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Unable to detect all events in my Zap from Microsoft Outlook.

  • 9 August 2023
  • 15 replies
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Hello!

I created what I thought was a fairly straightforward Zap that checks someone’s Outlook calendar, looks for specific words in the subject line of an Event and then if found, sends a Slack message.  I guess right now I am not 100% sure what the behavior should be with how it’s currently configured.

I am using the Microsoft Exchange trigger with the Calendar Event Start as the Event.  This is not my calendar, rather it’s my Manager’s calendar.  I have it set to 1 minute before the start of the event.  Next, I have a filter step set up where it will only continue if the Subject contains “Onsite Demo.”  If found, it sends a Slack message to certain individuals.

There was a calendar event in his calendar today that met this criteria with a start time of 4am Pacific.  This first attempted worked.  It checked at 3:59am, found the key words, and triggered the Slack.  It did not, however, detect one later in the day that should have triggered.

Looking at the history, this is where I now start to question if I am not understanding how this works.  For the one that should have triggered, I see no attempted run of the Zap.  However, I do see two other runs today that did not continue since it was stopped by the filter as they were events that did not contain these key words.  However again, there are several other entries on his calendar where there was no attempted run.  There are a total of 8 events on the calendar for today, but the Zap only ran 3 times.  So I’m not sure how this app and event work, and how it knows when to check the calendar.  It it perhaps just checking at random?  Do I need to start the Zap with a schedule and tell it to check at a given frequency?  Are there known issues around this?

Thank you very much!

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Best answer by PatrickD 12 August 2023, 01:14

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Userlevel 7
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Hi @PatrickD 

Good question.

Check the description for the Time Before field.

 

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Ahh, ok then.  I didn’t catch the blurb about the plan as it’s cut off and I didn’t click “more.”  Since I am on a higher plan, I need to adjust to 6 minutes or more…

I guess I may have just gotten lucky it worked 1x with it set incorrectly.  I’ll modify and see if that does it.

Thank you!

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Unfortunately that did not work.  As a matter of fact, the Zap has not run since 6:29am yesterday and there has been several events on the calendar, including one from this AM that should have triggered.

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@PatrickD 

Are the events owned by the Outlook account connected to Zapier?

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just re-read your question.  The outlook account that is connected is my account, but I am pointing at someone else’s calendar.

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Due to the fact I can see his calendar and all events, and his calendar was available for me to select within the Zap, tells me it “should” work, but I guess I should have asked that first..Is pointing at someone else’s calendar supported?

I have not attempted to do any testing with my own calendar.  That could be a potential workaround if required.  Not ideal, but an option.

Userlevel 7
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@PatrickD 

I don’t know for sure beyond what may be documented:

https://zapier.com/apps/microsoft-outlook/help

https://zapier.com/apps/office-365/help

 

When it was working for some events previously were those events owned by your calendar or from a shared calendar?

 

When in doubt, test it out.

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Thanks Troy.  I did review all documentation I could find but it wasn’t very helpful in my scenario.

My calendar has never been in play - not present within the Zap.  I have only used someone else’s calendar.  It worked perfectly for the first event it found yesterday morning and beyond that, it only attempted to run 3 more times do date.  Those runs were successful in that it ran, it didn’t find the key words in the subject, and then stopped.  But now, I have no historical runs since yesterday morning.

I’ll give my calendar a try to see if that’s the ticket.

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@PatrickD 

Wondering if there is something similar across those events that did run that you can isolate to determine why those ran vs the others didn’t that you expected to.

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I looked and unfortunately, there isn’t a pattern.  They are all the same.

On a side note, I just made a copy of the Zap and changed to my own calendar.  Worked the very first time.  I have set  up several more events throughout the day.

I’ll update the group with the results.  I also have a ticket open with Zapier Support to see if they have any thoughts as well.

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Thinking through it a bit more, if using my own calendar resolves the issue, it’s really a non-issue at this point.  I can just have him add me on the event invite so it shows up on my calendar..

Will play with this and let you know.

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It also did not work correctly after using my own calendar.  It worked a few times, but did not even run the Zap the majority of the time.

After working with Zapier support, it turns out this is a known bug.  Apparently if you have more than 100 events on your calendar, it will be very inconsistent and will work sometimes and not others.  I have several reoccurring events on my calendar that have no end date.  Apparently it pulls in future events that are years into the future.

They don’t have an official workaround but I’m going to continue playing with it by creating a brand new calendar in Outlook solely for scheduling the events in question, where there is no way I’ll run in to the 100 event issue while it is still an issue.  They are not reoccurring events and realistically will only occur 1-2 times per month.

@Troy Tessalone thank you for all of the feedback.

Userlevel 7
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Thanks for following up here, @PatrickD

So glad to hear that Support were able to identify the cause of the issue and that you’ve been able to come up with a workaround. Hopefully using a separate calendar for events that the Zap should trigger on will do the trick while this bug is still at large. I’ve not seen any other workarounds reported at the minute but if we come across any we’ll be sure to share details of them here. 

Thanks again for circling back here to keep the Community updated, it’s much appreciated! 🙂

@SamB, are there any updates on this or any additional workarounds? I am having the same issue. My zap recognizes some events but will skip others. 

Userlevel 7
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Hi @geraci123,

I’m so sorry for the delayed reply here.

I took a look at the bug report, and it seems like the bug is still open. Unfortunately, there’s no workaround mentioned in the report.

However, I have added you as another affected member. We will keep you in the loop via email once the bug has been fixed.

I appreciate your patience and understanding.

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