Connect Any Service to Zapier with the New and Improved Developer Platform

Wade Foster
Wade Foster
Jan. 15, 2014

Dev Platform

In August 2012, Zapier HQ launched the first version of the Developer Platform. This platform enabled anyone to add triggers and actions to Zapier. It was hugely successful with 141 new services added to Zapier by third parties via the developer platform.

But truth be told, the original developer platform was an MVP that was continuously tweaked over 15 months. Though sufficient, it wasn't as easy to build new services into Zapier as it should have been.

So over the past 6 months we threw away almost all the old code and rebuilt the developer platform from scratch. Today, we're launching the new and improved Zapier Developer Platform to ensure it's a piece of cake to add a new service to Zapier.

If you've ever wanted to see a service on Zapier, then this post is for you.

What's in the New Developer Platform?

New App Management

If you build web apps or run a SaaS service, below is everything you need to know about building apps on Zapier.

If you don't code, but are still interested in seeing new services on Zapier, there's news here for you, too. Scroll down to the "For Non-Coders" section to see how you can benefit from this release. Or just tell us in the comments what new apps you want to see on Zapier.

Building on Zapier is Fast

Fast

Building apps on Zapier was fairly fast from start time to finish time, but the Developer Platform itself wasn't all that fast for a modern web application.

So we ripped out all the old code and started fresh. The new Zapier Developer Platform is built using the Backbone.js javascript framework and is optimized for speed. As a result, you can zip around the new Developer Platform, making it much more pleasurable to use.

Instant Access to Hundreds of Integrations

Apps on Zapier

Building a platform is hard. In fact, when we started building Zapier it wasn't a platform at all. It was just a few apps tied together to make integration a bit easier.

Now, two years later, Zapier is a true platform that allows you to hook up your app and get instant access to 250-plus other apps in one fell swoop. Hook into Zapier once and you'll get immediate access to every integration supported that day, plus any new integrations in the future without having to do additional work.

If you're finding it hard to keep up with customer integration requests, Zapier is your solution.

Support and Maintenance is Handled for You

Ever had an API break on you? Or had to build out and maintain a polling infrastructure for an integration? Then you know how hard and expensive that can be.

The Zapier Developer Platform lets you build once and offload support, maintenance, and scaling to us. APIs are all we do. Integrations are secure, reliable, and built on scalable infrastructure. Zapier takes the risk out of integrations.

Build Publicly or Privately

Apps on Zapier can be private for just you or they can be publicly available for anyone to use. To date, 141 third-party apps have been added publicly to Zapier, but there are hundreds more being privately built and used by our customers.

Private apps are great for hooking up your own internal tools to a wider set of web apps or for even having a rules engine connect your own internal tools.

Public apps are great for helping your customers get access to hundreds of integrations out of the box.

Connect Without Code - Customize to Your Hearts Content

One great thing about the developer platform is that many APIs can be added without writing a single line of code. Adding an app only requires you define what endpoints you'd like Zapier to poll or catch from and then Zapier handles the rest.

However, if the API you are working with doesn't quite match the Zapier format, there is a powerful scripting engine that allows you to manipulate requests. This scripting engine has some new features that beef up what you are able to do on Zapier including z.request, a tool that makes it easier to do inline HTTP. Previously you only got one HTTP request per trigger/action but z.request lets you do as many as you like!

Handles Authentication With a Breeze

Authentication

Dealing with authentication mechanisms for integrations is a nightmare. Zapier handles many of the most common API authentication methods out of the box. Just define how your API authenticates and Zapier handles the rest.

Documentation to Make it Easy

Previously, the Zapier documentation was, well, stale. Over the past few months we've combed over every last inch of documentation to make sure everything is well-noted and easy to understand.

We also moved the documentation out of our code repository and into a CMS, making it a lot easier to update on the fly since we're no longer required to check-in code to do so.

Oh, And It's Free

Adding an API to Zapier is and always will be free. We operate on a freemium model where the basic usage of the product is free and power users and businesses pay a small monthly cost. Adding new services to Zapier is completely detached from that and costs nothing for the person adding the service. Enjoy!

For Non-Coders

If you don't code, that's alright, we have two great ways for you to take advantage of the new Developer Platform:

  1. If there's a service not on Zapier that you'd like to see on Zapier, then all you have to do is email them and let them know to check out the Zapier Developer Platform. Feel free to Cc us (contact@zapier.com) on the email. We're happy to help out any team with building on the new platform.

  2. Teach yourself! If you're interested in learning how to add a service to Zapier or even just learning more about APIs, in general, then we've put together a short weekly course that's designed to get you up to speed on learning APIs. It's been created for those who have never before written a line of code.

  3. Tell us in the comments: What new apps you want to see on Zapier? We'll do our best to add the most popular ones. :-)

If you're interested in the API course then you can signup for the course here.

Getting Started

Success to date

The developer platform has been a smash hit to date and with this release we hope it's easier than ever to add new services to Zapier. If you want to give it a go, check out the new developer platform at the link below. Or tell us in the comments what new apps you want to see on Zapier. We'll do our best to make them happen!

Visit the Zapier Developer Platform

P.S. Check out Bryan adding Etsy to Zapier in 7 minutes. It really is that fast.


About the Author

Wade Foster is a Co-founder and CEO at Zapier. He likes to write about process, productivity, startups and how to do awesome work.

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