BCEL1009: What is a Workflow Trigger?

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BetterCloud defines Workflow triggers as WHEN (and optionally IF) conditions that are met that will begin running a series of Actions within the THEN section of the Workflow Builder. Your trigger can be as broad or as finite as you'd like it to be under the following conditions:

  • You may use only one WHEN statement (ex. WHEN New User or WHEN Last User Login)
  • You can optionally add one or many IF conditions, provided these IF conditions are all “ANDs” (ex. Department IS Marketing AND Title is Graphic Designer AND Manager is Joe.Smith@domain.com). 

Highlights

  • Oftentimes, the best place to start is in the application that will change the most due to the Workflow. If you plan to perform 8 actions in Google and only 2 in O365, it often will make sense to start in Google.
  • If you trigger off a user being added to a Group, feel free to create additional Groups as needed.
  • Consider the impact of the action you are taking in the source application. Some triggers, such as Suspend User in Google, will automatically take action in the source application.

How Do I Know What Trigger I Should Choose?

The trigger you select is often dependent on the application you want to start with. For example, if you want to begin offboarding from Google, you’ll want to select Google as your starting application, then begin exploring your WHEN and IF options. For offboarding, you may select WHEN User is Disabled, WHEN OU Changes | IF OU is…, and WHEN User Added to Group | IF Group is… On the other hand, if you’re looking to archive Slack Channels, you’ll want to select Slack, then explore your WHEN and IF conditions related to channel management. 

Too Broad? Too Narrow?

There are two additional things to consider when selecting a trigger for your workflow. Is this trigger too broad, or is this trigger too narrow? A trigger will be too broad if it will catch assets you’re not intending to take actions on. For example, you may select a trigger that says…

  • WHEN a Slack File is Shared to Public

This would take action on every single file that is ever shared to the public from Slack. If you have a security policy that says Slack files should never be shared to the public, this WHEN trigger would be fine. However, if there’s ever a situation where you’d like a user or a group of users to ever be an exception to this policy, this WHEN statement would be far too broad. You’d need to add a conditional IF, or create a Custom Alert via the Alerts section of BetterCloud. 

On the other hand, you may make your conditions far too narrow if you add many IF restrictions. Take this statement as an example...

  • WHEN New User (Google)
  • IF Department is Sales
  • AND IF Title is Account Executive, East Region
  • AND IF Manager is Joe.Smith
  • AND IF Cost Center is 14th Floor

This could potentially only apply to one specific user. If you’re looking to target this one specific use case, this would be a perfect trigger. However, if you’re looking to have this Workflow apply to a number of users, it would likely be far too narrow.

Daisy-Chaining Workflows: How and When Do I Do It?

What happens when you want to add branching into your workflows? As of today, BetterCloud allows you to follow IFTTT logic via our WHEN, IF, THEN Workflow Builder. However, ELSE or IF ELSE are not currently options when building workflows. So how can you go about creating branching within your workflow? The answer here is daisy-chaining workflows.

To daisy-chain workflows, you may have an event in your workflow that meets the trigger conditions of another workflow. Take, for example, a Customer Marketing Team, Graphic Design Team and Prospect Marketing Team that all need access to the same instance of LastPass, Slack Groups, and Google Team Drives. One event in each of their onboarding workflows could trigger another workflow that would take action on all of these users (see the following graphic example).

Daisychain_Workflow.png

In short, all three Workflows for these three departments are adding a user to the Google Group “Customer-Facing Employees.” There’s then a second workflow with WHEN / IF conditions that says “WHEN User Added to Group | IF Group is Customer-Facing Employees | THEN…”

Additional Information

You may also be interested in know how you can select an offboarding trigger when you have multiple applications integrated with BetterCloud. You may find that article here.

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