September 2020: The API Automation Series

As of September, I will start a new multi-part series that explores a no-code approach to Vantagepoint integrations using API Integration Automation Platforms. This series will be exclusive to Patreon members and will consist of blog entries and some video tutorials that go into the various details of such an integration.

API Integrations – the current approach

In the past there was this one-size-fits-all-approach: if you need a Vantagepoint API integration then code it yourself.

While this works very well for large implementations where we need the interface to be highly flexible, easily testable and we have full control over the integration it is highly cost prohibitive for small projects.

Not only are you looking at a steep learning curve with the API methods and the programming language of your choice but you also need to set up and maintain a completely separate infrastructure to host your middleware solution that enables two disparate systems to talk to each other.

API Integrations – a new and automated approach

All of this changes a bit with a couple of new (and old) players in the integration automation platforms. These are firms like Zapier (https://zapier.com), Microsoft Power Automate (previously Microsoft Flow, https://flow.microsoft.com), Automate.io (https://automate.io) and many others.

Of the bunch I picked Zapier because it is one of the few ones that works well with the Vantagepoint API Authorization process. So in the rest of this series I will explore how to set up a connection, test it and use it to connect to other processes like importing contacts into Outlook or extract data into an Excel sheet.

But there is no such thing as a free lunch… while most of these vendors offer some kind of a free entry level subscription, these won’t do for a production environment. And pricing of the more professional subscription levels can be anywhere from 20$ to 600$ per month.

Upcoming Blogs (available to Patreon members)

    • Episode 1: Getting Started and Configuration in Zapier
    • Episode 2: Reading contacts data from Vantagepoint and pushing it into Outlook
    • Episode 3: Writing Data from a Zapier Endpoint and update Vantagepoint
    • Episode 4: TBD

I hope you will enjoy them

Mike Dobler

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