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Way to batch swap or update Task Templates on entities without creating duplicates

Task Templates are a great way to manage auto-creating standard Tasks for lots of entities (Assets, Shots, etc). You setup your Task workflow in a Task Template, assign that Template to a bunch of Assets at once, and boom - hundreds or thousands of Tasks are created in just a few steps.

But if changes to the workflow are needed later, it can be a little more difficult to deal with via the Task Template framework. If you just need to add a new Task, great - you can use the "Update entities with new Tasks" menu item (found when right-clicking on a Template on the Task Templates admin page). This pushes the new Task out to all entities currently assigned to that Template. But this is intentionally non-destructive - it will only add the new Task, it won't change, update or delete any existing Tasks that were previously created on the Asset via the Template. This is to avoid someone accidentally wiping out a bunch of critical production data being tracked on existing Tasks.

But it would be nice to be able to make potentially destructive Task changes en masse to a lot of entities via Task Templates. Right now you would need to do this from a Task page - filter for all affected Tasks, and rename them or update some fields, or delete the old Tasks, then push out new Tasks via the "Update" function, or with an Excel import. Batch editing generally makes this manageable, but the process could definitely be streamlined.

If you delete a Task Template from an entity and then re-assign it, it will end up creating duplicates of any Tasks from the Template that already were created on the entity, so you have to delete the old ones first (or clean up the duplicates afterwards). This is also not ideal.

Maybe the right solution here is a right-click menu item on entities along the lines of "Update Task Template and Replace All Tasks." Or just make it so that when you change Task Templates, any potential duplicates are skipped (any Tasks with the same Task Name and Pipeline Step). Obviously we'd want a confirmation screen to make sure no one uses these by accident. And they should be permission-controlled so access can be restricted.

Click 'Me Too!' to vote up this feature, and add any additional thoughts or use cases in the comments. Is this a pain point for you? What is the right solution in your mind? Or are you more concerned about the widespread destruction potential to even consider a feature like this? Let us know.

 

4 comments

  • 0
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    Tony Aiello

    We have all the use-cases Tommy details above.  Sometimes it's adding one or more new Tasks to a Template for a bunch of Assets, sometimes it's deleting, sometimes it's updating (e.g. change from a Milestone to a real Task, change duration, change assignees, etc)... and sometimes it's just undo'ing a screw-up while developing a new workflow.  Sometimes we *do* want duplicate Tasks created -- because in our build-real-stuff process, we may need to build 5 duplicate instances of the same puppet or prop.  I guess what I'm saying is that I like this idea in general but I have a hard time envisioning how to handle this without just operating on a Tasks page full of 'All Results' filtered-down.  Perhaps an approach using the 'Add / Change / Replace' pull-down like when batch-editing a multi-entity link field.

  • 0
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    Halil Mehmet

    I'm about to start writing a script that will resolve the issue of duplicate tasks appearing after applying a template that has an updated workflow. I was hoping that others out there have felt the need for this and I wasn't alone. If this was handled natively that would be amazing. 

    I can already see why this hasn't been implemented as it does get quite complex and there are a few assumptions that will be necessary, but if there was a clear understanding of how these would be handled then I think the benefit outweighs having to work around the issue.

    At the moment the main issue for us is modifying existing Template and then applying this. It seems the updates are considered new Tasks and these get applied to the entities and appear as duplicates. I'm going over the templates through code, finding matches within an entities tasks and then any other matching tasks (by name) then re linking every note, version etc to the first task...

  • 0
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    Alexey Borzykh

    +1 from us on this one.

  • 0
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    Ковалев Алексей Иванович

    +1, it will be very useful

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