There are some things you find on the web that just intrigue you. Last week, I found one of those things and I’ve been raring to write something about it ever since.

Now if you’ve ever had to deal with using multiple tools to keep track of information in several places you may understand the need for application integration. Traditionally, this means reading through the API documentation of both systems, trying to establish the most effective connection solution and then starting the arduous task of coding the connectivity.

The guys at https://zapier.com have come up with an ingenious solution to this problem. They are working hard coding all these connections for everyone else! They put in all the hard work and you end up with a plug and play integration tool for, well, almost anything.

They have created Zaps. Zaps are small pieces of code that take information from one online tool and send it to another online tool in a pre-packaged widget. Their catalogue now is quite extensive whilst also growing at remarkable speed. And the user interface is exactly what you would hope – drag…and…drop.

You can link a wide range of items using Zaps, so…

  • Want to have every new contact in your Highrise account automatically added to your MailChimp database? Or Google Contacts even?
  • A new Bug reported in your PMS? Have it create a new GitHub issue directly and save yourself the time double keying.
  • Or maybe you really want to know when people comment on your WordPress blog – so why not have Zapier send you an SMS every time this happens?

I’ve not quite found the perfect use for it yet here in Akvo, but I’m certain it’s something that we’ll be utilising soon. The possibilities are endless – we’ll just have to see how quickly they can pad-out their feature lists eh?

Till next time folks…