on - thank you for your continued feedback!



Thanks Jake. You can tell the engineers that this is just like useEffect :wink:

Without having tried it, I’m thinking this would be able to address significant digits and rounding rules automatically after writing raw measurement data to a table…thoughts?

Anything you can do with a formula can now be centralized like this.

To answer your question specifically. In the past I have used some hilarious formulas to workaround this:

  1. convert a number to text
  2. get the left N+1 digits
  3. add zeros to the right side (in the case where there are not enough digits)
  4. if the last digit is 4 or less, remove it
  5. if the last digit is 5 or greater… I forget exactly but you should be able to figure something out

Some combination of these tricks should prevent those funky rounding errors that computers suck at. Further proof that humans will always trump AI.