PowerClerk Support Center

Program Design
Questions to Ask
Locating the Automations feature
How to create an Automation
Automation Triggers
Automation Action Rules
Validation Rules
Scheduled Triggers
Troubleshooting Automations
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Channels feature
What are Channels?
Types of Channels
Channel Type: Mark as Child
Channel Type: Make Successor
Channel Type: Create Related Project
Channel Type: Submit Related Project
Channel Type: Project Lookup
How to create a Channel
Channel Signals and Automations
Using Channels in Test Environments
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Communications feature
Creating Communication templates
Finding Data Tags
Bulk Communications via Data Import
Images in Communications
Project Attachments and Content Library Items
Smart Templates
Upgrading to Smart Templates
Upgrading when a Test Environment Exists
Broken Template Tags
Examples of Broken Template Tags
PowerClerk Bulk Email Communication Policy
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Connections feature
What are Connections
How to Create a Standard Web Adapter
Define Input and Output Fields
Connecting, Testing, and Enabling the Web Adapter
Creating a Standard Web Adapter Configuration
Utilizing Connections on PowerClerk
Maintaining and Editing the Web Adapter
Web Adapter Message Type Format
Supported Message Versions
Error Handling
Custom List Lookup
Create a Custom List Lookup
Utilizing Custom List Lookup
Content Library
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Content Library feature
Uploading content to the Content Library
Use with Communication Templates
Use for Front Page content
Custom API IDs
Questions to Ask
Locating the Custom API IDs feature
How to edit a Custom API ID
Data Fields
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Data Fields feature
How to work with Data Fields
Custom Lists and Data Field Groups
Table form element
PV System + batteries element
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Deadlines feature
What are Deadlines
How to Create a Deadline
Deadline Automation Action Rules
Utilizing Project Admin Page for Deadlines
Communication Templates for Deadlines
Deadline Set/Satisfy Options
Program-Wide Deadline Actions
Reporting on Deadlines
Deadlines in Project List Columns
Document Templates
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Document Templates feature
How to define a new Template
How to define a new Merged Document
DocuSign template tags
Mapping eSignature tags
Smart Templates
eSignature Envelopes
Questions to Ask
Locating the eSignature Feature
What are eSignature Envelopes?
eSignature Checklist: The Prerequisites to create a new Envelope
How to set up Advanced eSignature Envelopes Step-by-Step
How to add an eSignature Envelope to a form
eSignature Automation Trigger
Viewing Completed eSignature Envelopes
Resending eSignature Notifications
Canceling eSignatures
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Forms feature
How to create and edit Forms
Adding data fields
Configuring Forms
Sensitive Data Fields
Formulas and Calculated Fields
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Formulas feature
How to work with Formulas and Calculated Fields
Formula Data Dictionary
Dynamic Formula References
Rules of Formula References
Advanced Visibility Rules
Video Guides: Formulas
Front Page
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Front Page feature
How to edit the Front Page
Incentive Design
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Incentive Design feature
How to create and edit Incentive Designs
Incentive Options for One-Time Incentive Type
Incentive Design Options
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Milestones feature
How to define a Milestone
Project List Columns
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Project List Columns feature
How to use Project List Columns
Project Summary
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Project Summary feature
How to edit the Project Summary
Project Views
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Project Views feature
How to edit Project Views
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Roles feature
How to create and edit a Role
Access Groups
Access Groups and Automations
Access Groups and Data Imports
Access Groups and Reports
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Workflow feature
How to create and edit the Workflow
Workflow Example Overview
Business Days
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Business Days feature
Setting up Business Days
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Dashboards feature
How to create widgets in your Dashboard
Other Dashboard Actions
Data Import
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Data Import feature
Steps to Complete a Data Import
Data Import Configurations
Column Header Types
Automatic Data Imports via SFTP
Duplicate Check
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Duplicate Check feature
How to use Duplicate Checks
Import Projects
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Import Projects feature
How to Import From V2
Operation Status
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Operation Status feature
How to use the Operation Status feature
Program Info
Project Inquiry
Locating the Project Inquiry feature
How to edit the Project Inquiry Settings
Automating Communications for Project Inquires
Inquiry Summary
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Program Info feature
How to edit the Program Info menu
Notification Banners
Usage Info
Program Statistics
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Program Statistics feature
How to use Program Statistics
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Reports feature
How to setup Reports
Multi-instance reports
Sharing Reports
Integrate scheduled Reports
Cross-Program Reports
Test Environment
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the Test Environment feature
How to setup a Test Environment
User Administration
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the User Administration feature
How to work with User Administration
Tools Menu
My Account
Questions to Ask
Locating the My Account feature
How to use the My Account feature
Setting up Multi-Factor Authentication
Missing, lost, or stolen mobile devices: resetting Multi-Factor Authentication
Disabling Multi-Factor Authentication
Recovery Guidelines for MFA Administrators
Questions to Ask
Locating the FormSense feature
How to use the FormSense feature
Grant Access
Questions to Ask
Project Grants vs Broad Grants (i.e. "Grant Access")
Locating the Project Grant feature
Locating the Grant Access feature
How to use the Grant Access feature
Integration Guides
Questions to ask yourself
Locating the ePayments History feature
How to add ePayments
PowerClerk API
Questions to Ask
What is the PowerClerk API?
What can the PowerClerk API do?
Integrating with the PowerClerk API
API Documentation for Developers
Single Sign On (SSO)
Questions to Ask
PowerClerk SSO Configuration
Azure AD Configuration (SAML)
Azure AD Configuration (OIDC)
Okta IDP Configuration (SAML)
SP Configuration
SSO for multiple programs
IDP Configuration Troubleshooting
Integration Guide 001: How to configure a Web Adapter – ArcGIS Implementation
Integration Guide 002: How to configure Electric Power Research Institute’s (EPRI) DRIVE Connect software with PowerClerk
PowerClerk Video Guides
New User Video Guide
Setting up Business Days
Edit Forms - Tutorial #1
Build A Formula
Edit Forms - Tutorial #2
Automation with Formulas in Action Rules
Configuring Forms
Formulas and Advanced Visibility Rules
Calculated Fields
Project Summary
Setting up Roll-up Reports
Roles and User Administration
Visualize Workflows
SFTP Automatic Data Import
Standard Web Adapter Setup
PowerClerk Program Launch
PowerClerk User Group Sessions (UGS)
Learning Management System (LMS)
Join us for Reflow!


Automations streamline your Workflow to save time on the most repetitive steps in processing applications and reduce human error.

Automations feature

Questions to ask yourself about Automations:

What Automations could benefit my Workflow the most by reducing the time spent on repetitive tasks?

What Conditions should I put in place for different action rules?
How can Form Submit Validation Rules assist my program and prevent mistakes?

Locating the Automations feature

Anyone in a Role with the Edit Automations privilege can use the Automations feature by opening the PROGRAM DESIGN menu and clicking on Automations:


Locating the Automations feature

Figure 1: PROGRAM DESIGN >> Automations


How to create an Automation

Automations allow you to automatically trigger PowerClerk to perform different actions or validate user input on your Forms. For example, an automation action rule could advance a project’s status, send out a Communication Template, Set Data Fields, start a Deadline, and more. The general approach for Automations in PowerClerk is:

  • When [a trigger happens], if [a condition is met], then [perform an action automatically].

Automations consist of three parts: Triggers, Action Rules/Validation Rules, and Enabling. First, establish a trigger for PowerClerk to process the rules. Then, configure the action rules and/or validation rules associated with that trigger. Finally, enable the trigger to become active.

Automation Triggers

There are six trigger options for Automations:

  • Status: Enters, Exits, and Transitions
  • Form: Submission
  • Inquiry: New thread creation and Thread reply
  • Channel: Signal received
  • eSignature Envelope:* Complete. For more information, please see the eSignature Envelopes Article
  • Scheduled: for automated run reports. Please see the section “Scheudled Triggers,” below.
Automation Trigger Options

Figure 2: Automation Trigger Options

Once a trigger type is selected, you will be prompted to configure the properties for that trigger. For example, I would like to create an Automation that is based on when a form is submitted. The “Trigger Type” for this example would be “Form” followed by the form I wish to add this automation to, followed by the “Trigger Action” of “Form is submitted.

Defining Status Change as Automation Trigger

Figure 3: Defining Status Change as Automation Trigger


Automation Action Rules

A variety of Action rules within PowerClerk allow you to model a broad range of business scenarios and streamline process steps tailored to your needs.
The action rule configuration will allow you to set:

  • The Frequency of the Action Rule
  • The Condition to Process the Action Rule
  • The Type of Action Rule
  • The Processing Property of the Action Rule
  • The Order of all the Action Rules

Step 1: Select the Frequency of the Action Rule
An action rule may attempt to run every time the automation is triggered or only the first time for Status and Form triggers.
The only the first time property is for the first time the automation is triggered, not the first time the condition is met for the action rule. Note that condition still must be met for an action rule to process.

Step 2: Select the Condition for the Action Rule
There are two types of Conditions for Action Rules: “Always” or ” When the following formula is true”. If you use a formula, PowerClerk will skip the action rule if the project does not meet the condition.
A common example for an “always” action rule is sending the same ‘Application Received’ communication to all projects that submit the first form.
The second type of condition “Fire Action when the following formula is true” allows the condition to be based on a specific formula rule established within PowerClerk’s “Formulas” feature. Basing the condition on a formula allows the project to take a multitude of different paths. The Formula result type must be a Boolean formula that returns a true or false result.

Workflow Routing Automation Based on Engineer Review Form Result

Figure 4a: Workflow Routing Automation Based on Engineer Review Form Result


Formula Example for Condition

Figure 4b: Formula Example for Condition

Step 3: Select the Type of Action Rule
There are several action rules that can assist with workflow automations, streamlining processes, assisting admins, and decreasing human error.

Types of Action Rules

Figure 5: Types of Action Rules

Send Communication: Automatically send a communication based on an action that has been taken on a project (i.e., a form submission or status change). This allows you to keep all stakeholders continuously informed on important aspects of your projects without requiring your admin to keep track of emails.
Change Project Status: Change the status of a project (used for Form and Channel triggers). Note that if you also have a status trigger associated with this change status, that automation will run as well.
Clear Assignee: This Action Rule allows you to remove a project’s assignee. Note that you cannot automatically designate an assignee due to possible load balancing implications for projects that could get routed inadvertently to a backlogged assignee queue.
Generate Attachment: Triggering this Action rule allows you to automatically generate a document template and store the generated document in an attachment field. If desired, you can then utilize the attachment field on a communication template.
Set Data Field: You can set String, Integer, Decimal, and Boolean data field types. This can be a pre-defined value. You may also set Date values, which in turn can trigger Validation Rules or denote expiration deadlines. You may also copy data values from one data field to another or copy a Formula result into a data field.
Set Deadline: Deadlines configured to ‘when deadline is set’ will start.
Satisfy Deadline: Satisfy a specific or all deadlines will this action rule. Helpful for Deadlines that may have more than one status path to become satisfied.
Pause or Resume Deadline: You may wish to pause a deadline when it enters specific statuses and resume them later. Use these two action rules to accomplish a pause and resume.
Send Signal to Channel: Signal to a previously configured channel through this Action Rule to receive data or output data.
Call Web Adapter: You have the option to call a previously configured web adapter through this Action rule to receive the web adapters response for further processing.
Request eSignatures: In order to successfully send an eSignature request via an Action Rule, a project must contain the Envelope Definitions’ specified contact data fields. The action will not be able to be completed if these fields are missing or otherwise invalid (ex. not a valid email).

Step 4: Select the Processing Property
Select whether PowerClerk should continue processing or stop processing subsequent action rules after this one has been processed. This action rule must be taken (i.e., the frequency and condition has been met and the action rule was processed) for PowerClerk to follow the processing property.
Note that all “change project status” action rules end with the “stop processing rules” property.

Step 5: Verify Order of All Action Rules
PowerClerk will attempt to process action rules in order. If an action rule is successfully processed and has a “stop processing rules” property, PowerClerk will not attempt to process subsequent action rules.
Certain action rules may also need to be processed prior to subsequent action rules and must be ordered accordingly. For example, if you wish to generate an attachment and attach the document to a communication to send, then the Generate Attachment action rule must come before the Send Communication action rule.

Properly Ordering Action Rules, a Generate Attachment Rule comes prior to the Send Communication rule that has that attachment

Figure 6: Properly Ordering Action Rules, a Generate Attachment Rule comes prior to the Send Communication rule that has that attachment


Validation Rules

PowerClerk supports Validation Rules to ensure specific criteria have been met for data entry on specific data fields on a form. If the criteria have not been met, the form submittal will be blocked, and a custom error message will display.

Validation Rules are a type of Automation Rule that utilizes a formula to test a criterion of a data field. Validation Rule formulas need to be Boolean formulas, or true/false formulas. The formula should be structured such that the criteria that needs to be met will resolve as “true” when the data field has passed the validation test. If the formula resolves as “false”, the validation rule will block form submission and allow an error message to display on the form to guide the user on how to resolve the invalid data entry.
Form Validation Rule Example
For example, a form may request an “account number” in which all “account numbers” are required to be 10 digits long. A Boolean formula to test for this criterion would be structured as follows. Note that this formula resolves as “true” when the length of the data field is 10 digits and “false” when the length does not equal 10 digits.

Properly Ordering Action Rules

Figure 7a: Properly Ordering Action Rules

Once the formula has been created, a Validation Rule can be added to the form submittal Automation. In this example, the Validation Rule will be as follows. Validation Rule for [Application Form is Submitted], if [Validation: Account Number Length formula is FALSE], then [block the form submission and display a custom error message]. The Validation Rule will block form submission and guide the user to correct the account number if the data field does not have exactly 10 digits.

Validation Rule for Form Submission Block

Figure 7b: Validation Rule for Form Submission Block


Scheduled Triggers

PowerClerk offers the option to set up a Scheduled Trigger. These triggers allow you to run Reports on a scheduled basis set to either daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly. You can also denote the time of day when you require your Report to run. Please note reports may take several minutes to process depending on the size.
Once a report is set to automatically run, it can be downloaded through the Reports page, integrated with Microsoft Excel or PowerBI, or sent via secure file transfer protocol (SFTP) to a specified location. Learn more about Automated Reports here.
Please Note: A scheduled trigger must be created by a CPR Admin. To request a trigger, create a ticket in the PowerClerk’s Ticket System. Include the program name and desired schedule.

Scheduled Triggers

Figure 8: Scheduled Triggers


Troubleshooting Automations

Utilize the Project’s Event History on the Project’s Admin Page to review how PowerClerk processed a project’s automation. Utilizing this page can assist with testing and troubleshooting.
The Project’s Event History will showcase the Automation Trigger and highlight all action rules that:

  • Green/Taken: the frequency and condition were met and the action rule was processed.
  • Yellow/Satisfied but not taken: the project met the action rule properties, but the action rule was not processed (i.e., a stop processing rule property from a previous action rule was taken).
  • Red/Error: an error occurred in processing the action rule.
  • Blank/Skipped: The frequency/condition were not met for this project and PowerClerk skipped the action rule.
Example of Project Event History Automation Review

Figure 9: Example of Project Event History Automation Review


Video Guides

Would a video guide help to better explain Automations? Contact us and let us know.
A full list of all Video Guides can also be found here.


Have additional questions? Contact us to nominate your FAQ and help others find answers to your own questions concerning this feature.

Create A Support Ticket

Not finding your answer here?  Submit a question to our support team at the PowerClerk Ticket System and leverage the PowerClerk team’s expertise.