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.
A connected account is a third-party service user account connected with xFanatical Foresight. For example, you authorized Foresight to access some user data of a Google account with email address
[email protected], then this Google account is a connected account. As of writing, Foresight only supports connecting with one Google account.
Connected accounts are manageable from the Settings > Security page.
Global variables are a special type of variables that always exist for selection regardless of your automation rule setup. Such global variables may include the current time, the day of week, the hour of day etc. These variables display "Global" in the left of the variable pill.
A global variable pill in xFanatical Foresight
Monthly Action Quota
The monthly action quota describes the maximum number of actions Foresight can automate for you for each monthly. The quota is entitled from your subscription. For a rule of 1 trigger and 1 action, each execution counts 1 action towards the monthly action quota. The trigger is not counted. For a rule of 1 trigger and 5 actions, each execution may consume from 1 to 5 actions depending on your rule configuration and rule execution status. Foresight may stop the workflow if encountering a critical issue in an action.
A rule is a configured automated program that will auto pilot 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 event triggers the rule. 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.
A rule flowchart is a diagram to visualize the automation rule you are editing or you've created. When you're editing a rule, the rule flowchart helps you navigate where you're. Created rules also associate with a flowchart for each, just like file previews in Google Drive, helping you remember what the rule is about.
A rule flowchart uses different shapes to help you distinguish triggers and actions. In a rule flowchart, 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 flowchart always starts with an ellipse-shaped trigger and ends with the End circle.
A rule log is an automation record for a rule. It describes what Foresight has done for your configured rule, including how the rule was triggered, what actions have been automated, the results of actions, the overall automation outcome, the quota used etc.
A rule can be triggered many times with different event data. That is, a rule can have many rule logs. While you can update the rule configuration as many times as you need, a rule log is regarded as a history, remaining unchanged.
The maximum number of rules your Foresight account can create.
Runtime is the period of time when an automation rule is running. It begins when a rule is triggered and ends when the rule stops in the End or stops in an failed action.
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?").
Some triggers are triggered manually by users. Rules with these triggers are "semi-automatic". The automation won't start unless you instruct it to. For example, the Data upload trigger allows you to upload a CSV file to trigger the rule and bulk run automations with the data in the CSV file. Without uploading the CSV file, the rule is just standby.
The full list of supported triggers can be found in Foresight Trigger List.
A variable in Foresight is a placeholder that would be populated with real time data at rule execution. For example, a first name is a variable. If you use the variable in an email template, Foresight will send personalized emails with the first name variable populated by the real data "Norman", "Laura" etc.
Variables stand out with easy recognition in Foresight. They look like pills. The left half of a pill is the action or trigger that outputs the variable. The right half of a pill is the variable name. By moving the mouse over the pill, you can further find the details of the variable, including the variable name, description, example data, and the source of the variable.
Variable pills in xFanatical Foresight
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.