Process email, spreadsheet or web data automatically with TaskPipes

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 24, 2015
Updated • Sep 24, 2015

TaskPipes reminded me a lot of Yahoo Pipes when I started to browse the demos available on the company website. The service lets you process email, spreadsheet or web data automatically based on instructions that you program once.

That's sounds very technical but the system has been designed so that anyone can work with it as it is dead easy to use once you grasp the underlying concept.

Each new pipe is defined by a data input source and one or multiple steps that you define during creation.

Steps can filter or sort contents, extract text or process the data in other ways to bring it in the desired form.

One of the demos walks you through the steps of scraping data from Hacker News and filtering out all submissions except for those linking to Github.

The creation of a new pipe starts always with the selection of the input data that you want processed automatically.

The service supports external web resources, files you upload to it or data you paste from spreadsheets. The last two options sound limiting at first but you can enable the "send an email" trigger in the options to send emails with CSV or Excel files that the pipe that you have created will process automatically.

After that it is up to the processing options you select from the available ones. TaskPipes displays the data it has extracted from source so that you see how it looks like in every step.

The Hacker News example removes several columns initially for instance that are not needed and proceeds to extract bits of text, the points a story has accumulated for instance, afterwards.

In the end, it uses a couple of simple formulas and filters to bring the data into the right format. All filters don't require programming or regular expression knowledge which is beginner friendly.

TaskPipes is not as flexible as Yahoo Pipes when it comes to extracting data from web pages though. If you have used Yahoo Pipes previously you know that it allowed you to specify source code to make sure the right data was selected from the resource. This seems not possible with TaskPipes currently.

Still, it is a free service that you can use for more than just processing web resources as it supports spreadsheets and csv data as well.

The best way to get started with the service is to look at the examples provided on the website as they highlight several popular use cases.

All in all it is a neat service that could grow to become a serious Yahoo Pipes alternative.

Process email, spreadsheet or web data automatically with TaskPipes
Article Name
Process email, spreadsheet or web data automatically with TaskPipes
TaskPipes is a Yahoo Pipes like service that you can use to process email, spreadsheet or web data automatically.

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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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