APIs for business management

APIs for business management

To talk about CRMs is to talk about interconnectivity. A CRM is only as powerful as the capability of its own structure to connect and interconnect data from several sources. So maintaining an open CRM capable of connecting to other systems and APIs allows your chosen platform to adapt more flexibly to your business. 

BBVAOpen4U
|
04 Apr. 2019

Here are some examples of fairly well-known CRMs and the advantages and features of their APIs:

 

Microsoft Dynamics

The Microsoft platform offers one of the most varied and powerful APIs around. It is based on the OData v4 standard that uses a specific terminology, and you need to be familiar with it before you start working. OData is in turn a series of very strict standards and specifications with which to refer, select and assign data through requests to REST-type servers.

Let's take a look at some basic examples of common requests, starting with collections of companies. For example, a list of customers to our CRM in Dynamics:

GET {service_root}/Customers

This will return a list, in this case, of customers:

{

"@odata.context": "{service_root}/$metadata#Customers”,

"@odata.nextLink": "{service_root}/Customers?%24skiptoken=10",

"value": [

{

"@odata.id": "{service_root}/Customers(‘Business123’)”,

"@odata.etag": "W/"0811234DDDC34””,

"@odata.editLink": "{service_root}/Customers(‘Business123’)",

"UserName": "Business123",

"FirstName": “Business”,

"LastName": “123”,

"Emails": [

“emailbusiness@business123.es”

],

"AddressInfo": [

{

"Address": “Avenida Larga”,

"City": {

"CountryRegion": “Spain”,

"Name": “Burgos”,

"Region": "ID"

}

}

]

},

{...}

]

}

Easy. Now we request more information on the first individual company mentioned, Business123. Once again we send a GET request like this:

GET {service_root}/Customers(‘Business123’)

This will give us the data for a specific customer, which may be more or less extensive than those the system returned in the general query of the list of companies. We can also move on to the next page and obtain more data from the collection of companies by following the reference mentioned as nextLink: 

GET {service_root}/Customers?%24skiptoken=10

This would return the data on the collection from the last company in this case. A random figure that can be configured as we like.

If we only want to obtain one specific feature or property of a company, for example, only a customer's e-mail addresses, we can do so with a more specific request:

GET {service_root}/Customers(‘Business123’)/Emails

In this case, this would return a single associated e-mail address:

{

“value”: [

“emailbusiness@business123.es”

]

}

Simple. We can learn more about the world of CRM Dynamics and OData by following the  abundant information available online.

 

Zoho CRM

Zoho is one of the most popular CRMs and a forerunner of many concepts that are common today. This system offers a couple of dozen flexible methods with which to handle the data stored in our CRM.

A token or validation sample is required, which is obtained through its developers' platform. Once this has been done, it is fairly straightforward to access the Zoho CRM with its API. 

With the getMyRecords method, we can obtain the adequate data collections by assigning them in the URL of the request. For example, for the hypothetical collection of “Customers” it would be:

https://crm.zoho.eu/crm/private/xml/Customers/getMyRecords?newFormat=1&authtoken={validation sample}&scope=crmapi

There are different configurations available to search, sort and filter these data. Although they are natural and direct, the attributes to do so are specific to each system.

The rest of the methods are practically self-explanatory, like the first one. insertRecords to add, updateRecords to update, getRecordById to select a specific one, etc.

 

SalesForce

Perhaps one of the most commonly used APIs worldwide. SalesForce has a robust and tested platform with which its customers and resellers can manage their data.

It allows a REST API to make direct access, establish connections through a standard SOAP API to interconnect with other existing platforms, and a Tooling API to build our own platform.

If you have an already established business, you are advised to opt for a tool that has already been created and defined. In this case the IT department in your company would do well to learn to make extensive use of the SOAP API to ensure that the mechanisms connecting the different platforms are well oiled and operating without any problems, errors or lack of consistency.

If you want to develop your own app, the Tooling API allows you to add functions to your tools created in Force.com, build dynamic models for your own integrations or go even further and create complete tools.

There is extensive and detailed documentation on all these APIs. Once you have grasped some of the fundamental starting concepts, making connections between CRMs is not overcomplicated, although it is fairly laborious.

 

Are you interested in financial APIs? Discover all the APIs we can offer you at BBVA

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