Viewer (or Podcast listener) discretion advised! This is one of those episodes where the Podio geeks are let loose to fly, and we welcome back a number of returning (geek) champions: Andrew Cranston (now CEO of Syncrony), Seth Helgeson (TECHego and thatapp.io) and Damien Ruggieri (REI Solutions). It’s always fun to let the really geek bits of Podio fly, and this is a great episode for those who want to push the boundaries of what is possible and listen to three incredibly capable techies talk shop.
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You’re watching another supercharged masterclass with Jordan Samuel Fleming your opportunity to learn the ins and outs of Podio design and development from one of the top Podio partners in the world.
Jordan Fleming 0:14
Hey, everybody, and welcome to this week’s episode of supercharge. I’m your host, Jordan Samuel Fleming, here to talk all about the power of workflow and automation, when your business is powered by Podio. Well, in episode three, we’ve got to be honest, it’s a bit of a geek squad moment, I have on this episode three guests. Number one, Seth Harrison. He’s the CEO of that app.io and tech, ego, long, longtime pull your partner and a really technically proficient company, right, it’s company that really goes into the deep stuff, we’re going to be reviewing some of his extensions on the Wii or game changes.com site fairly soon. I’ve also got Damien Ruggeri. Damien is the CEO of REI solutions. And they’ve got a real estate wholesale custom system in Podio that they sell called deal Pro. And he’ll Damien has a lot of expertise of building things in and out of Podio and linking them together. And then of course, we’ve got Andrew Cranston, who, at the time of recording, this was the CEO of game changers, and is now the CEO of his own Podio consultancy that’s grown from Game Changers called synchrony. And which, of course, all the links will be in the podcast descriptions. This is a bit of a geek squad moment, I’ll be honest, you get these three talking. And you get in very deeply into technical things. But it’s also really interesting. And there’s some really interesting nuggets here. That will expand if you’re at all technical, if you’re kind of moving your Podio development into a more technical range. There’s a lot in here that will give you some really good ideas and information. This is definitely one of those you want to look at on YouTube, as well, because they’re all they do share their screens and show some things, which are really very cool. And, you know, as always, when these three gets together, I’m sort of you know, I sit there a curse in the background occasionally, because these guys know far more technical stuff. For me, it’s fascinating chance to listen to three amazing Podio partners. Deep Dive into some more technical things you can do around Podio. Let’s have a listen.
Though last season, the podcast. We the Podio was launched a few things. Let’s start off. I’ll be introducing you guys on the intro to the podcast anyway. But very, very quickly before we launch into it. Can I get everybody to give a 10 second introduction, starting with Damian.
Yep, so my name is Damian Ruggieri. I am the owner of REI solutions, we make really awesome CRMs for Podio and Podio users.
Andrew Cranston 3:16
Pretty good, Andrew. I am Andrew Cranston. I’m the CEO of game changers, and we do Podio work for people all over the planet.
Jordan Fleming 3:27
Seth Helgeson 3:28
Yes, I am Seth Helgeson. With check ego, the CEO of check ego, and we do workflow automations. And we also have some extensions called the print, sync and Eva, that we help build out these custom Podio systems for clients.
Jordan Fleming 3:45
Absolutely. So today’s episode kicking off this season, it’s a bit of a partner roundtable. And we’re going to start out by talking a little bit about some of the changes since the last that have happened in Podio since the last season of the podcast, namely, I’m going to start out with the new UI. So it launched a big fair fanfare naturally. I was really unconvinced. I gotta say, though, just to their credit, every time I switch back to the old UI now, I twitch and I’m like, oh, god, look at this fucking thing. So it’s sort of one now am I happy that they haven’t done more? Like I wanted more substantive things in terms of the platform? Yes, I’m not happy about that. But in terms of new i I’m kind of there now. What does everybody think?
Seth Helgeson 4:30
Yeah, at first I was I was kind of going what is going on? Are we jumping back to the 70s the seafoam blue I mean, could we not have gotten something better? I mean, I you know, good hack, and then they came out with I think was Andreas Hunter ash came out with a Chrome extension that kind of like muted some of the colours and made it a bit better. And and then one profile had it the other profile didn’t and so switching between In the PTU, all of a sudden now I’ve become climatized to it. I love the font. The colour is not as aggressive as it was in the beginning. And I guess that’s okay.
Yeah, that the Podio the super menu extension that this will you’re talking about it, it saved definitely makes it viewable, I would say was when it first came out. For me it was almost like mess terrible. I can’t, can’t focus with with how this colour scheme is. But now it’s kind of same thing is everyone else has grown on me just kind of,
Jordan Fleming 5:38
well, it hasn’t grown on you because you have to not make it grow on you. So I don’t actually use under I did I tried undresses thing. But I’ll be honest, I’ve gotten very used to the UI, the new UI. And I’m fine with it. Like I mean, I’m not in love with the the teal or within whatever that sky kind of weird. Aqua, sky blue. But But in general, now that I go when I go back to the old system to the old UI, I’m kind of like, Oh, God, this looks horrible. This is like so. So they kind of won me over with it. Andrew, what do you think,
Andrew Cranston 6:13
would be a significant switch going from back from New if you’re in New for a while going back to old is kind of funky. I mean, to be not just like, three out of four recommend. It’s just for me that I fell in love with this CSS hack through a Chrome extension called stylish that we turned a bunch of people on, mostly because the markdown tables that you build in calculation fields look kind of cool with it. And it’s weird because I use session box also. And sometimes I’m in other systems. And it’s like this CSS hack is superimposed somehow over the new UI. And there there truly looks terrible. Like sometimes, and I just haven’t bothered to go in and reconfigure. But sometimes it looks terrible. But in my Podio, my own pure Podio regardless of the new UI, I’ve it remains looking the same. So I haven’t I haven’t moved from I’m quite comfortable with the way my Podio looks right now. I don’t I don’t want to necessarily use me why I thought I had to I thought there was a point where I was going to have no choice. But fingers crossed. It seems like
I think there is there will be but yeah, sure
Andrew Cranston 7:35
it’ll happen at some point. Yeah, delay.
Seth Helgeson 7:36
I thought it already came out. It was already forced upon
Andrew Cranston 7:39
us. Me too. I thought, yeah. Grandfather, I have the link that says switch to new look. Yeah, I still have the option to go back and forth. So maybe that’s because of date. We’re beta users? I don’t know.
Jordan Fleming 7:50
I think it’s grandfathered. I think I suspect. I suspect they’ve done what we’ve done in smartphone a couple of times, which is if you’re already existing, we’ll give you the option for a little while. But all new accounts, go straight to the new thing. I you know, that would that would make sense. Because otherwise you’d be going to new accounts in a very jarring way and being like getting and and before they even used to put you that you’d switch that overlap. So it’s probably grandfathered. I mean, I
Andrew Cranston 8:21
do like it though. I think it’s I think it’s nice. I just I’m used to the way I use it now. But the blue Andreas is blue. Definitely makes a huge difference for me personally, but other than that, I guess I like the views. I do like the fonts if I have to agree with you there.
Jordan Fleming 8:36
It’s just it’s just feels a little. It just feels Yeah, just feels a little fresher. Now. They’ve also let’s just quickly go over I mean, since we didn’t last season, they have done you know, it does feel as critical as I often am of Podio and Citrix. It does feel like they’re at least actually moving for the first time.
Right let me actually doing something. Yeah, look at some of those. The boards are things are eight, nine years old, like holy shit, we still haven’t done this.
Seth Helgeson 9:09
Yes, yes. There’s there’s huge improvements. I think in that regard. I’ve been so happy to see calc improvements have been noticeable. There’s been I mean, I don’t trust that when they say hey, we’re going down for maintenance that to me, my gut tells me Well, I guess the next day is going to be sucky. Yeah, I know the next day is still going to suck if for whatever reason they don’t tell us tell us what they’re going to be doing but for some reason that it creates a cluster F of of epic proportions that reverberate through the system.
Yeah, I definitely agree with you man. Like it’s almost like they do the down for maintenance and and that’s like when they’re testing it out. There’s no, there was no pre test of the push that they’re doing. So I think that was relevant for everybody in the last couple of weeks as we’ve seen some down for maintenance and then like you’re saying, so backup, and it’s like, oh, man, now all this doesn’t work.
Seth Helgeson 10:05
Yeah, yeah, it’s been, it’s been rather frustrating in that respect.
Andrew Cranston 10:10
Calculation fields have gotten better on the whole overall. In recent past, there’s some instances and God bless that red dot and
Jordan Fleming 10:22
that, that I feel things always on. God bless the red dot, it’s like, well,
Andrew Cranston 10:29
I suppose it’s too much to ask that Citrix personnel would be using better Superman, you just see that red dog, but at least it raises the overall ire of the Podio ecosystem, and its users to try to, you know, they probably get a lot of support and a lot more support tickets now than they ever did, I hope they get more support tickets than they ever do based on that red light. But calculate, I mean, personally, and professionally. I’ve kind of divorced myself from calculation fields altogether. You know, I sort of tell people, they’re there for convenience purposes. But, but you know, obviously, in a situation where you’ve got, you know, you’ve got sync, and you’ve got Eva, and you’ve got solutions that can gather data together. Most of the time calculator, if you think about the ways people are using calculation, Fields marked down tables, fine. But the bottom, the related items at the bottom are not terrible. It’s just it’s it’s convenience, right, but they’re there. For convenience. If you’re in one of these rare situations where the fields are not producing, you could still get to the right answer. But people who put their life in reporting and financial calculations and things for calculation fields have to be correct. There’s better ways to gather that data, either to display to the user or for additional workflows. And I, I don’t I don’t Well, let’s calculation fields at all.
Jordan Fleming 11:52
Let’s follow that rabbit hole, actually. Because I mean, I would agree with you in the sense that let’s talk about what happens or what would we say as partners is the best message method to work with things like, you know, let’s say financial reporting, where you have to have accurate fucking data, right? I mean, where it is simply just not acceptable to oops, we’ve, you know, these transactions aren’t showing because the calculation field didn’t resolve like that. That’s just like, that’s probably the government does have their books, but it’s not how we should do our books. So, you know, what are the options that people would be looking at? What are the best options to make sure that is that that they can get around the time when calculations do go down? Are we calling that like, just pure number fields, and then popping in our data through something like globey flow? Or either, Hey, are you using Podio to manage your real estate investment business Wait, click the link to find out why 1000s of real estate investment professionals are using Podio plus smartphone to make more calls, send more text, and close more deals, click the link,
Andrew Cranston 13:05
I find it I find it. I know some partners, like we have these monthly partner meetings, and we talk about strategies and things. And I know, I know, there are partners who are relying on the idea of updating an item every day using globey flow just to push out fields, I personally find that to be a very hacky solution, and not something that I would stake my life on, and certainly not non financial records. It’s funny because I have a client too, we, we discovered a calculation field that somebody programmed in the current date, expecting the calculation field to always know what the current date is. But we all know that that’s not the reality or how the fields work. So So I mean, I can you know, Seth can maybe pick this up, but again, like using SQL or using Eva and gather sync, and then gathering data from Eva, it’s just it’s all JSON anyway, most people are getting Podio views and creating their own groups of data. Or they’re calling JSON endpoints, you know, to get their own data. So
Jordan Fleming 14:07
well, that’s a that’s a very technical like, like, if we were going to talk about a I’m using Podio. What are my options? I don’t think don’t average Podio user goes, Oh, it’s all just JSON.
Andrew Cranston 14:20
Don’t aggregate your data in Podio. use other tools to aggregate it? That’s
Seth Helgeson 14:24
exactly exactly. Yeah, yeah, we’ve we’ve come up with trying to do something similar, because with SYNC, we backup all the data, we’ve got all the relationships and we’re rolling out the new relationship values, you could pull an API call from globey flow, and pull over 1000 or 2000, or however many items you’ve got for those relationships. But since we’ve got all those calc relationships, we’ve been trying to look at can we build a function that can take that raw JSON data in a MongoDB database and Run those scalps again, right and run those calcs and update the value in MongoDB. Because you know, Podio doesn’t do those push notifications. And, you know, we just haven’t had the time and and resources or even the interest because it’s not something that customers going, Hey, my calc data is wrong. Well, sure, we could, we could correct it in MongoDB. But we can’t correct it in Podio. Right, we can’t push those updates that we see if we see that we’re actually okay with correct in sync and MongoDB. But we push it into put we can’t we can’t push it. Right. We can’t push
Andrew Cranston 15:38
it aside template add a space safe. There. Yeah. That’s pray.
Unknown Speaker 15:43
That’s not a solution. Exactly. It’s
Jordan Fleming 15:47
still the only way you can Yeah, the
Andrew Cranston 15:49
only way to trigger updates and calculation fields and save them or change one of the fields that relate to them.
Seth Helgeson 15:55
Oh, yeah. And, and one thing that we’ve looked at is, you know, if a customer does say, Hey, we’re going to run our portal on top of sync, and we need these callbacks to be accurate, then yeah, we we would build that function to
Andrew Cranston 16:09
reporting or somebody was using, like Klipfolio, or a Google Data Studio, or overview, anybody who’s looking for advanced reporting, or just gathering that it’s either technical gathered the data specifically for further use, or it’s aggregating the data. Either way, you know, the, the event, the overall basic solution of using like a mumps app and gathering everything through relationships in Podio. And using calculation fields. I’m here to tell you that I started there myself, and it went really, really bad, like three years in, so
Jordan Fleming 16:41
but what about like, what if what if you’ve got a like, say, you’ve got a campaign app, and you’re pushing, and you’re linking, I mean, we all have worked with real estate in the past, or continue to work with real estate investors. And so a lot of people will have a properties app and dispositions app or, you know, a buying and selling app, etc, where you’re essentially linking both sides of a thing of a deal to a one campaign, including maybe all the offers you send as well, in order to calculate up the requisite information. Now, historically, most people would just immediately put a calculation field and do a sum of or, you know, whatever that average of or whatever, and then hope that it all works. Your options, if you do want to do that kind of app are essentially either, if I’m correct, and are essentially either you replace calculation fields with number of fields, and let something else populate them, that is more reliable than a calculation field. So you’re essentially, every time you know, this, something’s happened. We’re refreshing that data manually dropping in or not manually, but some other systems, whether it’s globey, flow, or Eva, is dropping those that data in instead of calculating up is that correct?
Seth Helgeson 18:09
Yeah, but by getting rid of those calc fields, we for enterprise level systems for those big financial reporting systems, and and when you’re sending out client invoices and and build billion dollar companies are saying, well, we need these invoices to be 100% accurate, and, and all these calculations to be correct. And when there is a slowdown, and it’s a mess up and business has to continue on, you know, we’re seeing a lot more customers leaving workflow automation and starting to convert the stuff over David, because it’s not affected by the down, you know, those those kind of bog downs. But we’re starting to replace those calc fields with actual text and then doing those calculations externally. And then putting those values into hidden fields that are then pulled into calc tables that are shown and displayed.
Jordan Fleming 18:58
But the actual math is being done somewhere reliable. Yeah. Exactly. To make sure that it’s drawing the right data, it’s doing the right calculations, and it’s dropping the right.
Seth Helgeson 19:11
Oh, and it’s mission critical enterprise level stuff. You mean you have to you have to have a backup for that. And I mean, you can still have the calc field, but it’s it’s good to know, you could have the calc field but then you still have the manual processing of that the math to as a litmus.
Jordan Fleming 19:33
Interesting, but But I mean, from a calculus from going back to I started, we have seen improvements on the calculation font.
Andrew Cranston 19:41
And, and just to just to add one more flavour to this, really the issues that we’re talking about are issues of scale, not to not to scare off small Podio users. I think people who have smaller chains of related items will find Rate success in whatever they do using calculation fields, or or using them at times when you’re aggregating data, but then the aggregation stumps, sometimes fields that are constantly working to gather the data. You know, if you do a report and you create a bunch of items to count field cap, and on a good day, the calc field captures the answer. And then the answer static for life, those are all still good situations. Really, I think we’re looking at businesses we’re using Podio at scale. And, you know, and one other, like people who have chains of data where one item like a project or a campaign, perhaps are gathering, perhaps, you know, 1000s of items and relating themselves to them. And then the person saying, Well, I want to run KPIs on these 1000s of related items. These are things when you really need to look outside the box.
Yeah, same as if you’re doing that kind of reporting, like in the real estate realm, when you’ve got clients that have multispace setups, to try to rely on something that’s updating calc field from from that kind of setup. It’s just I’ve tried it, it doesn’t work. Well, it it’s always disaster. So just do external stuff. Like Andrew. And so I’ve been saying you can’t, can’t do it based on an Account field, it’s just not going to work out. But at scale. Yeah. at scale. And scale is the key. Yes, scale is the key term there.
Seth Helgeson 21:25
Yeah. One other thing that I’ve have noticed that it does affect the calc fields, and there’s a lot of people don’t think it helps. But I’ve actually found that there’s a good reason to use it. And that that is clean up deleted that clean up button, you’re under the Modify template. A lot of people are like, Oh, it doesn’t, doesn’t really work. But those big apps, they get really, really big. You know, I’ve noticed that when I’m pulling down, trying to pull down, I used to have issues where we couldn’t pull down more than 10,000 records. And I put this in employee chat or in our partner bar Chat, where you couldn’t pull down 10,000 items. And without it saying 504 gateway or, and then suddenly, with all these updates and improvements. Now all of a sudden, we’re able to pull down so much more data. But sometimes we’ll come across these apps that still get these gateway errors, and these apps up 400 Plus fields in it and doing that clean up, I found that it does clean up the deleted fields, it does clean up the values, it wipes out all these empty values that still exist. And suddenly calc start processing a lot faster. And it’s like it does a refresh for the system. And I’ve recommended to Podio in the past, like, would we hit that cleanup button? Can we just do a full Refresh and Reset all the external IDs to the current labels, right? Whether the current label is instead of at v dash two dash six or bash, you know, and all this misspellings Can we read? Can we just do that kind of a refresh on the app too, but no days on that front. But that Clean Up button really is another option, when you have apps that are completely bogged down with old junk.
Jordan Fleming 23:11
It’s like a weight loss. It does. It does clean the house on the app actually pretty well. And I don’t think a lot of people know it exists. I think an awful lot of people don’t realise that that that little button exists. And if you’ve gone through, particularly if you’re new to Podio. And you’ve done one of these building apps, where you add fields minus field, subtract fields, add fields, you know, if you’re if you’re relatively new to Podio, I remember when I first started out, this is a long not as long as you said Seth, but longer than I suspect anybody else here when you’re first starting to learn Podio and you’re like, ooh, and then you build all this cool
Jordan Fleming 23:50
And you’re like, oh, no, this is you know, you do all that. I found that, you know, the you know, that little button of just clear that shit out, please. And it really does. It is a kind of a secret weapon that very few people will I think know.
Seth Helgeson 24:08
Yeah, and that’s another thing is you people don’t realise that you can still like your automations if you delete a field that has contains values and say yes, delete all existing values in that field. Sure, it says it’s deleting it all but your automations if you don’t have your update your automations it’s, it’s still going to write data to a deleted field and it will still show up and yet in the app, but you can’t edit it. But and same thing with category fields, you start making all these changes to category fields and messing around with that. And the whole system is just a disaster. But this one app that I was having troubles with it had 300,000 items in it. I have a saved view of rolling seven basically anything that’s updated created or edited and seven days in the past seven days that’s what I pull and I sink you know for some some customer data on it. And and when I clicked that cleanup button and ended up editing 58,000 records of 300,000 records in the app, and you’re going, Whoa, holy cow, this. And sure enough, one of their automations was writing a zero value to a deleted field,
like categories or get that ghost category to show up some random option that you haven’t had in two months. Yeah,
Seth Helgeson 25:30
absolutely, yeah. So I’d be interested to see if anybody, if you guys have problem maps, hit that cleanup button to see if that helps to plan things out.
Andrew Cranston 25:39
I mean, calculations take for me, I just find it takes time. So like you expect it to happen right away. But the bigger the app, the longer it takes, it does work for me, most of the time, I’ve had a couple of instances where it doesn’t, but it’s mostly the time it takes to do it.
Yep. For for anybody that’s new with with the Podio setup that that’s going to be up to go click the little wrench on the app, that’s where you can get to a lot of the different things. If you’re new navigating Podio, there’s just as clean up, delete values and click it. And then again, like everything else with Podio, you got to type it in there clean up, you know, confirm that you want to clean up the app.
Jordan Fleming 26:19
But when you hit that button, you’ll see just how many values you’re cleaning up. Yeah. And sometimes it’s shocking. Sometimes you’re like, Oh, I love this app go. Yeah,
Seth Helgeson 26:29
yeah, part of those other parts of those other maintenance, things you might want to look at for for users that are out there that might have those bigger apps, as you know, we try extensions, like we log in, we try this or we’ll try this extension, try this extension. And we don’t realise how many web hooks get installed on our apps, and actually going to the developer tab and saying, Okay, I don’t need these web hooks, and actually deleting them. One of the features in sync is when you backup your data, you can actually go and say okay, here, we have all of your hooks, and we have hook that we call it hook or killer. But the hook killer, you can actually take a URL, and it will go through every app and every field as well and actually delete all the web hooks from your system that match that criteria. So it’s those type of maintenance things under audit, might be able to help as well clean up some of those, because every time you do an update or create, you’re gonna have maybe six, six or seven different extensions coming in and grabbing items and pulling them out.
Andrew Cranston 27:35
I don’t think that necessarily like if you had 100 web hooks on an app, I don’t think that influences how the app works, does it?
Seth Helgeson 27:43
Not? My OCD tells me it does.
Andrew Cranston 27:46
Because I’m curious. It’s a good question, though. I’m curious if you did have 100. I mean, certainly for that to work. But if you had 100 web focus on an app doesn’t I’m curious as just Podio fire them in order to they kind of all go once to they get queued. You know, like, if you had web hooks that were more important to you near the bottom, more recently added web hooks do they get treated? No, no, I’ve never seen more than like 20. Now, and most of them are the result of extensions. Like you said that you instal. But. But still, it’s an interesting question. I don’t know the answer.
Seth Helgeson 28:20
And lastly, one thing I don’t think a lot of people know about is that you can actually trigger automations off of calc field changes. In the workflow tool, did you guys know that? I came across a customer yesterday that he was like, had no idea. If you actually go into any app, and you click on not the workflow automation button, but the workflows button, and click on app update. Or like, for example, update, you can select a field and you actually can select a calc field in there. And if the value changes, or if it goes from nothing to something like for example, I set up an email like, if this customer hasn’t been seen in 15 days, just send an email with this text. And if that calcul is an appears with that, then it triggers and then sets, I have it set setting a Category field that then triggers the app or triggers the workflow. So that workflow tool is one way to also track if caps are updating inside of your system.
Andrew Cranston 29:35
I’ve never in geez, let’s call it seven years, almost seven years of doing Podio I’ve never once heard someone recommend or describe a use for the Podio workflow tool. That’s a record. That’s amazing.
Seth Helgeson 29:52
Really. No, I use it all the time.
Andrew Cranston 29:55
No way. Yeah. So what are other ways? Well first, so what you’re saying is If you programme a workflow in Podio, which again is on the wrench for those of you who are interested, and you say if a calculation field just is changes, it sets off that workflow.
Seth Helgeson 30:13
Yeah, so when that calc field changes, and, and it, I have it set as a, for example, and a user hasn’t been seen in 60 days there, they want an email going out to that user saying, hey, please log back in, or we’re going to remove you from this workspace. And so I set up a calc field that says, Okay, if the date is 60, so every day it updates and says, Okay, as you know, the now date, and when it hits 60 or above the, this text field then shows up saying, Okay, now, now send this text. And once that calculation field appears, it changes. Then this workflow triggers based on the calc field change. And I have at updating a button that basically says trigger email. And that email then triggers Eva that then goes and says, Oh, I’m gonna go send this email, go get the item. Now what what email, am I sending log into space, blah, blah, blah, and it sends it and then comes back and sets it down. So it’s just a way to have a calc field triggered, triggering workflows.
Jordan Fleming 31:22
And I am just, I just, suddenly, I just opened up the workflow, because I haven’t opened that thing up in. I can’t tell you how long I have. dialogue. And, and yeah, geez, son,
Andrew Cranston 31:36
I use this. It’s like, the filters are very limiting. Looks like you can if statements, category fields, it seems like
to me, I think that most don’t don’t use it, though, because it’s just there’s so many, there’s better tools out there. Exactly.
Seth Helgeson 31:49
I use it, I use it to set item ID fields. Like if I needed an item ID set inside of the app, I just I’ll set up a workflow real quick. And say whenever a new item is created, create a you know set the item ID inside this field, instead of setting up something else, because then I’m just using free Podio resources instead of me actually having to set up these stupid automations
Jordan Fleming 32:08
I used to use this back in the day when globey flow limited the amount of flows, you were allowed to have Citrix Podio, workflow, automate whatever fucking flow the flow, there used to be that your tear that you were on before Citrix bought, it would determine how many flows not only how many actions you allowed, per month, but how many flows you are allowed to have in your system as well. And at that point, with some of our current more cost conscious clients, and you were on a tear that only allowed you I think, like 100 flows or something, it suddenly became any flow that just doesn’t Update Item ID, or, you know, do you know update this one, like daily easy thing is actually valuable? You know, it was like, am I going to waste one of my few fucking flows. So I used to use this workflow, the workflow tool to do those really simple things, because it can’t do anything more than simple things. But it was really good at just like the you know, if this happens, create a task for so and so. Out. It was really good at that. It’s funny, because I asked Sarah once on, I think on a podcast about about the that kind of inbuilt workflow, and I was like, why the fuck is that? They’re, like, I sort of was like, why is this? Why why is this actually like? And I think the answer was, well, we were working on our own, and then Andre has globey flow. And we were like, dammit, this is much better.
Seth Helgeson 33:47
Yeah, I really hope that they never get rid of that, because that’s one thing that that is just such a huge benefit. For me. I mean, it’s, it’s so huge of a benefit in that respect, because you’re able to control so many of your calcs. And you can set up some pretty great flows in that respect to, to trigger Yes, calculated on an item, right? So that’s another option. You can set an audit, you know, set, set that up that when this field updates, simply update this category field to processed right or something of that nature. If you’re going to be doing a massive update on an app, and you want to put in a category field there to say okay, I’m going to be processing this update, but I need to know where it stopped dat, or if it stopped now I can actually create a filter and, you know, make some adjustments to that then and reprocess. reprocess from there and you’ve got some additional leverage and options to do something like that.
Jordan Fleming 34:43
Hmm. Well, where are we? Oh, that’s everyday school day.
Waiting for me. Can’t say that. I’m gonna gonna jump in and use that though. But yeah, cool, cool trick to learn, you know,
Andrew Cranston 35:00
But but but going back again to try to close that loop two weeks ago, or maybe it was three weeks ago now, we had, obviously a significant event on on web, in general. And again, I don’t care about calculation fields, but I do care about web books. And other than that event, and a couple of other events that are very small in number, thank God. Over the past 14 months, I have seen literally no, and maybe Seth can even speak to this because he sees on a much larger scale, but I’ve seen no interruption in webhooks, even while globey flow was slow, even while calc fields for slow hooks are still chugging along. I’ve had very few errors when it comes to receiving and processing hooks from Podio. Overall. And as long as that continues in that fashion, I’ll deal with UI problems. I’ll deal with health problems, like if as long as the API is doing its job, you know, you get a random 500 error. And you have to ask why. But but other than that, like that’s, that’s the part that I feel really good about, as opposed to developer over the past year. Yeah. Yeah.
Jordan Fleming 36:09
You’ve definitely seen a marked improvement over the last in webhook.
Andrew Cranston 36:13
Efficacy and speed. Yes. 1%. Yeah. Yep. Other than four straight days
Jordan Fleming 36:21
in a row? Well, yeah. But sometimes shipped three years ago, probably went down for 48 hours. No, we all had a harder, we all had a heart attack until those clicks started happening again. I remember when that audio click went back, and I was like, Oh, God, my baby.
Andrew Cranston 36:37
Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp can go down for six hours straight. There, everyone has everyone is is nobody safe, you know?
Jordan Fleming 36:46
Well, the web hook thing. I mean, on a smartphone from a smartphone had the web thing bucks us. When that happens. I mean, slow downs of the web hooks is just a disaster speed socks, for sure. Yes, a disaster, when the web hooks, the slowdown or something of that, because then everybody, everybody complains that x isn’t happening, you’re like, Well, don’t tell you
trying to get people to understand that, you know, from from just like a general user perspective, when you try to like I have clients that way, you know, this isn’t happening, you know, I click the button 20 minutes ago, like a man like, here’s the status page, here’s the big error they have, like, I, I can’t make it work, can’t make it can’t make it do it. Until you know, the Podio grads come down and say all right, where books are bad.
Andrew Cranston 37:35
People, people can save an enormous amount of money in development and an overhead costs by adopting Podio is their system, they can save an enormous amount of overhead costs by adopting Asana as their system Trello any of these other systems, you know, Podio is obviously the best solution for the pod most possible number of permutations you could use it for, but you’re still putting your life in a SaaS system and you have to accept that as a, you know, you
Seth Helgeson 38:02
don’t have the infrastructure, you’re not gonna be able to escape it. I’m
Andrew Cranston 38:05
sure Salesforce goes down on occasion, as well.
Jordan Fleming 38:08
No, fucking Twilio does Twilio, which is worth I don’t know how much at this point. You know? Yeah, I mean, Twilio, Twilio will go down. And you know, calling or texting will go down, it will go down. And there is literally nothing we can do about it. And so the our our entire system essentially halts, and there is nothing we can do about it. And there’s no way of letting people understand it’s not our fault, because of course, we’re the point of where they you know, they bought us didn’t buy Twilio, Twilio is so any SAS system can can go down. But the benefit, you know, I mean, that how often that really happens when you think about it. When you think about all these systems and all these servers, and all these connections and all these processes, and all the things that happen on a second by second basis. It’s actually remarkable that the cloud infrastructure deals with the shitter deals on a daily daily, minute, minute second Senator can bases like it’s actually remarkable. Okay, hands up who’s using Podio for real estate, and they don’t want more Leads. Nobody. You want more Leads closed? Well check out smartphone for Podio the only phone system fully built for Citrix Podio with an fully integrated power dialer and amazing mobile apps. It means wherever you are, you can make more calls, love to Podio send more texts, love to Podio and close more deals all log to your Podio CRM, click the link. Check it out and not to
Andrew Cranston 39:45
9.9 not 100 But it’s pretty damn good. You know, it’s pretty damn good. You said before like globey flow gave you 100 flows, which is actually you know, pretty mind bending when you think about it to go back in the day, but also like 2020 like 5000 actions a month, and you’re like, oh my god, what am I gonna do these 5000 actions. And now it’s the wild wild west to the tune of billions, they said the B word billions of actions per month, being run through globey flow. And you know, it’s not necessarily a great thing, because we can see some, you know, some evidence of it not being a super great thing. But it’s, it is amazing, you know, even at 99.9%, how globey flow just doesn’t bark on a more regular basis, the fact that it only barfs, when it does is truly a miracle.
Seth Helgeson 40:31
Yeah, and one thing that I wish that they would implement and actually teach people about is if they could implement field level hooks to cut down on number of web hooks that they receive, and have to process that would lighten the load so much, because then it gives the user control to say I only trigger an update to all these flows when this category field or when this value changes in this field period. Like don’t look at the whole thing. Yeah, yeah, don’t, every time I update something don’t trigger a globey flow. So I have to have a sanity check and 15 different, you know, 15, different flows. Yeah, well, just
Andrew Cranston 41:09
just just doing a select statement, asking for a podium item, but only give me XYZ fields, right, because they’re saving on bandwidth, we’re getting items by the built by the hundreds 1000s that contain markdown tables, and section headers and navigation calculation fields, and everything else that I don’t care about, that’s just making it more difficult for me to gather what I need. So field level hooks, but also, you know, give me the ID, you’re still gonna get the item, you’re gonna get the hook for this item, you have the item ID, your next call your next as a dead dead, you’re probably next call is to is to get the item. But if you’re, if you’re doing that a lot, like like Ava, or like a sink is and these other tools, you know, being able to cut down on some shit that, you know, I don’t know, if there’s any like field specific could sink, go in and say I don’t care about fields x, y, and z, just sink, ABC.
Seth Helgeson 42:04
Now we get the whole collection. But back in the day, and the beginning there is there was documentation in the API of how you could what type of response you want to get, and there’s the micro, and it gives you reduced, and then you can actually, in the get item filter call. And I was actually gonna ask your help for this in a moment, actually, after this call Andrew. But there’s a there’s a get item filter call, where you’re able to define the fields you want and and return it in the micro format. And it removes out all the created by it removes out all the JSON and all this stuff. And I have that formatting. But they did remove all that documentation of how to structure those queries to get that micro formatting of the API.
Andrew Cranston 42:55
I’m not a fan of the micro formatting because like, oh, so relationship field, for example, you have a relationship field, and you set the layout so that it shows what it shows could be the top field of the next of that related app, it could be any other field or some combination. So when you get the sample, and when you get the reduced version of the item, you get the name, you get that name that the person would see, you don’t get the item ID or the item IDs, which as developers what I really want. So so I don’t find a lot of benefit in getting the reduced item. But what I’m trying to do here is actually just look at I know what you’re talking about, there is a call in the Podio API, just market share my screen here, a call in the Podio API called filter items. That’s really your best bet for getting items out of an app. Other than get Podio view, or search, which is limiting, right. So I use this for import purposes, where I can basically import 500 items at a time in a big app. Now I do all I have some limit some automation here. But even even in my sort of like manual API, where I can get 500 items at a time we keep fiddling with the offset 05 100,000 1500 to cycle through all the items. It works great. I get them all apps with a lot of fields take forever. Right? So I don’t I don’t like this is the only call that I’m aware of other than views and searching that where you can get large groups of Podio items out of an app. But I don’t see any options. Like I don’t know that there’s anything here that allows you to
Seth Helgeson 44:35
Yeah, so I just posted in the chat, a query that I was using yesterday. And it’s for that view if you want to share that that chat screen since you’ve already got a pull up, you can display the chat.
Andrew Cranston 44:47
I got to display the chat but I can do this while I’m sharing my screen. Oh, yeah. So
Seth Helgeson 44:57
yeah, perfect. So yeah,
Andrew Cranston 44:58
so that’s the call To filter,
Seth Helgeson 45:01
and that’s Items view micro micro. Okay. And then the
Andrew Cranston 45:05
field see the documentation didn’t say anything about
Seth Helgeson 45:08
exactly, exactly. It doesn’t show micro or in mini, there’s micro mini and full. And
Andrew Cranston 45:15
okay, look at that. So you’re only getting a certain group of fields. And you’re choosing on a field by field basis, which one comes back as micro, and it comes back as.
Jordan Fleming 45:27
Okay, that suddenly tells you after this, there’ll be a little bit of more tech. Yeah.
Seth Helgeson 45:33
So what was interesting. What was interesting, though, is when I tried to run this, I have my developer and in England, he was able to pull this and he was able to run it, even using my credentials. Or you start using his credentials. When I try to run this query via API. Via postman, it airs on me It tells me I’m unauthorised. Am I going WTF? Why? Why is that? So I was going to actually have see if you could help me if it airs on you as well. And it
might be might be, you know, the big Podio thing with the trust levels, the random, random things that you can’t pull back with, without having the level two can’t get out books or any of that kind of stuff. So, yeah, so that
Jordan Fleming 46:20
may be worth that may be worth doing a little post on somewhere to let people know, like, let the developer community know about that. I mean, I don’t think if you didn’t know about Andrew, I sure didn’t know about its I don’t build anything in Podio anymore. But I mean, so yeah, Seth
Andrew Cranston 46:37
is building a query that includes a key value pair called fields. But the documentation would not have you believe that you could pass an array called fields, because it’s not in the working documentation. So yeah, exactly.
Jordan Fleming 46:52
I mean, they’re taking it out completely, like, as if any update, by the way on the has we heard anything from Citrix? About the change they’re trying to make to the external link?
No, no, I think she did post Sarah did post something about that, that she, they’re going to, they’re going to allow people that already have it, to continue to use it right. And you just have to give people that little notice that this could be unsecure.
Jordan Fleming 47:20
Yeah, I do have to rebuild all that shit across all systems, I think. Yeah,
Andrew Cranston 47:28
the old flows still work. But the new when you go into create an external link flow, the URL is formatted in the new fashion. So actually, what I didn’t try is just whether or not I could create a new external link flow would feed it an old URL parameter. That’s what that’s what the basics before, I should test that and see, because I still need to be able to use it from a new sure my old stuff works fine. But I want to keep using the same process that I’m using for the future, as well. Right, so.
Jordan Fleming 47:55
So just guys, just to round the podcast, because I like to keep these relatively short so that people don’t, you know, it’s not a matter of Marathon. I mean, we’re going to do another, I wouldn’t just for some people listening, we’re going to do another group podcast in the first sort of five episodes of this season. Again, another group partner podcast, but we’re going to focus on the sort of getting started tips and tricks, kind of the the new ideas that we’ve got for when when we’re helping we get off the ground. This one is fun, because it’s, it’s a chance for these three guys to geek out with me to listen. But but but because this is, you know, because we have talked about kind of the development of, of Citrix, you know, and what they’ve managed to put in. I’m in two minds right now. And I’m curious to finish this podcast hear from you guys. On the one hand, I believe Podio is now back on the Citrix product page, I believe, which is like why the fuck it wasn’t there? I don’t know. But that’s good. And we’ve seen development of the platform, again, whether we like all the things they’ve developed or not, we’ve seen development on the platform again, and we’ve seen an increase on the team, including on support, like, you know, again, whether we’ve always had 100% successful interactions or not. We have seen that development. We’ve seen movement in Citrix, which I think is hugely positive. On the flip side, we’ve got a new investor group coming in and taking it private. So and this is, you know, for those of you, you know, we’re recording this on the eighth of February 2022. That happened about a week ago is yeah, just came out. Yeah. So, I mean, I see positives right now. Then we also have this what’s the what’s, what’s the gut feeling in the room here? Just out of curiosity.
Seth Helgeson 49:48
My first initial reaction was the TIBCO software is heavy heavy automation, enterprise level automation and data science reporting. very, very big on that, in that realm, the right play will play into that that quite nicely, I still see that Podio will continue to grow as this custom niche where, where bright doesn’t fit or this doesn’t fit, I think that it will continue to fit here. But I can see a time where an investor groups gonna look at it saying, look, let’s just start. Let’s start using these, let’s start consolidating these automation programmes, right, let’s, let’s start, we’ve got this tip code that is the best of the best, let’s, let’s start merging these two together. However, the beauty of that I think, not the beauty. I think while the flow carries so much weight, and so many actions, they know, investor groups, you’re gonna know that that’s not something that’s gonna be easily replaced. So they may continue to keep this separate. And if it’s that big of a thing, like we can’t even we can’t integrate Podio with this stuff we can’t continue to integrate. There’s no way for us to do that, then they may maybe they’ll spin it off. But who knows?
mean, I’ve kind of in the same boat? It’s like, on the one hand, you know, it does, it’s we are seeing a lot of recent improvements. I don’t know that was just because all the like the talks and everything we’re doing on long before the actual acquisition, but it is nice to see some some things actually happening. But like Seth saying, you know, like, it’s, it’s kind of an unknown right now, are they going to continue to allow us to do these things? Or is it going to be like, hey, consolidate all your stuff. You know, like, now we’re going this this route. So
Jordan Fleming 51:52
I can’t see them just, I mean, I can’t see a situation in the next five years where Citrix just kills Podio off. Doesn’t make sense. I well, but it would be a brand, it would be a from a brand. Public publicity point of view, you’ve got I don’t know how many millions of people use Podio. Now, but they’re really into globey flow actions. Yeah, and the one the revenue that the revenue that that Podio makes you a couple of years ago was making around 28 million a year. I gotta believe it’s making more than that. Now, I gotta believe it’s making, you know, and the relative cost of what podium costs and Citrix is, it’s got to be a pretty profitable exercise, because they don’t have that many people involved with it. And so,
Seth Helgeson 52:41
in 2014, they were only making about $700,000 a month. So they’ve had this huge growth spike, it’s, it’s a beautiful story of why to keep it going. I do hope that they, they do try to keep it more of an enterprise level thing. But my gut kind of tells me I don’t know if workflow, or not workflow automation, but I don’t know if what they’ve been creating workspace is, is something that’s going to be around for a really long time, because it’s still so new. And it’s so difficult to integrate with, I don’t know that that’s something that’s going to be adopted or
Jordan Fleming 53:23
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Andrew Cranston 53:37
I’m not sure I it does seem like at the same time workspace. I mean, it does seem at the same time to be Citrix is the hottest card in their hand. But also the best kept secret in terms of how it can be developed, right? Because I think we all have the perspective that Podio by itself without globey flow without that automation engine that is within arm’s reach for most people to do basic core automations we obviously hack the shit out of globey flow to make it do a lot of things that perhaps it wasn’t really meant to do upfront, but it can do them. That’s the magic of the application that Andre has originally built. But But without that, it’s just a static database. Right? We thought we talked to the partner meeting about this other app that that this gentleman came to be from, it’s called tape. He pretends to be the next Podio right that’s that’s the first thing you see when you go to his website. So I’m like all the best to you. But at the same time without an API without that piece without the way to automate anything, it’s already dead in the water. So So I have high hopes for for that team to to look at those shortcomings. And and without globey flow involved Podio would would disappear. And the thing about workspaces is like they put so much stock into it, even though With limited people who are developing with it, if Podio was meant to be a system of just source of truth for workspace, and why not because they, they would speak quite well to each other the bowl Citrix products, there’s an opportunity for billing on both fronts for Citrix use Podio. I’ve heard nothing but conversation about how workspaces is, you know, supposed to work well with Podio. But if Podio continues to do what it’s doing, then why would they put themselves in the position of taking their star pupil and putting it on top of something that’s just not ready for it. So I want to believe that means that podium is there for the long term, and they have high hopes and keeping it running well, and making it run better. So that workspace can survive. This is the first time I’ve actually heard word spoken that maybe workspace is not what they expect it to be. Maybe it was just a marketing thing. I don’t know
Jordan Fleming 55:51
the uptake, from what I understand the uptake on workspace has been not what they had hoped and what they had expected. I think partially that’s down to is to, you know, they launched it and some of the more advanced capabilities weren’t live. So essentially, you are by it, you were spending money on something, which really didn’t do much. You know, like we combative. We didn’t do much. You know, I think I mean, the one positive as well, I would say, you know, I mean, I think we all believe and hope that Podio will continue to thrive, I certainly believe it’s in its best position. It’s been for a while now. And I will tell you, I got I had reached out by someone, one of the sales guys in Citrix, who I used to do a lot of work with, he got he along with everybody else got taken off of selling Podio they Citrix basically took their entire sales teams and stopped selling Podio and had put it to just one salesperson, who we all know who that is, and, and but he contacted me that day and said, hey, guess what? We’re gonna be starting to sell Podio. Again, that’s fantastic. And I was not expecting that. And he reached out and said that. So I mean, I think I think the future is I think the future is relatively good right now. And if they can continue barring any massive fuckup, because when something like this happens with the acquisition, you know, they may have their own ideas, if they’re, and if they’re a massive and activist investor type. You know, they’ve got ideas to chop it up and sell off the parts, or something. I don’t know what they just died of, there could be an unknown with the investor group. But from what for where Podio is right now, it seems to be in a you know, in a relatively decent position, and we’re actually seeing movement again, which I think is great.
Seth Helgeson 57:43
Yeah, I totally hear that.
Jordan Fleming 57:47
We’ll see. Alright, guys, well, listen, thank you. As always, it’s a pleasure to speak, have a partner get together and get back into the podcast we’ll be doing. This will be one of the first podcasts, we launched season five. There’ll be some new ones coming up, including I think Damien’s coming on by himself with one of his customers to talk more about his ecosystem. Seth is going to come along to talk about some of these products and update us on where they are. Because these are all amazing kind of products that if you’re using pota you need to look at and an ecosystem you need to live in. So we’ll be seeing these guys and Andrew, I’m sure again, very soon. And thank you guys for joining me on this week’s episode of soup judge.
Seth Helgeson 58:32
Thanks for having us. Thank you.
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