Foresight Core Terminology

Action

In Foresight, an action is a real task doing information retrieval or modification to your Google services. For example, email someone, move a file to a folder in Google Drive, rename a Google Doc - you name it.

A list of supported actions can be found in Foresight Action List.

Global Variables

Global variables are a special type of variables that exist throughout the rule regardless of your automation rule setup. These variables come with the format of {{ variableName_global }}.

Such global variables may include the current time, the day of week, the hour of day etc.

Rule

A rule is a configured automated program that will self-execute upon triggering events. A rule has 2 states, ON and OFF. When a rule is OFF, the rule will never execute. If a rule is ON, the rule stays still, waiting for events to pull the trigger.

A rule consists of one trigger and one or more actions. The automation starts when an events trigger the rule. The automation may succeed or fail due to varieties of reasons. The following is a visualization of a simple 1 trigger and 1 action rule to automatically accept incoming calendar event invitations on behalf of you.

Simple 1 action rule to auto accept calendar event invitations
Simple 1 action rule to auto accept calendar event invitations

Rule Log

A rule log is a history record for your rule. It's like your assistant reports what they have done for your requests ("Your majesty, I followed your instructions step by step and made the following changes").

Rule View

A rule view is a diagram to visualize the automation rule you are editing or you've created. When you're editing a rule, the rule view helps you navigate where you're. Created rules also associate with a view for each, just like file previews in Google Drive, helping you remember what the rule is about.

A rule view uses different shapes to help you distinguish triggers and actions. In a rule view, the trigger is ellipse-shaped. Actions are rectangle-shaped with one exception. The special IF action type uses a rhombus shape. The End of a rule is not counted as actions and always comes with a circle shape. A rule view always starts with a ellipse-shaped trigger and ends with the End circle.

An example automation rule view
An example automation rule view

Runtime

Runtime is the period of time when an automation rule is running. It begins when a rule is triggered and ends with the automation is quit or closed.

Trigger

A trigger is essentially a resource update event in your Google services. For example, a user is created in Google workspace, a response is submitted in Google Forms, a row is deleted in Google Sheets - you name it.

Some triggers are instant. Google notifies Foresight about the resource change so Foresight immediately triggers the rule.

Other triggers are not instant. As Google doesn't tell Foresight for the resource update, Foresight has to periodically check in with Google ("Hey Google, what's new?").

A list of supported triggers can be found in Foresight Trigger List.

Variable

A variable in Foresight is a placeholder that would be populated with real time data at rule execution. It always comes with a form of {{ VARIABLE_NAME_xxxxxx }}, the variable name with 6 random text enclosed by a pair of double braces.

Variables are contextual and used in Actions. The variables available for current step / action depend on the last step. In another words, the last step determines and feeds what data is available for my step. For example, {{ firstName_9f48a1 }} is likely a person's first name, who did something in last step.

To use a variable, type {{ and select a variable from the popped menu. Commonly, variables have a short name, a longer description and an optional example.

Workflow

A workflow is a sequence of work activities defined by users to achieve specific goals. In Foresight, a workflow is an alias of a relatively complex rule. Once the workflow is defined, Foresight automates the workflow without your intervention, namely workflow automation. For example, the following sample workflow automation is a demonstration of Google Workspace user onboarding process.

Google workspace new user onboarding sample workflow visualization
Google workspace new user onboarding sample workflow visualization

Google Workspace Admin Console Terminology

Organizational Unit Path

An organizational unit path is a different representation of a given organizational unit (OU) in Google workspace using the forward slash symbol / as the separator. The leading / is equivalent to your root OU, so in organizational unit path, the root OU name is unnecessary.

For example, an OU My Company > Sales > North America Sales is written as /Sales/North America Sales. The root OU My Company is written as /.

Google Calendar Terminology

Calendar ID

The unique identifier of a Google Calendar. The identifier is email formatted. You can find the calendar ID in your calendar settings page. Calendar IDs are immutable.

Your primary calendar's ID is always your Google account's primary email address.

Group calendars or secondary calendars may come with IDs like example.com_51regsmskaapceqr48k2meth5g@group.calendar.google.com.

Resource calendars may come with IDs like example.com_18y3gk763a4j0h65k5h75tefchcoa@resource.calendar.google.com.

Public virtual calendars' IDs may look like en.usa#holiday@group.v.calendar.google.com.

Calendar Event ID

The unique identifier of a calendar event. It is a random text following no specific pattern.