Add the order timeline to Flow please

CJWalker
Tourist
10 0 12

Please add the ability for Flows to add things to the order timeline.

 

I'm baffled. This has been long requested. And you just released a shiny new version of Flow without it. 

Replies 15 (15)

paul_n
Shopify Staff
954 128 225

I think you are asking that Flow adds an event to the order timeline when it does an action that affects the order. Flow does this for some actions but not others. Is there a particular action that you did not see there but want? 

Paul_N | Flow Product Manager @ Shopify
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ugs
Visitor
1 0 0

I am trying to create a trigger (in Flow) for SHIPPING LABEL ADJUSTMENTS in the Order Timeline. Is this possible?

paul_n
Shopify Staff
954 128 225

The timeline is a log of events. You shouldn't be able to change a log. I think you mean something else though.

Paul_N | Flow Product Manager @ Shopify
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CJWalker
Tourist
10 0 12

Hi Paul_n,

The goal is not to tamper with what’s there. The goal is to give users the ability to make records for later reference. 
It would be easy to limit Flow to only adding, and possibly editing what it has added, not editing what has been created by other apps or the platform itself. 

 

paul_n
Shopify Staff
954 128 225

There isn't an API to add events or comments to a timeline, therefore Flow (or any 3p) cannot add events to it. The events that do get added there are handled on a case-by-case basis based on what that particular action/API implements. For example, when a payment is captured. I think the fundamental problem is that opening it up would quickly make it unreadable for important events (like if someone added 100 events in quick succession), so a totally new timeline is needed.  All that said, it's something that would be very useful, I agree.

Paul_N | Flow Product Manager @ Shopify
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CJWalker
Tourist
10 0 12

You're on the right track, but flows are made by the user, so if the user is cluttering their own timeline, they should be allowed to do that.

A separate timeline might be nice, but it's not necessary. All you need is a mask for the current timeline that only shows Shopify's entries if the user wants that. Other entries would appear collapsed.

Also, a lot of apps out there make changes to orders. They should also be allowed to add to the timeline. Not having something as monumental as an order edit appearing on the timeline is a far worse user experience than the odd extra entry.

If an app is adding too many entries, let us block it, or more likely, users will just uninstall it. That's how it should be. Not a platform limitation like you're suggesting.

Leffrey
Explorer
40 0 17

The timeline is a timeline.  It "can" be edited on the website.  Surely a flow written by an admin should be able to do anything regarding timeline in flow that the admin can do on the website, himself.

 

Anyway, none of that matters, because I believe that all of us just want the ability to "add" a note to the timeline.  For our company, since there is no private place to keep notes on an order, we use the timeline.  Too many apps allow order notes field to be seen by the customer which is fine for us.  Knowing this, we use and depend on timeline to add notes instead which can only be seen by employees.

paul_n
Shopify Staff
954 128 225

Having a UI feature doesn't mean there is an API. The API allows apps like Flow to build a feature based on it. In this case no API exists. Some actions can add to timeline but that's managed outside of the API for predetermined types of actions (like when payment is captured)

Paul_N | Flow Product Manager @ Shopify
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Leffrey
Explorer
40 0 17

I did not imply that one exists.  I was replying to your comment that was stating the purpose and therefore limitation of the timeline.  You had said "The timeline is a log of events. You shouldn't be able to change a log."  

AbovePar
Visitor
3 0 0

I'm also interested in adding to thee order timeline - is it possible to record an automation email?

kpark11
Shopify Partner
1 0 1

Yes please.  One of the things we use FLOW to do is to add a "HOLD" tag on orders that we don't want to be pulled into integrations and into our ERP or on orders that we want to review or give "white glove treatment" to before passing into our ERP.  Having the ability to add a timeline comment would be extremely valuable.  An example would be that we do not ship to PO Boxes, so we like to put those orders on hold and reach out to our customers to get another shipping address that will work before passing it through integrations.  Unfortunately if someone on our team goes through and is looking at the order to find out why it is on HOLD, there is no information on that order as to why it is on HOLD.  Being able to add a note to the timeline would be very helpful.  

Leffrey
Explorer
40 0 17

We are using it in a similar way.  We need to know "why" we automatically put that order on hold using flows with risk assessment, etc.  The no-brainer way would be to add a message in the timeline at the moment the HOLD is placed.

Leffrey
Explorer
40 0 17

I agree.  In the meantime, does anyone know any other way to add a PRIVATE Note to an order in flow?  I say PRIVATE, because the NOTES field is not private and in many apps, including one that we use, is visible to the customer.  Because of this, we only use the notes field for notes that benefit the customer.

 

We though of creating tags as notes, but that would really be ridiculous and cause thousands of tags which are very long.

paul_n
Shopify Staff
954 128 225

You could use metafields for a note

Paul_N | Flow Product Manager @ Shopify
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Leffrey
Explorer
40 0 17

Its funny you said that.  I am trying and testing that now.  Good call (I hope)