What is Zapier?
Have you ever wished that applications would talk to each other, without you and your team having to act like a go-between for your own software?
Well, the clever people at Zapier have made some software to do that for you.
Not only that, but we at ProWorkflow have been updating our application based on our customers’ use, as mentioned in an update post at the end of last month.
How do I use it?
Zapier works by using triggers, actions, and filters to help manage a workflow.
You can view what’s possible with ProWorkflow and Zapier here.
Let’s take a practical example of something that has come up with our customers before, to show you how these features work.
I want my clients to be able to send me a project request externally for pre-sale purposes. In this scenario, my clients aren’t going to be repeat or return customers – in fact, they are often one-off clients. So I don’t want to clog up my ProWorkflow contacts with hundreds of entries that might not end up using my company and the ProWorkflow software.
What I’d like to have is the ability to share a Google Form as part of my pre-sale discussion, which makes a Project Request come through to ProWorkflow against a client contact.
Once that is approved and confirmed by both people, I will create the Client in ProWorkflow and move the Project over to them.
I’m going to need to make a client in ProWorkflow called something generic, for this example I’ll call it “Client to Approve” under a made up company – I used our own business name “ProWorkflow”. I’ll make sure I enable client access as I will need to use the login details I enter in Zapier later:
I know that I want this to happen when a response to a Google Form is submitted. I made this form (you will need to make your own, which you’ll have the option to change the wording on):
I created a sheet from the form for the data to go into which looks like this:
We’re all set and ready to start setting up our workflow in Zapier.
We’ll start making the Zap:
So we clicked on “Make a Zap”, then the account to use and the spreadsheet that we’ve already made. Zapier then tested the trigger.
The Formatting Action
Sometimes you need to format data between two pieces of software because the companies use different layouts. In my use case, I know the date should be in a Year – Month – Date format. I can see this isn’t the way the Google form outputs this data.
A handy tool to manage this is Formatter by Zapier like so:
So we chose Formatter by Zapier as our action application then the Date/ Time option. From there I selected Format and selected Due date.
I then selected in the “To format” (the output that we can send to ProWorkflow) as YYY-MM-DD.
Zapier then cleverly stores the information for use in our final step.
The Add Project Request Action
I have all the information needed to send through to my ProWorkflow account. Now I need to use the client username and password that I made during the preparation, as well as the account’s API key – which if you don’t know already, you will need to contact us.
I can then set up the rest of the final action as below:
At this stage, I can populate the fields in “Add Project Request” with their corresponding answers from the form response and the date from the Formatter by Zapier.
That’s it, we can now set the Zap to “On”, share the form and the Project Requests can come rolling in!
The responses will feed into ProWorkflow as a Project request from “Client to Approve” as you can see:
Here are the most popular uses of ProWorkflow in Zapier:
Jump on in and start using both ProWorkflow and Zapier to their full potential.