There are three main ways you can integrate with Flexie CRM. Each is discussed below.
In a previous article we discussed the Flexie CRM Zapier integration. This is an easy way connect to over 1000 other applications, and the Triggers and Actions provided by Flexie give you a vast amount of possibilities. The downside is firstly the potential cost. Zapier can get quite expensive as you number of 'zaps' increase. So if you have a connection that is activated with significant frequency, then the cost will certainly add up. Additionally, you are increasing the number of moving parts in a process, and opening yourself up to further potential error.
Webhooks are a method of connecting apps directly, in realtime, without another app in between. Often this will be used as a way to send data to another app, or receive data to Flexie, or both. A simple example of this could be that a lead submits a form, the form app sends a 'webhook' with the form data to Flexie CRM, which will then process the data and create a lead in the system and trigger any automations that are setup. Many shopping carts and merchant account providers also offer webhook data to keep your other systems updated and take any action necessary.
An example automation i had configured with webhooks involved both receiving data from another application into Flexie, and then sending a webhook to an external application. There was a forum I has setup (built on Xenforo) which users needed access to, based on certain permissions configured within Flexie. So a signup 'form' was created with an external application which sent a webhook to Flexie with the users data. Flexie then created a contact, assigned the appropriate permissions, and send this data the Xenforo via webhook, to a script a developed setup for me. This removed any manual handling of any data and fully automated the process for the both the business and the user.
Application Programming Interfaces (API's) are a further way you can connect Flexie to and outside application. The difference between a webhook and API's can be hard to distinguish at times. An easy (and potentially imprecise) way to think of it is that an API is providing real time flow of information, and then you 'poll' that information when you want an update. Where as a webhook only activates when there is data to deliver. Polling an API is takes server resources, so if you are polling at a high frequency, this will be resource intensive, and not all poll's will return meaningful data. There can be interruptions on the side of the API that you are polling that means no data is received. Compared to webhooks which are very efficient in that they only activate when there is data to send/receive.
The right integration method with Flexie CRM will be entirely dependant upon your specific situation. However, if there is any way you can create a direct connection (with webhook or API), as opposed to using Zapier, it is strongly recommended.
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