Getting Started#

Note: Much of this guide refers to the Web Builder interface, but we also have a Command Line Interface. What's the difference?

Anyone can add an app to Zapier, usually without writing any new code. This quick guide will familiarize you with the Zapier Developer Platform and get you pointed in the right direction building your own app. When you're finished, you’ll be able to use the app in your own Zapier account, share it privately with others, or even submit your app to be available globally to anyone with a Zapier account. Plus, you'll have integrations with the 750+ apps on our platform instantly.

Before we start, here’s what you’ll need:

  • A Zapier account
  • An app with an API that you can access
  • Optionally, a bit of programming knowledge if you want to get advanced with our Scripting API

If you're unfamiliar with the core concepts of Zapier, this overview explains our service from the non-technical user view. Each step below aims to show both the developer and user perspective as we put together the pieces of your app on Zapier.

Add Your App to Zapier#

Building a Zapier app requires connecting an API to our Developer Platform. Essentially, the platform shows us how to translate the way you access and update data within your app into Zapier terms. Most Zapier apps include include Triggers (reading new data from an app) and Actions (writing data to an app), using authentication from the end user so the data is specific to their account.

Depending on your app, you may have only triggers or actions. Zapier's end-users build workflows with these Triggers and Actions. A Trigger is the event we watch for that kicks off a workflow, and an Action is the task we complete on their behalf.

When you're ready to add your app, go to the App Builder to create your first app.

Authentication#

This is how Zapier authentications with your application.

What a user sees:

https://cdn.zapier.com/storage/photos/3023cd90bd11c834d9b0cfd0ddf153e5.png

What a developer sees:

https://cdn.zapier.com/storage/photos/a388de695af223acb5a7392ff7d7a569.png

Zapier supports several authentication styles, but a quick overview of the common techniques are below:

Your first trigger#

Zapier supports several data retrieval techniques (or triggers) which can be mixed and matched inside a developer app.

What a user sees:

https://cdn.zapier.com/storage/photos/4565db71b75e27328b3dabd28cc6cf6d.png

What a developer sees:

https://cdn.zapier.com/storage/photos/337634a3c1335171449421a6707347da.png

The common techniques are below:

Your first action#

Actions are how Zapier inserts data into your application.

What a user sees:

https://cdn.zapier.com/storage/photos/7cbd14d2419f6d670f5a6536e58fbdd0.png

What a developer sees:

https://cdn.zapier.com/storage/photos/c8a38f76baa86bdd521f56c98ff0570e.png

You can read more about actions, and almost all of our examples show actions.

Next Steps#

A Zapier app with authentication, a Trigger, and an Action is a great start! If you’re ready to enhance your Zapier app, consider adding a couple more Triggers or Actions. Our style guide recommends starting with no more than three of each, so choose the most common ways people use your app.

Want to make your Zapier app available globally to any user? Now would be a good time to review the app lifecycle to get an idea for what’s needed to make you most successful. Once your app is public, we’ll work with you to launch your app with co-marketing to support your app’s newfound superpowers.

Other questions or ideas? Let us know.

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