Butler Bot vs. Automation in Trello

Note: Butler Bot is no longer officially supported. If you're starting out with Automation, you won’t be able to use the legacy functionality. Please see Automation overview guide to learn more about automating your Trello workflows with Automation in Trello. 

You may find a number of tutorials on the Internet about Automation that are very different from the built-in version of Automation. While we cherish and feel incredibly honored by the people who used their talent to create these tutorials, especially at a time when we were just starting out, this can become a source of confusion for new Automation users. This article explains why Butler Bot is no longer officially supported and how you can migrate from the legacy functionality to the built-in version of Automation. 

Butler Bot

Note: If you are a Butler Bot user, we highly recommend that you migrate from the legacy functionality to the official Butler integration at your earliest convenience.

Butler started as a bot (@butlerbot) that Trello users added to their boards. The Bot responded to commands written in Trello cards that were added to a particular list. This proved very popular, and we quickly developed the Bot to be the most powerful form of Trello automation. However, the widespread use of Butler Bot has presented multiple challenges to the Trello infrastructure, in particular:

  • The card-based user interface interferes with the board, and anyone could delete or modify a command.

  • Because Butler Bot communicates through comments, every person subscribed to the board receives notifications.

  • Due to security policies, some organizations don't allow to invite external users like @butlerbot to their Trello boards.

  • Bots are not the preferred integration method for Trello. Trello is not designed to have a single user on tens of thousands of boards and thus this causes issues for Trello’s infrastructure.

Automation in Trello

After experimenting with multiple solutions, we decided to make Butler a Power-Up as it offered better integration with boards, working harmoniously within the platform. Later on, we've completely integrated Butler into the core user interface. 

The built-in version of Butler has an enhanced user interface, new commands, and is overall easier to use. We periodically add new features that are only in the core offering, such as command chaining (the ability for one command to trigger other commands). To learn more about the new Butler functionality, see Butler overview.

Migrating from the Butler Bot 

Currently, there is a substantial difference in how command runs are accounted for in the Butler Bot versus the core Automation experience. Depending on the type of commands you run, you might need to upgrade your Trello plan when using Automation in Trello. The purpose for this is not to increase profit, but for technical performance reasons and to ensure continued excellent customer service. 

If you have difficulty migrating your Bot workflows to Automation, do not hesitate to contact us and we'll assist.

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