Viewing variables

Apologies if this has already been posted elsewhere.

80% of the time when I am viewing the variables list, it’s to see where a specific variable is used, often so I can target those triggers and remove all references to it so it can be deleted (usually because a connector function has been duplicated and updated and the old output variable is now obsolete). The current view makes this a little tricky if trigger names are long. What ends up happening is the scrollbar gets super tiny and makes it hard to zero in on a variable. Sure I can use the filter (or CTRL F), but I don’t always remember exactly what I’ve called the variable I’m looking for so I have to end up scrolling anyway - or maybe I’m just lazy and don’t want to type.

It would be cool if the trigger names took up fewer lines, either by truncating names or allowing resizing of the column. Or just making the default column a bit wider. Maybe no one else has this problem but figured I’d at least bring it up.


Hey Bryan, this is a great suggestion, I have definitely run into this while helping people debug their apps.

I have a few thoughts:

  1. What if we just improved the connector function behavior so that a version of the connector function was saved with every published app? That way, you could make changes to the connector function without needing to duplicate it every time. Would that solve this, or does it still happen in other cases?
  2. Right now in the App Builder, there is no easy way to see which connector functions are tied to which variables- you have to look at individual triggers to see that. I am wondering- would it be better to just have another column in that view called “Connector Functions Referenced” where you could see all the variables that are tied to a specific connector function in that app? Since you don’t remember the names, therefore the connector function name is probably the easiest thing to search on.
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Can’t say I’ve run in to #1 as an issue yet, though I could see it being beneficial especially as functions start getting used across more and more apps. My biggest issue is just development, before the app has even hit the floor. In the app I’m working on, I haven’t even published it yet, but I’ve written a connector function that now needs a new output because we changed a table, so my process is to:

  • Add something like “OLD” or “REPLACE” on the end of the connector function’s name (because 95% of the time it’s not used anywhere else yet aside from the one app I’m working on - this will be less and less true as time goes on)
  • Do the same for the object array variable
  • Do a screen grab of the list of triggers where the obsolete variable is used
  • Hunt the triggers down and modify to point at the new connector function / object array

What would be SUPER cool is if I could just say “Replace this connector function with that one” but I realize that’s probably a lot trickier, if not impossible, to implement.

And #2 would be yuuuuuge, that’s one of my biggest complaints with connector functions is not being able to see where they are actually used. I am trying to delete old functions as I go to keep the list clean, but it’s hard to do without knowing if a function is used in multiple locations. Being able to see this from the list of connector functions would be great too (i.e: which apps/steps a function is used in).

Yep totally agreed. We need to have that as part of the “Connector Details” view within the Connectors UI- next to every connector function within a given connector, we need to be able to show which apps reference it.

We are also considering changing the behavior of connector functions so that if you just need to add a single output, you can use the same connector function in apps and not need to totally duplicate it.

This can be achieved by “versioning” the connector function. That way, you will be able to hit “Save” and only impact development versions of apps- a version of the connector function will be saved and immutable with every published app.

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That sounds awesome, thanks for the insight!