[21 Days of Automation] Day 12: Testing your zaps

21daysofautomation blogbot v 0.2 Sep 25, 2022
[21 Days of Automation] Day 12: Testing your zaps

Originally posted by Blogbot on Medium on 6th Feb 2020 

Once you’ve created a zap, the most important thing to do is ensure it’s working correctly, and fortunately you can test your zap as much as you like without using your task allowance, so there’s no excuse for getting wrong.

Testing your zap can take many forms, but typically you want to ensure the following as a minimum:

Test account connection

One of the most common reasons for a zap not working as intended is that the account connection has either changed, expired or been updated incorrectly since the last time you used it. Go into the “My apps” section of Zapier to test out your connections.

Polling app

If your zap is a “polling zap”, is it picking up the correct data, when polled? One major pitfall that you can find here is that if Zapier polls for your trigger and all of the data isn’t present, it can mean that your zap will fail halfway through, once you turn it on, so the recommendation here is always to make sure that all the data you need for your zap to run as intended is present whenever it’s polled for.

Something to always keep in mind is that polling apps are not always exact, and Zapier gives you a time-frame to work with depending on your plan, so if you need multiple zaps to happen in quick succession, we recommend that you take this into consideration.

Trigger app

A trigger app will, as the name suggests, be triggered instantly, and this is normally because these types of actions are directly triggered by another app, and don’t need to be polled for. In such cases, you want to avoid, as much as possible, any potential for abuse or mistakenly triggering.

Alternatives

You can also control when an app runs by using Zapier’s scheduler. This is a great tool which allows you to limit the amount of time a zap runs and can facilitate time-specific zaps to run (Like the one reminding me to write this blog, this morning).

Customisation options

Some apps won’t have customisation options, so this step is very dependent on the use case you have, but it’s vital that you ensure that you use these appropriately whenever possible to ensure that the correct trigger is kicking off the zap.

Testing Options

Zapier gives you two options here; Test and Review and Test and Continue (It also gives you the ability to skip the test, but assuming you’ve been paying attention throughout this post, we will ignore that one).

Test and review

“Test and review” allows you to look at the response that is sent back to us when the task completes. I highly encourage you to use this as much as possible to ensure everything is working as intended.

Test and continue

This option is for those of us who like to build things and are confident that they don’t need to double-check their work. It’ll be fine. You know what you’re doing