What's the best way to search in text columns using Make.com?

After using the Monday.com modules on Make.com scenarios I came to the conclusion that searching in text columns is slightly unreliable.

For example, if I create a variable using Make’s “Set Variable/Multiple Variables” and use that variable in a “Search Items in the board by column values” to search within a text column, some times (random?) it won’t find the item based on column value, even if the item is there and the Make.com variable is exactly the value of the text column for that item.

The second time I would run the scenario or even run that module, without making any changes, it will find the item without issues.

It doesn’t happen a lot, but it does happen enough to be an issue.

Is there a better way to search for items based of text column value? I tried to use Create/Parse Json module to create the text variable and search for it in the text column, but the same thing happened. Since I have not tracked the number of times this issue happens, I don’t know if it happens more or less using Create/Parse JSON modules.

This is not an exact match issue since I’m only using numbers in this case.

Is this something that happens randomly or is there a fool proof way to make sure that Monday.com finds the item based on text column values?

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hi @CatalinBaciu

I guess Make is using the API call items_by_column_values, see: Items by column values and it is know that this does not return values immediately after they are created. It can take up to 3 minutes before this API calls find what you are looking for. See also this post "items_by_column_values" query doesn't find items (and a lot of other posts regarding the same).


Hi @basdebruin thank you for pitching in. I actually came across that topic when I first encountered the issue, months ago.

I understand that “3 minutes” is a lot, but from your testing/using the API or Make.com, would you say that would be an acceptable delay? Based on the topic you shared, I originally used a Sleep module to add a 30s delay in my scenario before the search module, but it seems that more often that not that isn’t enough.

I guess that increasing the delay before searching will help, but what would be a good value? having a 3 minutes delay would be too much for the scenario I’m building, while 30s clearly isn’t enough. I’m just searching for the sweet spot, if there is one. maybe 60s? 90s?

I realize this is a workaround and not a fix.

hi @CatalinBaciu

The official word from monday.con is (I believe) 30 seconds. But with other developers I am in contact with we saw up to 3 minutes or even longer. I hope this get much better with the new API version (October) but then you need to wait until Make supports that new API version. I would be better to read all the items (if it is not too many) and search with another Make module.

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Since it’s a complex scenario, I think I’ll just add Error Handling paths with Break instructions that would save scenario data and retry once every minute.

Doing this might help with tracking this issue and also solving it on the spot without human intervention.

Hoping for improvements when the new API changes hit later this year (and when Make updates its own settings related to this). Thank you for providing insight on the issue, it helped me figure out what I’m dealing with.