Act! Premium Web v18 API Intro-Demo

Apr 19, 2016 | General

Act v18 DemoIn the most recent version of Act!, Act! Premium v18, the developers included some fantastic new functionality that has been a sleeper to most of our users. What I’m referring to is an API. For most of the readers out there, those three initials don’t mean anything. When I tell you that API stands for Application Program Interface, I’m still leaving most people in the dark. No worries; we’ll show how it applies to you.

API Examples

Let’s start with a simple example. You have a form on your website. Every time someone fills one out and clicks submit, you get an email with all the information. Now what? You would manually enter it in Act!. And having done that hundreds or thousands of times, you know there has to be a better way and there is; it’s the Act! Premium for Web API. With the API, you can replace your existing form with one you design in Wufoo or Formstack. It will look the same as the old form, but with the use of the Act! API, when someone clicks submit, the data on the form will go directly into Act! Voila, a time saving solution!

Now let’s take it a step further. What if you wanted a follow-up Call scheduled in Act! once the contact is created? Yes, you can do that too. Are you starting to get interested?

How about this example. You have an event coming up and are planning to use Eventbrite to handle registration. So with the help of the Act! Premium API, all of your event registrations will automatically flow into Act!. Think about how this simplifies the event planning process.

So let’s get back to the definition of an API. An API specifies how software programs can communicate with each other, without the need to write complex software code. To put this in lay terms, when two software programs each have an API, there is a straight forward process for getting them to share information.

API: Where To Begin

Now I bet you’re asking yourself where do I begin? Fortunately there are tools to help you. One of the easiest to use is a website called Zapier. Zapier is like a clearing house for apps with APIs and they facilitate creating the connections. In the two examples above there were triggers and then actions. With the form example, the first trigger was hitting submit and the resulting action was creating a contact in Act!. The second trigger was the creation of the contact in Act! from the form and the corresponding action was creating the follow-up Call. With Eventbrite, the trigger was the registration completion, and the action was the creation of your registrant as a contact in Act!. All of this is facilitated in Zapier.

To see the Act! API in action, watch AspenTech Consulting Group’s short demo with Act! v18 Premium using Zapier.

Now that your curiosity is piqued, think about your own organization.  Where do you have data in one location and also need to get it into Act!. Then check out Zapier. There are over 400 apps listed, including: ConstantContact, MailChimp, Pipedrive, Basecamp2, Trello, and SurveyMonkey.

Zapier has a very functional free version but there are some limits. The free version is limited to 5 Zaps (that means 5 connections/integrations). Zaps run every fifteen minutes, so there will be a delay between when something occurs and the corresponding action. And you are also limited to 100 tasks/month.

To make this happen with Act! you will need to have Act! Premium for Web v18 installed on your server. If you already have Act! Premium v18, then you also own Act! Premium for Web v18. If it’s not installed already, just install the web version on your server, following best practices. By the way, installing Act! Premium for Web on your server doesn’t change how Act! is installed on your workstations and laptops. It does though, give you additional access to Act! via the web and access to Act! Premium Mobile via the browser on iOS or Android tablets and smartphones.

Let us know if you have any questions about the Act! v18 Premium for Web API and how you can leverage in your organization by email, or phone, 734-455-7188.

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