Troubleshooting Workflow Emails

The most common support questions for workflow rules are (a) why did my workflow rule stop working, or (b) the document attachment doesn't "look" quite right.

Why didn't the workflow rule fire?

The first thing to do is to check if the workflow rule did indeed fire. You can use the Audit History to verify this.

  1. Open your application in the AppSheet Editor.
  2. Go to the Manage>Monitor tab and click "Audit Records". Then click "Fetch audit records".
  3. Look for audit records with an "Action" value of "Change workflow rule" or "Scheduled workflow rule".
  4. Click the "Details" icon to see the outcome of the workflow rule.
  5. If the workflow rule did not fire, the Details give the reason for this.
  6. If you see "Result": "Success" at the end of the audit record, then AppSheet successfully fired the action in the workflow rule.

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.


The email attachment is not 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.


Images are 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).

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