Understanding rules

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Overview

Front's rules engine allows you to automate your workflows. Rules can help you handle repetitive tasks to save time and increase your team's efficiency in Front. 

This article will help you understand how rules work. After reading, go ahead and try to create a rule. For examples of popular rules, visit our Rules Directory.


Rules fundamentals

There are two kinds of rules: team rules and individual rules.

Team rules are applied to any shared inbox and can only be created by Admins.

Individual rules will apply to your individual inbox and internal discussions. 

Rules are made up of three parts: trigger(s), filters(s), and action(s).

Triggers (WHEN)

Triggers specify the types of events that will cause Front to evaluate the conditions of your rule and see if they are met.

Filter (IF)

Filter conditions are the criteria that determine whether a rule will be processed. More on how to use And/Or statements can be found in this article.

Actions (THEN)

Then specifies the actions that will be applied when the rule is processed.


Order of rules

Use the arrows to the left of each rule (upon hovering) to adjust rules up or down the list.

Rules are processed in the order they appear in your rules list.* Because rules are processing in sequentially order, meaning it will complete the actions of one rule before moving on to the next rule, this means the actions of one rule can affect whether a subsequent rule is processed. For example:

Rule #1
WHEN: Inbound Message
IF: From  company.com
THEN: Add Company tag

Rule# 2
When: Inbound Message
IF: Doesn't Have Company tag
THEN: Assign to Andersen

If Rule #1 is processed first, a Company tag is added. Therefore, when we look at Rule #2, because Company tag was added from the first rule, the second rule won't be processed. 

*Time-based rules are the exception and will only be processed if the conditions are met at the designated time.

Rules triggering other rules

With Front's rule engine, an action of a rule can be used to trigger a subsequent rule.* For example:

Rule #1
WHEN: Inbound Message
IF: From  company.com
THEN: Add Company tag

Rule #2
When: Conversation tag
IF: Add Tag is Company
THEN: Assign to Andersen

Because Rule #1 is processed first, the Company tag will be added. This will create a conversation tagged action, which allows for Rule # 2 to be triggered. And because the Company tag is present, the rule is processed and the conversation is now assigned to Andersen.

*Certain actions will not trigger other rules: 

- Sending a canned response will not trigger a rule with an outbound reply condition
- Moving a rule from an individual inbox to a team inbox, or from one team to another team, will not trigger a conversation move rule in the new inbox

Overwriting actions 

When you have two of the same actions applying to a conversation, the latest action will overwrite the first one.* For instance, if your first rule moves a conversation to Inbox A but a second rule moves the conversation to Inbox B, the second move action will overwrite the first one. 

*Overwriting actions does not apply to assignments. If a conversation has an assignee, the rules engine will not re-assign the conversation.

Option to "stop processing other rules"

If after a rule is processed, and you don't want subsequent rules to apply, check the "Stop processing other rules" box. When this option is checked, subsequent rules will be ignored even if they would apply to the conversation. 

The exception to stop processing are time-based or scheduled rules. Rules with 'Unreplied after' or 'Unassigned after' are scheduled and therefore are not taken into consideration after a rule with stop processing is checked.


Time-based rules FAQ

Does time zone matter?

The timezone that you are in when creating the rule is the timezone that the rule will act on. If you modify the rule in a different time zone, we will detect this and the change will automatically be made.

How does the "time is between" condition work?

When using a Time is between condition, if you set your time to be between 9 pm - 9 am for Monday - Friday. Front will take into account Friday 9 pm to Saturday 9 am.

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  • I cant get rules to work.  Simple one that when I assign a tag it should move boxes - anything I am missing?

    Reply Like
  • Hi Chris,

    Sorry I'm just now seeing this. Did you ever get it to work?

    Reply Like
  • I'd love an option for 'Stop processing further rules'. I need to have a lot of extra clauses in rules further to the end to stop from triggering for earlier rules. This is really simple in Freshdesk (which we use while evaluating Front)

    Reply Like 1
  • Jean-Paul Horn can you explain this a bit more? Are you looking for something like "if this rule is triggered, override other rules" or what?

    Reply Like 1
  • I have a rule that assigns a message to a teammate based on contents of the message, and another rule that notifies all team members if this message is not assigned.

    However, it seems everyone on the team is still getting the notification even if the message is assigned to the teammate, using the first rule.

    I have the rules ordered so that the "assign to teammate" rule is processed first. Considering the message is then "assigned" shouldn't that prevent the second rule "notify all teammates" from processing?

    Thanks for the help.

    Reply Like
  • Is there an action to follow a conversation?

    Reply Like
  • Micah Kohne Hi, and sorry for the delayed reply. Can you please send an email with the names of these rules so that we can investigate?

    Reply Like
  • ddofborg Unfortunately not!

    Reply Like
  • Thanks for the reply  Cori Morris - I added a delay to the second rule to check if the message is assigned and that makes it work properly.

    Reply Like
  • Is there a way to make a rule be case-sensitive?

    Reply Like
  • roundedbygravity Not at this time. I will share this request with our product team, though.

    Reply Like
    • Rolf Dröge
    • co-founder of kollekt.fm
    • Rolf_Droge
    • 9 mths ago
    • Reported - view

     Cori Morris , I can add a personal tag to the messages in our shared team inbox but is it also possible to create a team rule that adds this (personal) tag to a message received in our team inbox?

    Reply Like
  • Rolf Dröge Not at this time. I'd be happy to share your request with our Product team, though.

    Reply Like
  • Hi. After the update, when we send outgoing emails, they are not archived in our team inboxes. We have a rule that moved send email to shared inboxes. But the are opened again, when moved. Even if we send and archive.

    How do we get the sendt email to be archived in the shared inbox?

    Reply Like
  • Hi Søren Rynkebjerg please send us a request (as we'll likely need some information sensitive to your account) you can use the contact form on our Help Center thanks!

    Reply Like
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