Airplane's core value is to make it easy to turn engineering-only operations (previously SQL queries, scripts, etc.) into internal apps that anyone can use safely. In Airplane, these apps are called tasks.
Tasks are the basic building blocks of Airplane. A task is a lightweight app that represents a single business operation that you want people at your company to be able to execute.
Here are some sample operations you can convert into apps using tasks:
- Look up a user's profile based on their email or name
- Deactivate a user's account
- Issue a refund for the user's latest payment
- GDPR requests
- Cancel a pending wire transfer
- Look up a user's order history
- Re-send the user's latest order
- Add a $10 credit to a user's account
Airplane tasks are simple: they take in zero or more input parameters, execute some logic (e.g. run a SQL query, run a Python script), and then display output to the end-user.
Tasks are simple but powerful. SQL queries, REST endpoints, JS or Python code—these can be turned into tasks with minimal engineering work. You can specify input validation rules, group-based permissions, approval flows, and see an audit history of task runs to ensure that crucial business operations are conducted safely.
Tasks can be run through the Airplane UI, on a cron-like schedule, invoked via a Slack bot, and more.