The Zapier Engineering Blog

A blog about hacking, development workflow automation, and how to get things done with less work.

Introducing Zapier's CLI Tool: Deploy API Integrations Fast

Adam DuVander / March 21, 2017
Introducing Zapier's CLI

Some of a developer's most powerful tools call the command line home. Source control like git and cloud services like Heroku are mainstays in an engineering workflow—and they're the tools we use daily to manage the code that runs Zapier.

So we got to thinking, shouldn't...

Interview with an Open Source Contributor: Simon Charette (Django)

Brian Cooksey / March 15, 2017
Simon Charette
Simon Charette

Zapier would not exist without open source software. From backend frameworks like Django and Celery, to frontend libraries like React.js, open source makes up a large percentage of our codebase. We are thankful for the individuals who maintain these projects. We are also curious: What is it...

4 Ways Your API Is Not Quite What I Want

Adam DuVander / March 9, 2017

There are thousands of APIs. That means that there are a lot of bad APIs. More importantly, there are many good APIs. We can learn from both, as you look to enable what developers (and the users they support) need from your API.

At its basic level, an API is...

API Keys vs OAuth Tokens vs JSON Web Tokens

Adam DuVander / March 2, 2017

For an API to be a powerful extension of a product, it almost certainly needs authentication. By building API calls that can read, write, and delete user data, you can magnify an app’s influence on its users’ lives. So, if authentication is a given, the method is the real...

Who Actually Uses Your API?

Adam DuVander / February 23, 2017

When it comes to an API, when asking who uses it you might think the answer is obvious: “Developers, developers, developers!”

While it will probably be a developer who writes the code to integrate with your API, they aren’t always the ones to discover the API. In fact, a...

Best Practices Building a CLI Tool for Your Service

Adam DuVander / February 16, 2017

To some, the command line is a relic of computing’s past. But as a developer tool, the command line is essential. Managing local processes and source control are often done through Command Line Interfaces (CLIs). In recent years, another kind of CLI has become popular, and it extends beyond...

Why We No Longer Recommend Static Webhooks

Adam DuVander / February 9, 2017

At Zapier, we love webhooks, because they provide near-instant access to data. When enabled with webhooks, applications can send notifications when data you care about changes. As you can imagine, immediate access to updates makes users incredibly happy. So why would we no longer recommend something that makes users happy...

Node JS Frameworks for REST APIs

Adam DuVander / February 2, 2017

Node JS remains a popular programming language used at companies of all sizes and types: From startups to large enterprises, you’ll find Node’s server-side JavaScript at play. As such, it’s also become a common choice for building APIs. While you don’t need a framework to support...

The Best Tools for Working with API Requests

Adam DuVander / January 26, 2017

Imagine yourself as an explorer, braving high sea or rough terrain to discover new routes. Along the way you’ll meet many people, most of whom won’t speak your language. An interpreter would be crucial to your trip, making it possible to communicate and navigate unfamiliar territory.

When building...

The Perfect Integration-ready API

Ben Peter / January 19, 2017

You’ve probably seen software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies boast about integrations with other services. And for good reason–users love to connect their apps together. Behind the scenes, APIs and a little code make it possible to exchange data between services. Sometimes these integrations increase signups and often they’ll decrease churn...