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We first started thinking about what conditions might look like in Uncanny Automator a year ago. What we saw in other integration tools never seemed quite right, so we planned and planned until we landed on a solution that we believe is the best approach. We’re excited to announce that Phase 1 of our support for conditions is available today to Pro users.
Add conditions to actions
Our extensive planning led us to conclude that conditions should be linked to actions (what’s executed in a recipe) and that those conditions should be specific to each action and be highly flexible. Here’s what conditions look like in a recipe:
What this screenshot is showing is that users that complete an Intro to LearnDash course will be enrolled in a Recycling course, but only if they have an email address that ends in uncannyowl.com and they have the Group Leader role. If they don’t meet those conditions, the enrollment won’t happen–even though they completed the course in the trigger.
There’s a lot that’s new in this screenshot, so let’s break down exactly what we’re showing here.
- You can add a single condition or many conditions to an action.
- When more than one condition is added, you can choose to run the action when all conditions are met or when any of the conditions are met.
- The order of the conditions is not important.
- Actions with associated conditions have a box around the combined objects. This indicates they are grouped. (Remember how we added drag and drop in the last major Pro release? In an upcoming release, this combined functionality enables support for grouping multiple actions in condition groups.)
- You can still delete conditions using the ellipsis (“more options”) icon or conditions can be deleted individually.
Wondering what adding a condition looks like? Here’s a screenshot that explains things:
Here’s a list of the operators we support in Uncanny Automator Pro 3.5:
- is not
- does not contain
- is greater than
- is greater than or equal to
- is less than
- is less than or equal to
- starts with
- does not start with
- ends with
- does not end with
As for tokens, the ones available in the current release are limited to common tokens plus tokens associated with the recipe triggers only. In other words, in the example above you could choose from tokens like first name, current date and job title (in user meta), as well as tokens related to that LearnDash course. But you could not make one of the conditions that a user has a specific membership level in a membership plugin. Additional token support like this, for tokens not directly related to a recipe, is coming in a future release. Until we support tokens associated with integrations not in the recipe, one possible workaround may be adding extra data to user and post meta, then using those standard tokens for the conditions.
And, while not shown in the screenshots, there are a few other points to consider:
- If you hover over actions you will see the button to delay or schedule the actions. That’s still available, but the Filter button is not. Nested conditions are not currently supported, but they are planned for a future release.
- Conditions are evaluated at the time the action is run. In other words, let’s take the example above (with course completion unlocking another course for some users) and delay the enrollment by a month. If, a month later, the user’s role no longer includes Group Leader, the action will not run.
- Conditions are not case sensitive. In this example, “Group Leader” and “group leader” are treated the same way.
- Conditional actions are only available in Uncanny Automator Pro. Sorry free users, we still offer incredibly powerful tools in the free version, but this is one we wanted to save for Pro customers.
And that is everything there is to know about conditional actions in their first iteration. We dropped some hints above about what else is coming, most in the near future, so you can start to see just how amazingly powerful conditional actions are for recipes.
But wait, there’s more!
The free Uncanny Automator 3.5.1 release includes key framework changes to support conditional actions in Pro, but it also includes some great new features for all plugin users.
The most useful changes are to tokens. If you were paying attention to the condition example above, you may have noticed that the token for user roles didn’t previously exist. That’s new as a Common token, available to all actions. Then we have new Post Excerpt tokens (we heard users tweeting new blog posts loud and clear!) and Recipe ID tokens. Both are Common tokens as well, then there’s a Recipe Run token in the Advanced section to output how many times a recipe has run. This can be pretty useful as a counter or ID inside actions.
The 3.5.1 release includes new options to delete recipe log entries, both from the recipe list and inside the log. Yes, this can help with admin cleanup, but the bigger reason for us adding this is to clear out potentially “stuck” recipes so they can be rerun. This type of situation could happen due to a recipe change that causes an original, “in progress” attempt by a user to be no longer possible to complete.
For several drop-down lists where there are a huge volume of entries (ActiveCampaign tags are a good example) there is new support for setting custom ID fields at the bottom of lists. So, if an ID is dynamic or perhaps not in the drop-down yet, you can set a specific value to be used instead of relying on a drop-down list.
On the Pro 3.5 side of things, there are even more new features.
LifterLMS gains 2 new triggers:
- A user joins a group
- A user leaves a group
WooCommerce also gains one new action: Cancel the user’s subscription to a product. This one had a few customer requests and we think it’s pretty high value; now you can use any form submission, button click or other user behaviour to cancel a subscription.
And for The Events Calendar users, we added a fantastic new trigger: An attendee is registered for an event. Why? It allows you to run actions on attendees that might have had tickets purchased by someone else. This is another change we added based on user feedback.
Finally, we added a button to license pages to make it easier to clear out an existing license. This will make things easier for agencies transferring licenses to clients, cleaning up a website before a sale, etc.
Obviously these are pretty huge releases, so we recommend testing the updates out on a Staging site before you do deploy to Live. You can also review everything that’s been updated in our changelogs.