Faster updates in Tiller Money Feeds

We pushed an update to the Tiller Money Feeds add-on today that addresses some slowness with updates when you have a very large transaction or balance history data set and a high volume of accounts connected. In some cases, Tiller Money Feeds was not able to complete the update at all due to the way we were processing writes to the sheet and trying to deal with the potential for data validation errors.

We’ve revised the way the update operation works so that it tries without worrying about data validation issues, and if it fails the failure is captured and then the previous slower process is used to address the data validation issues.

Data validation rules are set up via the Data menu in your Google Sheet and are what creates the dropdown menu in a cell. Most Google Sheets powered by Tiller Money have data validation in the Category column on the Transactions sheet. It’s your list of categories and is populated by a rule for the entire column that references the Categories sheet.

If you’re unfamiliar with data validation errors, they present themselves as little red triangles in the upper right corner of a cell in your sheet. Usually these are introduced when you have a category assigned in the Category column on the Transactions sheet that no longer exists on the Categories sheet.

There can also be data validation issues when the reference sheet for the data validation rule is missing, in which case you just get a “loading…” message when you try to use the dropdown in a cell. In this case, the Tiller Money Feeds update will fail and present and an update error in the sidebar that there is a problem with the data validation in one of the cells with a link to a troubleshooting article.

Screen Shot 2020-07-29 at 3.06.43 PM

If you’re still experiencing slowness or failures while updating and have a large data set try correcting these errors and you should find that the updates happen much faster and complete.

Feel free to share any feedback or issues that arise that you believe are related to this release or whether you’re still seeing latency after fixing the data validation issues.

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FYI I am not seeing faster updates. In fact, mine are much slower since. And today, they are just hung. It has not yet been 25 minutes. But, it is disconcerting to not see anything that indicates the update is still trying. This warning is the only indication I have.

LATER: I waited 45 minutes. No changes evident. Closed everything and started over and this time, after a longer than normal wait, it did update.

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Updates to my Google Sheet don’t seem to be working for me now. Used to take about 2-3 minutes but I have been waiting about 10 and the Tiller Money Feeds is still updating my sheet. It just says “Loading New Balances & Transactions…”.

I likely don’t have more than 15 new transactions.

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If it helps, I actually don’t have any categories selected on my transactions tab. The entire column is blank. Maybe it is looking for data validation errors but matching against blanks and causing an error?

Ended up getting the same error that @susandennis shared a picture of.

After a couple of times, I finally got it to work @misken - i just had to leave it alone for an hour :slight_smile: but i have not had any problems since. it is definitely NOT faster for me. it takes a little longer, actually than it did.

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@susandennis and @Misken can you confirm whether things are working better now? We did discover some issues and pushed a fix on Monday. Let me know if it still seems slower or is getting stuck.

The error that you see happens when you start the update process, it crashes mid-way through (and then maybe you closed the sidebar and re-opened) and try the update again.


@heather, I just opened up the spreadsheet and launched the feed and started the stopwatch. It finished in 5 minutes and 22 seconds. I would say that that is considerably slower than it was before.

I have 22 accounts at 8 financial institutions.

Do you know if you have any data validation errors in your Transactions sheet @susandennis?

how would i know that? i see nothing in the transaction sheet that looks hinky but i don’t know what a validation error looks like.

Usually it’s indicated by these tiny red triangles - usually in the Category column - but could be anywhere there is a column that has a dropdown. Easiest way to spot them is to sort a column that has a drop down menu (data validation rule) - heads up, there could be others out to the right that were installed by Labs, Statements is the most common one installed by Labs that adds a dropdown column to your Transactions sheet.

If you have a data validation error in the AutoCat sheet I think it will also revert to the slower process if a transaction matches on a rule with an invalid category because it will have to cache then remove the data validation rules then write the values then write the rules back in so that the invalid values can actually be put into the cells.

So check the AutoCat sheet for red triangle errors.

20 rows of autocat - no red triangles.
1679 rows of transactions - no red triangles.

Hmmm, thanks for checking on that. It’s hard to say since we don’t have baseline data from before the update on how long it took. I’ll chat with our engineers about it and see if they have ideas.

Mine is now working!

It takes a bit longer to load now. Opening the side bar takes about 10 seconds longer than it used to and then updating the transactions seems to take an extra 10-20 seconds.

For some reason on one of my accounts on the account page, even though I refreshed, it says it hasn’t been refreshed in a day. Thought maybe this wouldn’t be related to the transactions tab change.

@Misken, we’re noticing delays in launching the add-on for sure but believe those are due to some changes that Google is making, not related to anything we’ve done. I noticed that too, it just sits on “working” at the bottom of the Google Sheet. There are some other Google issues we’re monitoring and believe they’re all interrelated.