5 Powerful Examples to Expand the Boundaries of Your OpenAir System With Scripting

OpenAir scripting has been around for many years, yet few have taken advantage of this powerful tool. It is an effective way to perform behind the scenes data manipulations and automation. When this tool is used to its full potential, it can become a powerful way to extend functionality, further automate and ultimately increase efficiencies in your business.


Quick Overview of How OpenAir Scripting Works

OpenAir scripting is fully contained within OpenAir with built-in protections to ensure your scripting does not damage data integrity or degrade system performance.


OpenAir Scripting is broken down into two types of scripts, each with their own functionalities. The first, form scripts, are triggered by saving, submitting, or approving a form and are for the most part used for form validation. They can also be used for data manipulation, but only on a limited scale.


The second type, scheduled scripts, run on set schedules and can be run as frequently as once every five minutes. In contrast to form scripts, these scripts are ideal for data manipulations and adjustments.


The scripting power of each is controlled by a system of governance. Just as with any system, OpenAir scripting is closed off by specific limitations. Only a certain number of transactions are technologically possible within a specific timeframe. These capabilities are organized by “units” – a metric of computational bandwidth consumption. Reading a value form, for instance, takes a single unit. Writing an error message to the log takes four units. And reading values from the database requires 20 units for the original call and ten units for each record read.


When developing your scripts, then, it’s crucial to be fully aware of the limitations of each kind of script. Form scripts can run for up to 5 seconds and use up to 1000 units, while scheduled scripts can have a 1-hour runtime with up to 1,000,000 million units.


Examples of What’s Possible with OpenAir Scripting

Here are just a few examples of what types of functions are possible with OpenAir’s scripting system and how it can benefit your business processes.


  1. Project Closure – cuts off billing and revenue recognition rules and closes a project and its tasks once it’s been moved to a specific stage. This can be a great way to cease invoicing, entries on the project, and any additional unplanned work.
  2. Fixed Fee Revenue Split – distributes a fixed revenue transaction across all users in proportion to their contributed hours. It can be incredibly useful when it comes to fixed revenue projects with multiple team members.
  3. Budget Hours – adds the total of a custom field budget line indicating hours associated with each. It moves that total to the Budget (Hours) field on the project. Essentially, it extends the functionality of your budget to include hours rather than just monetary values.
  4. Transactional Values – totals the transactional data of a project (e.g. hours or dollars) and puts them into a custom field.  Implementing this type of a script can be instrumental in facilitating integration with another system by creating a static value rather than a calculated value.
  5. Field Propagation – can be used, for example, to copy a specific project properties field to every charge associated with a project. It can also be utilized to update custom project property fields with dates from specific tasks and milestones on a project.


OpenAir Scripting: A Safe and Powerful Tool to Improve Efficiency

The possibilities are endless.  OpenAir scripting is a safe and effective way of manipulating “behind the scenes” information within the confines of the OpenAir system; rather than risking the decreased functionality or data integrity loss that custom coding can cause.  And when used effectively, it can be instrumental in vastly improving the functionality of your business processes.

If you would like to learn more about how OpenAir scripting can help you, check out other examples in our Extension Marketplace library we have tested and implemented.

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