2. Development#

Building#

Building a Zapier integration necessitates having one eye on the technical bits and one eye on the user experience.

Some of the best Zapier integrations are built when pairing an engineer and a product manager together but it's certainly not a requirement! If you adhere to the Planning guide and App Development guide anyone can build a great app on Zapier.

There are two ways to build Zapier integrations: the visual builder or the CLI. The visual builder allows you to create a new Zapier integration in your browser without code—then can customize the integration with code if needed. The CLI, instead, lets you build integrations in your local development environment, collaborate with version control and CI tools, and push new versions of your integration from the command line. Both run on the same Zapier platform, so choose the tool that fits your workflow the best.

Build a new integration with the visual builder at zapier.com/app/developer and learn how to use it with our Quick Start tutorial. Or, learn more about Platform CLI in our CLI Quick Start tutorial

The best place to start is our Getting Started guide.

Testing#

While you're building your integration, it's best to test authentication, triggers, and actions as you add them to your app. In Platform UI, you can test each step live in the editor as its built. With both Platform UI and CLI, have a separate tab open in your browser to the user-facing Zap editor, then refresh anytime you add a new trigger or action to test it live immediately.

Note: you might have to refresh a few times for new triggers and actions to appear.

After you're done building, you will want to invite users to try your integration before making it available to a wider audience.

Invite-Only#

As you're getting close to finishing development, you’ll want others to try out your app using Zapier. You can invite co-workers or your users to provide feedback. Invitees must have a Zapier account, which they can create for free during the invite process.

Keep in mind that once your app is in Invite-Only mode, you won’t be able to directly make edits like with Private apps. Instead, you need to clone the app, edit that private and app and then deploy it to replace the invite-only app, as outlined here.

App visibility: private

To switch an app to Invite-Only, scroll down to the Visibility section of the app builder. Click the “Invite Users to App” button.

App visibility: invite-only

Then you can click the “Invite Users to App” link to pre-populate an email to a user. Alternatively, you can copy the invite URL (which is unique to your app, but not to each user).

Invite screen

Users will see a page that explains that you have invited them to your app, covers some common questions about Zapier, and explains that you will support your app while in beta.

After accepting the invite, users will land in the Zapier editor, where they are prompted to build a Zap with your product.

It's a good idea to reach out to the users you invited and check in on their experience using your integration with Zapier so that you can identify any problematic usability issues.

Integration management#

Note: These lifecycle docs only apply to integrations created with our visual builder. If you're using the CLI, please check out our docs on CLI versioning and lifecycles here and the associated commands for managing your integration with the CLI here.

A common pattern is to have several versions of the same Zapier integration in your account. You can generate a copy of your Zapier integration by cloning it.

Another important concept is migration. If you want to make changes to a Zapier integration that is no longer private, please follow our Deploy process.

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