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Actions were introduced to ftrack a few years back and have paved the way to becoming a great benefit for many of our new features. We’ve seen our clients use Actions to add their own processes and automation using the ftrack UI to help improve their workflow. Today, we’ll take a look at Actions and dive into some of the newly released features.

What is an Action?

Actions are a great way to extend the ftrack experience with custom functionality. At the core, it’s just a small Python script that runs on your computer to expose some functionality in ftrack using the ftrack-python-api.

Discovered Actions in ftrack

An Action could be used for anything; transferring files from one location to another, generating a custom report or asking the user if they want to cascade a status change. There really is an infinite number of possibilities that can be utilized to help add extra functionality or increase the efficiency of your workflow.

Actions can either be discovered by the user by clicking the Actions icon on an item in ftrack, or by triggering it from the API.

Actions can be discovered for multiple items at once

Triggering actions is typically done in reaction to a change event in ftrack. For example, in response to someone changing the status of an item in ftrack.

Action interface triggered by an API event

Different types of actions

ftrack supports different kinds of Actions and we will now examine them a bit closer.

Form – this is the traditional Action that presents the user with a form, allowing the user to input text, numbers, click checkboxes, selecting one or (new in 3.5.13) multiple items from a dropdown list. The forms can be chained, creating a wizard like interface for complex workflows.  

JavaScript Widget – a totally custom interface where the user can be presented with a custom widget using the ftrack-javascript-api. The widget can trigger navigation in the ftrack application, or close itself (new in 3.5.12) when the user is done.

Message – the simplest form of an action can be just a text message sent back to the user. For example, to inform the user that a change was automatically triggered based on an action.


Development resources

We’ve gathered a few useful links to help when developing user action:

Guides on actions and further reading:

Development and key concepts:

An action base-class to get you started:

You can also find a few example actions to take inspiration from:

We hope this triggers ideas in how you can use Actions to improve your workflow with ftrack. As always, feel free to contact our support team by emailing [email protected] for any assistance.