Frequently Asked Questions

We’re updating the term Pushbot to Workflow throughout Catalytic. Learn more

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Questions about Catalytic

What is Catalytic?

Catalytic is a cloud-based automation platform. Catalytic orchestrates the automation of processes that include people, bots, and data. Business users can create automations for their organization using a low-code building tool by combining triggers, actions, and data.

Automate routine tasks: Your employees are overworked, and you need to get more done, faster. With automation, imagine being able to apply the function of mail merge and other macros across your entire spectrum of work in the office.

Optimize employee efforts: Improve the quality, accuracy and efficiency of office tasks, while freeing up your employees to focus on the creative and strategic work that more meaningfully impacts your business and increases competitive edge.

Reduce error and missteps: It’s difficult to align the teams, departments and branches in your organization, which can cause mistakes, missteps and failed handoffs. Maximize and streamline communication across your entire company.

Learn more about Catalytic at Catalytic.com

Do I need anything special to use Catalytic?

All you need to use Catalytic is a computer with an internet connection and web browser. Catalytic requires no hardware installation, no software, and is fully accessible through a web browser.

Catalytic supports most modern web browsers, too.

What’s a process or Workflow?

Catalytic refers to automations as processes or Workflows. If you take a business process within your company, like approving employee expenses, and automate that in Catalytic; you’re creating a process or Workflow.

Check the Workflows article to learn more.

What’s an instance?

Automations run constantly, just like your business processes run constantly: day to day, for each new contract, or each new customer.

Here are a few examples of what instances are:

  1. If you have a Workflow that automates handling contracts, the Workflow starts a new instance for each document.
  2. If you have a Workflow that coordinates new employee onboarding, the Workflow starts a new instance for each new hire.
  3. If you have a Workflow that scans images using OCR, the Workflow starts a new instance for every document.

Check the Workflow Instances article to learn more.

What’s a field?

Automations need data, and fields are where the data is stored. Users enter data into fields to start automation, or as part of an automated process.

Take a process that scans and extracts keywords from a document as an example: there would be a field to add the initial document, and other fields to define parameters, like which keywords to look for.

Then there would be output fields that are added as the process is working: fields would store the different words that are found, the total number of words, or how long the process took.

Each of these fields store a piece of data you can reference. You can even set up conditions or dependencies based on the fields.

Check the fields article to learn more.

I want to include someone without a Catalytic account in my process, will that work?

Catalytic has many features and actions that make it possible to automate work with vendors, clients, or anyone without a Catalytic account. Here are a few examples:

  • Public web forms enable outside users to supply information as part of an automation.
  • Email triggers start automation off of incoming emails. Users can send emails to a company email address as part of an automated process.
  • The Email: Send an email action, and other email actions, let you send out emails as part of a process.

To build processes or change any settings in Catalytic, a full account is needed.

I am already using Automation Anywhere, UiPath, Pega, or another RPA/Automation platform, does Catalytic replace them?

Catalytic provides organizations with process orchestration and integration capabilities, giving business users tools to create automations that involve multiple people, bots, and services like Automation Anywhere, or UiPath.

We complement RPA providers like Automation Anywhere by connecting these traditional platforms to the extended enterprise, enabling complex workflows involving employees, customers, and suppliers.

All of your company’s systems—whether cloud-based, SFTP, VPN, or on-prem—can be integrated with Catalytic, streamlining processes and increasing efficiency.

Check out our Automation Anywhere and UiPath integration guides.

How do I reduce the amount of notifications I get from Catalytic?

Catalytic uses notifications to help groups and team members keep track of automation. At any time, users can configure their account notifications through their account settings. See How to change your notification preferences for instructions.

From your account, you can adjust the following settings:

  • Updates from Catalytic
    • Receive notifications via email when you have updates from Catalytic.
  • Weekly Status Report
    • Receive a weekly summary email of the updates for your team.
  • Daily Status Report
    • Receive a daily summary email of your task updates.
  • Alerts
    • Receive notifications for tasks assigned to you, instances that complete, and deadline reminders.

Turning off notifications like Alerts or Updates from Catalytic can interfere with an existing workflow. Communicate with your Catalytic team on the best way to manage notifications so everyone stays accountable.

If you’re subscribed to any of our newsletters, every email includes an unsubscribe link at the bottom.

Check out the notification preferences article to learn more.

Troubleshooting

How do I change my personal settings?

You can change personal settings from the My Account page. See how to view and update your account.

How to view and update your account

  1. Select your photo or profile icon in the top right corner and select My Account from the menu.
  2. From your account page, select the Profile, Settings, or Notifications tab to see all account options.

Some settings, like your user role and editing permissions, cannot be changed except by an Admin. Read more on permission levels in Catalytic in Understanding Permission Levels in Catalytic

How do I recover my password or email address?

Change your password

You can change your password from My Account any time you are logged in. Check the manage your password article to learn more.

  1. Select your photo or profile icon in the top right corner and select My Account.
  2. Select Change password and follow the prompts to change the password.

Recover your password

If you have forgotten your password, choose the Sign in by email option from your Catalytic team login screen. Make sure you’re on the right team’s login page!

  1. Select Sign in by email and enter the email for the account. This will send a special, secure login email to that email.

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  2. Check your inbox. In the email, select the login button to log in to the team.
  3. Once logged in, go ahead and change your password. Select your photo or profile icon in the top right corner and select My Account.
  4. Select Change password and follow the prompts to change the password.

Recover your email

If you have forgotten the email address you used to log in, try your most commonly used emails with the Sign in by email feature, or contact a team or company admin to identify your login email address.

⚠️ Heads-up: If you’re having problems logging in and your Catalytic team uses a company SSO provider, contact your internal IT team, as most issues must be resolved within your company. A common issue is when the user’s Catalytic email differs from their SSO email address; an admin can check to make sure these are the same.

How do I get help or give feedback?

Catalytic has a unique approach to automation, and includes many unique concepts because of that. We update our help documentation daily to include changes to the platform, new tips or tricks, and as much detail as possible for working in Catalytic.

For help configuring an action

Visit the help site (you’re here now) and review the article for that action. All Catalytic actions include help articles, many with detailed steps on how to configure and understand the functionality.

If something isn’t working as intended

Visit the Catalytic Community and review the active topics or solved questions. If you can’t find an answer, start a new post and add a detailed summary of the issue. Expert Catalytic users and Catalytic developers are active on the community and will respond to your questions.

If you have an urgent issue, or question about Catalytic architecture or security

If you have an urgent issue, or have an inquiry about Catalytic architecture, security, privacy, or other enterprise level questions, contact help@catalytic.com. Support will always start by recommending relevant help articles, so please review the help center before contacting support.

How do I suggest improvements?

Catalytic has evolved to meet customer demands, and many common requests and feedback are turned into new features. If you see an area where we could improve, check to see if someone has made the same suggestion and upvote it in the Ideas section of the Community.

If you don’t see a similar idea in the Community, create a new post and tell us what you’re thinking. The more detail you can provide, the better chance it may become part of Catalytic in the future.

I am getting a Fix task or issue, what do I do?

When a process is running, any error or issue that stops the process will create a fix task. This fix task is assigned to the process owner, and must be completed before the instance can complete.

There are 3 ways to resolve a fix task:

  1. If the task is non-essential and can be skipped, you can select Skip this task from the drop down. The process will continue as if the task was skipped.
  2. If the issue seems like a temporary issue, or a timing issue, you can Retry the task. This solution only works in some edges cases where a dependent task had not finished yet. Sometimes retrying can fix the issue if timing was the problem.
  3. If first two fixes aren’t an option, use the information provided in the fix task as the basis for troubleshooting the process itself.

Here are some recommended steps when you’re troubleshooting a process to resolve a fix task. Before starting, create a draft version of the Workflow so you don’t affect the live process:

  • Open up two windows side by side. On the left side, keep the fix task open. On the right side, open up the draft version of the Workflow where the fix task occurred. This side by side view helps keep triage focused.
  • From the fix task window, open the instance detail page for the instance that wasn’t working and look for the action that created the fix task. Then open that same action in the draft Workflow. Look at them 1 to 1 to see what went wrong. Pay special attention to look at:
    • Fields that are inputs to the action
    • Field references used in the action
    • Dependencies or conditions in the action
I accidentally started a Workflow, how do I stop it?

If there’s an issue with a process, instances can be ended manually. Read more here.

  1. Click the button from the top navigation bar, and select Instances from the menu.
  2. Browse and select the instance you wish to end. Adjust the filters to Status is in progress to narrow down the instances.
  3. Select the in the top right and select End Instance. Select OK.
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If you started a batch process, such as a helper Workflow, or an iterator inline action, you must end the root instance to stop the entire batch process. Locate the root instance and end it.

💡Tip: If you set complete immediately to true, the batch rows cannot be easily stopped as the parent action is already complete.

It’s also recommended to add “stop” points while building to prevent runaway processes. This makes it easy to test different sections without the entire process getting kicked off. See the Test Workflows and tasks article for more.

Automation and building

How do I build a Workflow that does X?

Catalytic is an automation cloud, capable of automation a broad range of business processes. To get started thinking about building a Workflow to automate a process you have in mind, try 2 different approaches.

Diagram and understand your process

  • Identify the “core” functionality of your process. If you want to build an automation for your invoice approval process, what is the “core” action? For example, there may be 10-15 steps, but the main action is adding new lines to a spreadsheet. Find an action that matches that description, then work your way from there.
  • Make a diagram. Start by just drawing boxes and connecting them together with lines. Start with a big circle at the top of a piece of paper, and write in what the trigger is, like “Emails with invoices”, then draw a line and make a box with the first step in it.
  • Find the “core” action, then build before and after it.

Play with and explore actions

  • Browse the list of actions. If you aren’t familiar with the various action types, you won’t know which actions to choose. Grab the actions that seem like parts of your process, and begin to experiment with them.
  • Start with a trigger, then build off of it. If you know your process starts with incoming emails, set up an email trigger and go from there.
When do I contact Catalytic Support for help?

Catalytic support can help for issues like system errors, visible issues, or other urgent requests. If you’re not sure if you should contact support, check the following recommendations:

  • If you get an error, or experience a visible issue, contact support.
  • If you get a fix task, or have questions about building or making a Workflow, ask in the Catalytic Community or browse the help center.
  • If you have questions about performance, feel like things are running slow, or have other non-urgent issues, we recommend refreshing your browser or waiting a few minutes. Catalytic uses a prioritization system for its automation, and many tasks, processes, and functions are smartly organized and queued up; this queue may explain why something feels slow—it’s in progress!
Does Catalytic support my favorite app or service?

Catalytic is always adding new features and capabilities to the platform. New actions, features, and integrations are added in every release. If your app or service doesn’t have an existing integration with Catalytic, there are 4 ways you can connect the systems yourself: Email, SFTP, API, and webhook triggers.

  • Most modern platforms include API support. Catalytic’s Web API actions mean you can begin integrating with your favorite app or service right away, without needing to wait for an official integration. Our web API actions support all common API protocols, and are commonly used in automation.
  • If API’s aren’t an option, email and SFTP triggers can quickly link two systems. For example, to link a reporting tool with Catalytic, set up the platform to output a weekly CSV or XLSX file to an SFTP folder. Catalytic can monitor the folder and start automation whenever a new file is added. An email trigger works the same way: set up a recurring email to a custom Catalytic trigger address, and your favorite app or service can start automation just by sending an email.
  • Webhook triggers can start an instance of a Workflow when a system calls a webhook URL. If you have visibility into the administration of your app or service, you may be able to integrated directly with webhook calls.

If there’s an app or service you particularly want to see integrated with Catalytic, make a recommendation in the Ideas section of the Catalytic Community.

You don’t have an action/trigger/integration that does X, what should I do?

If you don’t see an action, trigger, or integration that includes the functionality you’re looking for, review the help center to identify if any other similar actions exist that would easily work instead. If there are no alternatives, the capabilities built into Catalytic actions can be recreated using our Web API actions. Many modern platforms have an API protocol, and Catalytic can access this to interact with the system.

  • For example, our Google integration and actions support uploading and downloading files. For additional capabilities, use the Web API actions to perform common actions within Google Drive, as provided by their API service; like getting lists of items in a folder, tagging items, or sharing documents with others.
I can’t find action/trigger/integration X, where did it go?

Occasionally, Catalytic actions change names, or are consolidated into another action. We typically address or identify this in our release notes. If you’re not sure where an action went, chances are it was renamed or is part of another action. Look through the category of action you’re trying to find to see if another new action exists, or check similar actions in the same category.

Why does my action have a version number in its title?

We update action functionality all the time. To keep processes running smoothly, we update new version of actions, but do not forcefully update processes using existing versions. If an action in your process has a version number, a newer version of that action exists. It is not necessary to rebuild your process with the latest version if the currently functionality works for you. This is done purposefully, so to not disrupt a process that’s already live and functioning correctly.

If you have an action that includes a version number, this is not an issue or an indication of an issue. This just means a new version has been released, and the older versions are identified with their current number.

What are Premium Actions?

Catalytic coordinates between different services providers to create a single platform capable of automating a variety of business processes. For that reason, some of the services, like contact lookups and document signing, require specific contracts with Catalytic as they are priced per use.

All Premium Actions are identified in their respective Help Center article. if you’re interested in using a premium action, contact Catalytic at support@catalytic.com to begin working with these actions.

Can I make my processes work faster? My process seems slow.

See our Optimize a Workflow guide for some best practices on process optimization.

If a process seems to run slower than expected, confirm it with data before deciding to make changes:

  1. Check the Average duration recorded on the Workflow detail page. This average excludes any tests. This number may be skewed by test runs that were not run in test mode, to reset runs to test mode, use the Update a completed run to test mode action.
  2. Build in your own monitoring:
    • Add a “set date” action at the beginning of your process, and set additional “set date” actions at different points in your process. Collect these dates and compare them to see how long different parts of your process are taking.

Speed up processes using any or all of the following techniques:

  1. Reduce the number of actions. Fewer actions generally run faster.
  2. Build within system limits; if your Workflow exceeds certain system limits, the process will run slower as any work that exceeds the limit is queued.
  3. Batch processes on large tables significantly contribute to process duration. Either use actions like Tables: Apply formulas to rows or Tables: Summarize data to skip batch processing, or reorganize your process to use CSV data for faster processing.
  4. Look at the original use case that prompted the automation, and see if there’s a way to get the same result with a simpler architecture. Many users discover more effective ways to build their processes with newer actions or with more experience.
How do I test a Workflow?

There are 3 ways to test a Workflow. Test the Workflow, test an individual task, or test the Workflow experience.

  • To test the Workflow, See the Test Workflows & Tasks article for details on testing an entire Workflow.
    • While building, test the Workflow often. We see experienced users test a Workflow after each task is added. Try this process: Add and configure the first action, then test it; make sure it returns the right results. Then add and configure the next action and test it; and see if the results are correct.
    • Don’t go too long without testing.
    • Stick to a naming convention with fields.
  • To test an individual task, see the How to test an individual task article for details on testing a task.
  • An important step is to also test it in front of users and test it with them.
Can I see my process mapped out like a business process map?

From the Workflow settings page, you can get a flowchart view of your process. The flowchart view is one way to get a big picture view of your process. Check the View your process as a flowchart article to learn more.

Additionally, we encourage teams to put together their own documentation and materials.

Actions

I can’t get an action to work properly, what do I do?

For issues with an action, always check the article page for the action and review the action details. Actions have a high degree of configurability and there may be a mistake in the setup.

You should also check the field references, as this is a common area where users makes mistakes.

If you’re still unable to get an action working as expected, ask in the Catalytic Community.

Why aren’t my email actions sending emails?

This is most commonly because of the Workflow’s spam feature. To prevent unintended spam, Workflow’s will not send two or more identical emails in quick succession. If an email has the same recipient, subject, and body as an email sent in the last hour, it will bounce. Read more here.

To work around this, ensure that each email is unique. One way to do this is to add a run ID or current date time field reference to the subject or body of an email so each tested email is not identical to the last. This ensures tests can be run back to back.

In some cases, a company firewall or email server may prevent delivery. If the recipient is a trusted customer, vendor, or partner, ask them to whitelist the Catalytic @catalytic.comand @pushbot.com domain to reduce undelivered emails.

For other general tips on email actions, check the general email article.

What is a field reference?

Use field references to reference data throughout your Workflow. For example, if you use the basic math action to calculate a sum, you can reference the output to use that data in another action.

In other words, data in one task can be referenced in another task. If you have an email trigger that listens for incoming emails, you can reference the email body text and use it in another action. Catalytic uses fields to make your automation dynamic and intelligent.

See how fields work for more information on how they work.

Is my webform public and can anyone use it?

Web forms look like questionnaires and collect information from people. They are publicly accessible since they’re used to loop customers, partners, or vendors into your automation.

Web form URLS will be unique and hard to guess, so the only concern is if a user were share a web form with someone else. It is recommended to hide confidential information from web forms, or restrict confidential information to only be available to specific Catalytic users with their own accounts.

Additionally, the send a form sends a single use form that can only be filled out once.

Check the web form trigger or web form article to learn more.

What is the equivalent table action for common Excel functions?

There are over 20 table actions covering basic actions like removing a row up to powerful actions like apply filters.

If you’re looking for VLOOKUP style functionality, use the Look up data in a column action.

My action manipulates a file but keeps failing?

If you have an action that fails when manipulating a file, it is usually an issue with the file size. Review the Workflow system limits and confirm that your file is the correct size.

Can I create my own action?

You can turn your most used actions or Workflows into reusable custom actions. If you consistently use the same series of actions, like resizing and renaming an image, you can turn it into a reusable action and define your own inputs and outputs.

Check the custom actions article for more information, or the example of setting up a custom action for a step by step example.

Address custom action, (and hosted actions when possible)

What happens to scheduled triggers during Daylight Savings Time?

Daylight Savings time will affect the start time of triggers. It is recommended to adjust triggers prior to daylight savings time taking affect if this may interfere with your process.

For example, if a process is set to begin at 5:30AM CST, the start time will change to 4:30AM CST when daylight savings takes place.

Administration

What time zone is Catalytic in for my team?

Catalytic displays all times relevant to your timezone. Actions, like get current date output and handle times in UTC, so there is a common global standard in the system. This is the time in the back-end, but the front-end displays relevant to your timezone.

If you need to format the time to display as a different timezone, you can use the Format a Date Time action to offset the time that displays on the front-end.

Check How timing and delays are interpreted across time zones for more on time zones.

If you have any scheduled triggers, Daylight Savings time will affect the start time. It is recommended to adjust triggers prior to daylight savings time taking affect if this may interfere with your process.

For example, if a process is set to begin at 5:30AM CST, the start time will change to 4:30AM CST when daylight savings takes place.

Is Catalytic available in multiple languages?

Not at this time. Catalytic does currently support double byte characters so your automation can handle information in other languages. Check our supported languages for more details.

Can people see the data I enter or store in Catalytic?

The best way to understand permissions is with the Understanding Permissions Levels in Catalytic article, and the Understanding how permissions work between Catalytic and your apps article.

Can other people use my process or Workflow?

Permissions can be configured per Workflow. If you have a Workflow you want to use privately and personally, or across an entire team, it can be configured that way. You can configure the following settings:

  • Which users can edit it
  • Which users can find it when searching or viewing lists
  • The default level of field permissions for any fields added to the Workflow or added when an instance is running
  • Whether or not users can start the Workflow manually

Private Workflows can be shared limitedly with triggers. The permissions for a Workflow can limit the editing and viewing permissions, but triggers like web forms, shared publicly, can still start a private Workflow.

Learn more in the Workflow Permissions and Understanding Permissions Levels in Catalytic article.

Does Catalytic scan files for viruses?

All files uploaded to the system undergo an industry standard virus scan, and we run automated vulnerability scans across the system at regular intervals. If a file does not pass the virus and malware scan, it will not be uploaded to Catalytic.

You can see more details on our Catalytic Security Guide article.

Does Catalytic comply with GDPR?

We have several policies and controls that address GDPR requirements. The controls include areas such as options for opt-in/opt out of communications, procedures surrounding data retention, data breach procedures, DPIA (Data Protection Impact Assessment) procedures, procedures related to sub-contractors, as well ensuring the proper treatment of individual’s rights and subject access requests. This new regulation will help enhance the security surrounding the personal data of all Catalytic customers.

For details more details on our GDPR compliance, see our Catalytic Security Guide article.

Learn more about our data retention & information governance capabilities.

How do I delete or turn off a Workflow?

You can archive Workflows to remove them from search or the team Workflow list. Archived Workflows are hidden and not deleted—to view them, filter for Archived Workflows from the Workflows page.

💡Tip: Note that archiving a Workflow is not deleting it.

How to archive a Workflow

  1. Navigate to the Workflow Settings page for the Workflow you wish to archive.
  2. Select at the bottom of the page.

Check the archive a Workflow article for more details.

How do I know if Catalytic is saving me money?

The Team Dashboard provides a summary of the activity and value within your Catalytic team. From the dashboard, you can check

  • User count
  • Active Workflow count
  • Active instances
  • Hours saved
  • Cost savings
  • Number of unique Actions

Catalytic bases the time savings on an analysis on the time saved per action of 30.176 seconds.

The cost savings is calculated by multiplying the hours saved by the average U.S. hourly wage of $24.57, equivalent to an annual wage of $51,105.

Why can’t I create or edit a Workflow?

Catalytic teams can configure how users create or edit Workflows. Admins can set the default editing permissions for their team from the admin team center.

By default, new users will inherit the default editing permissions defined by the team. This means if you’re a new user, you may have editing permissions turned off by default

If you have questions about your permissions, discuss with your team admin.

Can I invite a user?

Each Catalytic team can set their own invitations permissions and procedures. By default, only admins an invite new users to a team. If you have questions about inviting a user to your team, discuss with your team admin.