Best practices for saving on operations

Best practices for saving on operations
9/14/2022
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4 min. read
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There are several ways to reduce the number of operations you consume. Check out the best practices below!

How does Albato count operations?

The way Albato counts operations largely depends on the trigger type you use in your automations: webhook or API.

With a webhook, the data transfer occurs in real-time. Whenever a webhook with new data gets captured, the data is sent further through the automation steps. Each automation step will count as an operation. For example, a two-step automation will consume two operations every time a webhook-type trigger fires.

With an API, you set a certain frequency for API calls to check for data updates. Whenever an API call captures new data, it will work the same as with a webhook. However, if after checking for updates, an API call returns with no data, it will still consume operations for “polling” a trigger app. That is the main difference from webhooks.

In both cases, the Albato tools also count as operations, e.g., phone number formatting or the router tool. Trigger filters, however, are not included in the count.

How to reduce operations

The operation limits offered in Albato's plans are fairly generous. Still, we’d like to share some tips and tricks to making your consumption more savvy.

Check if webhook triggers are available

We suggest using webhook triggers whenever possible. However, due to the limitations of some apps, an API may be the only way to pull data. The good news is, most apps develop over time. Whenever an app makes webhooks available, we add them to our platform.

Therefore, a rule of thumb is always to always check if any webhook triggers are available for the automation you want to run. To do that, select a source app in the first step of an automation. Click on the “Select an event” field, and you will see the available triggers in the drop-down list. The webhook ones will have a webhook icon next to them.

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For example, the Google Sheets app offers both webhook and API triggers.

Adjust automation update time (API frequency)

Automation update times vary depending on the price plan.

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To save credits, feel free to set a longer interval for API checks for new data. To do so, go to the “Start Schedule” tab from the automation builder page.

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If you want to adjust a previously set automation, click the gear icon on the automation card to access its settings.

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In the “Request frequency” field, select the optimal update time based on your business scenario and desired operation consumption. Feel free to slow it down if you don’t need your automation to fire every minute.

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You can also set the start and end times for your automation. Suppose you don’t need to collect data at night. Excluding night hours from your automation schedule is another option to save credits. If you leave these fields untouched, the automation will run all the time, without any time restrictions.

Use advanced settings

On the “Start Schedule” page, click on “Advanced Settings.” Here you can choose specific days of the week or month for your automation to run.

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For example, selecting workdays only will save you plenty of operations.

Use an incoming data filter

It may happen that you don’t need all the data to pass through your automation. The trigger filter can help process and segment incoming data. Just click on the funnel icon after configuring the automation steps to apply it.

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For example, say you have a five-step flow with “New board in Trello” as a trigger. You can filter which new boards you want to trigger your automation by their names or IDs.

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If a new board meets the filter conditions, all five automation steps will fire, thus consuming five operations. However, if a new board gets filtered out, the automation won’t fire. As a result, you will save four operations.

As you can see, our current model offers many workarounds to handle operations more efficiently. At the same time, we will continue to look for ways to make our processes better and clearer.