We are excited to unveil the latest enhancements to our xFanatical Foresight (or Foresight for short) product through this comprehensive feature update! This milestone would not have been possible without the dedicated efforts of our exceptional engineering team, whose ingenuity and hard work have brought these new capabilities to life. 

As we continue to prioritize innovation and user-centric design, we are thrilled to showcase the fruits of our team's labor. In this article, we delve into the exciting array of features that have been meticulously crafted to elevate your experience with our product. From refined user interfaces to powerful backend optimizations, each addition reflects our commitment to delivering excellence.

New features

New variable pill design

The new variable pill design is a major usability improvement in this version. The Variable is a core concept in Foresight automation. Automation does not live without variables. 

In the past versions, Foresight presented variables in double curly brackets like {{ variableName_xxxxxx }} to differentiate from ordinary text. Besides, you needed to type the secret {{ in some fields to pop up the variable dropdown menu. It was not user friendly.

In this version, Foresight replaces all variables with a "pill" like design. See the screenshot below. The left side of the pill is the name of the trigger or action or global that outputs the variable. The right side of the pill is the variable name. By hovering over the pill, Foresight pops up the variable details. Moreover, Simply click the Variable icon in xFanatical Foresight icon or the field to pop up the variable list. The user experience is significantly more exquisite and enjoyable.

Comparison of the old and new design of xFanatical Foresight variables. The left side is the old design, where the variables are displayed as {{ xxxx }}, while the right side the variables are displayed as pills.

Comparison of the old and new design of xFanatical Foresight variables

When you hover on a variable pill in xFanatical Foresight, a card will pop up. On the card, you can see the variable name, description, example, and the source.

Variable details when hovering over the "pill"

Numbering actions of the same type

When a rule includes more than one action of the same type, Foresight automatically numbers the actions to help you tell them apart. When you select a variable from the list or see a variable pill, it's no-brainer to identify the action. 

xFanatical Foresight now numbers the actions of the same type in the sequentially, 1, 2, 3,.... They are used to the distinguish actions.

Easier identification with numbered actions of the same type

International language support for custom variable names

The Data uploaded trigger, Extract data from text action and Convert datetime action (formerly named as Create datetime) support customizing variable names, but with limitations. In the past version, you could only type up to 30 English letters, not even numbers. The old days are gone. You can type up to 70 characters in any language. 

For the Data uploaded trigger, it means significant improvements. The Data uploaded trigger can accept CSV files with any characters in the column name.

The Data uploaded trigger now supports any language characters in the variable name.

International language support for variable names

Easier access to rule log details

You can now directly view the rule log details from the Logs page without going through the notification list. See this demo.

View the rule log details in one-click right in the Logs

New integrations and improvements

This section is about newly added and improved triggers and actions.

New "User department changed" trigger

Triggers when a Google Workspace user's department is changed in the Employee Information section.

New "List admin activity logs" action

This is an integration of Google Workspace reporting features. The action lists and exports the past activity logs of one or multiple Google Workspace admins as a CSV file.

New "Get apps report" action

This is an integration of Google Workspace reporting features. The action retrieves the Google services usage data for a certain date as many variables for further automation. The list of the app usage data is enormous, including user security settings, Gmail usage data, Drive usage data etc.

New "List user usages" action

This is an integration of Google Workspace reporting features. The action lists and exports the Google services usage data for users as a CSV file. The usage data covers many Google services, including Gmail, Calendar, Chrome Devices, Classroom etc. The action is highly customizable. 

New "Upload data to Drive" action

Have you wondered if you can automatically save a copy of a report monthly in your Google Drive? Yes, Foresight has a number of actions to list and export Google Workspace data, such as List users or List group members as a CSV file. The new Upload data to Drive action elevates your automation to the next level by saving a copy of the exported CSV file to your designated Google Drive folder. A use case is to monthly save a user usage report of your organization to a Drive folder for analysis or audit purposes.

New "Convert date" action

The new Convert date action works similarly to the renamed Convert datetime action, except it's for the date part only. The action converts a date to another date and outputs it as a variable. For example, given a date, get the date in 1 week. 

New "Form response submitted" trigger

Triggers when a respondent submitted a form response to your Google Form. With the Get form response info action, you can automate form notifications, data entry tasks etc. using just a Google Form and xFanatical Foresight.  

New "Get form response info" action

Retrieves a form response and outputs the answers as variables. Commonly used with the Form response submitted trigger. Imagine automating order management, event registration confirmation, or creating a user with the response data. 

Updated "Add user email aliases" action

The Add user email aliases action is renamed to Add user email aliases. It supports adding multiple user email aliases to a Google Workspace user at once. 

Updated "Check event conflict" action

The Check event conflict action used to fail for recurring calendar events. In the new version, Foresight changes its behavior to check the first instance of the recurring event. If the first instance does not conflict with any other events, then it's considered not conflicting. Although it's not a perfect solution, it's better than nothing to some extent. The workflow continues when encountering a recurring event. 

Updated "Create datetime" action

The Create datetime action is now renamed to Convert datetime. The task behavior remains unchanged: converts a date time to another date time as a new variable. 

Updated "Date uploaded" trigger

In the Data uploaded trigger, we prepared a few Google Sheets based templates for some sophisticated bulk automations, e.g. bulk updating Google group settings. These templates work as your starting point and save tons of time. As we integrate more services, the number of templates will grow. 

xFanatical Foresight now provides sample CSV templates for the Data uploaded trigger.

Google Sheets-based templates for the bulk automation

Foresight also raises the CSV file limit to 5000 rows by 60 columns from the old 1000 rows by 30 columns. It means automating 5 times more tasks in one batch.

New fields for the "Add group member" action

The Add group member action adds 2 new fields, Role and Email subscription options. By default, when you, as an IT admin, add a user to a Google Group, the user subscribes to every email of the group and the user joins a member. With the new fields, you can even tailor these settings when you bulk import users to groups using the Data uploaded trigger.

New filter in the "User created" trigger

The User created trigger adds a new Organizational Unit (OU) filter to trigger upon a user created under an OU or nested sub-OUs. We notice this is a more common practice for many admins. 

New OU filter in the xFanatical Foresight User created action.

The new "starts with" operator includes new users created under the sub-OUs

Updated "If" action

The If action supports comparison operators text contains, text does not contain, text starts with, text ends with and text is exactly for the URL and PASSWORD type variables.

Type to search Google Workspace users in some actions

Some Google user management actions support typing the user's first name or last name to search Google Workspace users to ramp up your rule configuration. Compared to the old way of searching the name in Google Admin Console and pasting the email address, the new way is far more efficient. The improved actions include but not limited to

  • Update recovery phone
  • Update recovery email
  • Update manager email
  • Update employee ID
  • Get user info

Search Google Workspace users right in Foresight without going to Google Admin Console

3-D Secure credit card support

Foresight supports 3-D Secure (3DS) credit cards for monthly and yearly subscriptions. 3DS is an additional authentication layer to protect credit cards from frauds or theft. Whenever you change a Foresight subscription or renew a subscription that incurs a charge, your credit card issuer will ask you to confirm the payment. 3DS is a relatively new security measure but grows fast. 

A sample 3DS authentication dialog to confirm a payment.

Sample 3DS authentication dialog

Marketing email preferences

Stay engaged with us with the latest product updates, educational content, news, promotions and much more! Our marketing team has been curating a handful of valuable resources to share with you by emails. You're the boss of managing the interests. Under the new Settings > Notification, simply tick the topics you would like to hear from us.

The marketing email interest settings. Users can untick the checkboxes to unsubscribe marketing emails from xFanatical regarding Foresight.

Manage your marketing email preferences right in the Foresight settings

Issue fixes

  • Sometimes Foresight displays a message "You have made too many requests recently. Please try again later." when the Google account is disconnected.
  • The rule diagram disappears when entering some special characters in the If action branches. 
  • Some non-Google calendar events do not trigger the Calendar event deleted trigger when they are deleted.
  • The Update calendar resource action fails with unknown error when the Capacity, Building ID or Floor fields are missing.
  • Some trial users see a 0 monthly action quota on the last day of the trial.
  • Foresight logs you out when you're away or inactive for more than 1 day, which may disrupt your previous day's progress. 
  • The Update group settings action fails when some group setting conditions were unmet before updating the settings.
  • Foresight fails some actions when the field value does not match in case with the possible values. In other words, Foresight treated the input using a case-sensitive approach, which is not a norm.
  • The Respond to event action fails with an unknown error reason for certain events.
  • The Delete calendar buffer event action fails in some rare cases.
  • Foresight Invoices display "undefined" when a user didn't provide the last name upon registration.