Zapier is a cloud-based automation application that can be used to integrate the functions of two or more applications with one another. Through a system of "Zaps"- simple, conditional automations made by the user- Zapier can automate tasks between various web applications and allows a higher level of integration between them.
Zapier does this through a wide selection of apps- apps that you might find familiar as a web user- apps that are manipulated through what're called APIs.
An API, for those who don't know, is short for Application Program Interface. Basically, APIs are made to allow different applications, devices, servers and operating systems to interact with one another. Essentially, APIs allow apps to control other apps. For this to work with web apps, however, the service (say, Gmail) has to develop APIs to allow this form of interaction, and then services like Zapier have to have their own APIs for these interactions.
Anyways, once all the appropriate APIs and applications are in place, integration between those applications become possible. Without apps like Zapier and APIs for the services they manipulate, integration between applications in this manner would be impossible.
So what're the usage scenarios of something like this? So far you've been filled in on the technical side- what can you actually do with something like Zapier?
Well...think of all the things you can do with any two compatible apps separately, then find a way to combine them.
Zapier can be set up to, say, automatically create Dropbox backups of files made in Google Drive. Zapier can be used to duplicate posts between platforms, to automate messages based on certain events, etc.
Most relevant to our interests is that Zapier can be used to take a customer's information from Hubspot- where they originate as a lead- and transfer all of that information over the Freshbooks once the actual business starts, creating a seamless flow from lead to customer all without any user input necessary once the initial Zap is created.
Check out Zapier.com for more information.
To learn more about workplace IT technologies, cloud integration and more, browse through our Cool for Work Blog for informative posts just like this. If you'd like assistance setting up a Google Apps, Hubspot or Zapier installation for your business (or you just have questions), contact Coolhead Tech for Business Apps consultanting!