LAUNCHED: Configurable Automated Cascading Dependencies

Our first Automations release two years ago provided a baseline ability to define an action to be executed automatically based on a configurable trigger. It could do some cool stuff, but there were limitations. Since that release, our work with the world’s largest brands and studios helped us understand the range and complexity of desired automated behavior. Now, we’ve significantly expanded the power of Automations (among a host of other cool new tricks), including configurable automated cascading dependencies, ready to empower your workflows!

Wow, “configurable automated cascading dependencies” sure is a mouthful. Let’s break it down, starting at the end and working backwards:

DEPENDENCY: Something that is dependent on something else. Studio production is full of these: a product shot requires an available sample. A grouping (more than one product visualized together) requires an available sample for each featured product. On-Figure shoots require models. A booking requires multiple committed talent resources. An active set may require people, gear, props, and samples. On and on. Nothing new here, but the complexity of the process means there are lots of these dependences operating in tandem across many different object relationships.

CASCADING: The dictionary says this is arranging a number of devices or objects in a series or sequence. The dependencies described above go multiple levels deep in the studio workflow. A business rule might be that for a shot list to be ready, it requires all shots to be ready. But for each shot to be ready, each product in that shot also needs to be ready, and for that product to be ready, we need an available sample. Think of it as a series of switches that are each dependent on another series of switches being flipped.

AUTOMATED: Users want things to change auto-magically when conditions are met, without manual effort. This functionality is now built into a next-generation Automations “2.0” feature set, that enables Admins to set the rules, then let them run. And speaking of setting rules, that bring us to the topic of…

CONFIGURABLE: Like everything in studio production, the exact conditions to “flip a switch” are dependent on many specific factors in a client process. Let’s take a sample being “available” as an example. What does that actually mean? Are all samples received at the studio dock “available”? The samples currently loaned out for on-location shoots certainly aren’t. Ok, so how about any sample within the studio building? Probably not the ones we didn’t assemble (furniture) or style (apparel) yet, right? What about the samples that are scheduled to be on a different set on the same day? If our model is a size 4, then is a styled size 12 sample acceptable for this shot? (Pro tip: that’s a “no”). So there are multiple conditions that must be met to flip a sample availability “switch” based on many unique variables in the client process. We can apply this complexity to any other object “switch” – campaign, shipment, booking, shoot, asset, etc.

Complicated stuff, right? We’ve been looking at this for several years to figure out a solve that covers all the bases: configurable, automated, dependent, and cascading. And that functionality is now live in our Automations 2.0 platform release (deployed September 23).

Want to learn more? Take a look at the last 15 minutes of our What’s New in ’22 webinar recording