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Managing successful online communities

Mark

4.5: Zapier Brings Integration with Over 2,000 Web Apps

Zapier is a service that allows you to connect over 2,000 web apps. In Invision Community 4.5 we are launching a beta service of Zapier integration for Invision Community in the Cloud.

What does Zapier do?

Zapier acts as a bridge between Invision Community and other apps, such as Google Docs, Twitter, Facebook, Slack, Trello, Facebook Ads, ActiveCampaign, Zendesk, Asana, Salesforce, Hubspot, Discord, Stripe and more. Zapier has over 2000 apps registered currently, and that number grows every single day.

Let us look at a real life example.

Right now, if you wanted to add a member to a Google Sheets document each time a new registration was completed, you'd need some fairly complex code to be written that was "triggered" by this registration event. This would take days to write at some cost.

Zapier simplifies this by allowing you to connect Invision Community with Google Sheets without needing a single line of code. Zapier allows you to streamline your workflows in minutes.

Zapier has two types of events, triggers and actions.

Triggers

When a certain thing happens on Invision Community, like a member registering or a topic being posted, a trigger can be sent to Zapier to then run actions in other apps. For example, you might create a zaps to...

  • When a member registers, add their email to a Mailchimp list.
  • When a moderator posts a topic in a news forum, share it on Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms.
  • When a member posts something that requires moderator approval, send a message to a Slack channel for your moderators.

Zapier Mailchimp.png

Invision Community Integration with Mailchimp through Zapier

Actions

You can also set up Zaps so that when something happens in an external application, it triggers an action in your Invision Community. For example, you might create a zaps to...

  • When you add an event in a Google Calendar, create a Calendar Event on your community.
  • When you receive an email to a feedback email address, create a topic on your community in a forum for moderators.
  • When you create a task in Trello, add a record to a Pages Database on your community.

Zapier Google Calendar.png

Invision Community Integration with Google Calendar through Zapier

Self-Integration

In addition to using Zapier to integrate with third party services, you can also connect an Invision Community trigger to an Invision Community action. For example: when a member registers, create a topic in a welcome forum.

Zapier Self Integration.png

Self-Integration through Zapier

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What integrations are available?
    In the beta launching with Invision Community 4.5, Zapier will be able receive a trigger when a member account or content (forum post, gallery image, etc.) is created and send actions to create the same. More triggers and actions will be added over time.
  • When will this integration be out of beta?
    Later this year.
  • Will third party applications and plugins be able to create Zapier triggers and actions?
    Because the integration requires an app hosted with Zapier (which is written in Node.js) and this has to be submitted directly by the vendor, it will be difficult for third party applications and plugins to integrate with Zapier through Invision Community's integration. In the future we may be able to provide basic abstracted integrations for third party applications and plugins through an extension API. In the meantime, third party authors can of course write their own Zapier Apps if desired.

Comments

Recommended Comments



Just now, Matt said:

We are actually in the process of revamping our cloud plans to be much more generous with data storage and are considering other metrics as the headline differentiator.

That sounds encouraging, I will keep my eyes open for any related announcements.

Thank you.

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1 hour ago, Matt said:

We have made the decision to only bring some advanced features to our Cloud and Enterprise communities, and Zapier is one of them. This means that Zapier will not be available for on-premises licenses.

We are planning some more advanced features which need to leverage the computing power of our cloud hosting network and would be almost impossible to implement outside of our hosting. Trying to produce software for the lowest common denominator is getting increasingly challenging as expected standards move on.


To be clear, we're not going to heavily restrict new features available to the on-premises license, and neither are we considering two separate versions of Invision Community. On this occasion, Zapier makes a better fit for our Cloud and Enterprise communities, and it's backed by our own hosting network.

Why not offer the new features as an option for self hosted instances? I'm sure for those of us with dedicated servers it would not be an issue.

It sounds more like a way to push people to your cloud. Can't imagine which features would be so resource intensive to prevent them from being offered to self hosted clients.

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The more successful your customers are the more likely they will purchase additional products and services from your firm. This product could help many sites stick around for the long term or grow to a point that switching to your hosting platform is within their means. As customers many of us have invested thousands of dollars in your company by paying for self hosted licenses and renewals, maybe you could return the favor by investing in your customer's success. I would recommend making it available to self hosted customers with the understanding that they assume responsibility for all support and if they run it on underpowered servers they will experience suboptimal results. 

Right now we 'really' don't know how this product might enhance our communities. It will require lots of experimentation and sharing of what works or doesn't before the community will embrace the value of this new service. Maybe it will turn out this service holds great appeal to the vast majority of your customers or just a handful.  Limiting it's adoption will limit it's potential for attaining that "great appeal".

Edited by Chris Anderson
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  • Management

Our initial goal with Zapier integration was to begin on the cloud platform and later explore offering this via our self-hosted product. After extensive testing and consideration, we have decided to limit Zapier integration availability to our cloud platform.

While we regret any inconvenience and dashed hope this carefully considered decision has caused and have no plans to restrict software-only features, the reality is, the majority of the Internet is inarguably migrating towards a SaaS direction and certain infrastructure-dependent features we develop must be engineered for cloud only. Our cloud infrastructure is a complex culmination of various technologies derived from our years of experience, testing and evolving technology. It would be impractical (technically and financially) to replicate this in a self-hosted capacity. In other words, it's not always simple as plopping on a dedicated server. 

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Very disappointing, been waiting months for this and have spent a ton here like many others, now only cloud customers get this?

Cooled off a bit now.

Edited by Noble~
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2 hours ago, Lindy said:

Our initial goal with Zapier integration was to begin on the cloud platform and later explore offering this via our self-hosted product. After extensive testing and consideration, we have decided to limit Zapier integration availability to our cloud platform.

While we regret any inconvenience and dashed hope this carefully considered decision has caused and have no plans to restrict software-only features, the reality is, the majority of the Internet is inarguably migrating towards a SaaS direction and certain infrastructure-dependent features we develop must be engineered for cloud only. Our cloud infrastructure is a complex culmination of various technologies derived from our years of experience, testing and evolving technology. It would be impractical (technically and financially) to replicate this in a self-hosted capacity. In other words, it's not always simple as plopping on a dedicated server. 

This sounds like marketing BS. Cloud is nothing but a bunch of servers. Which technology would be so advanced to prevent simple features from being offered to self hosted clients?

If these features were so resource intensive, it would mean higher costs for you too to host all these websites needing so many system resources. I don't buy this excuse.

Just say that sooner or later your cloud will be the only option and this is the first step in that direcrion. It's like the saying about boiling a frog. If you do it slowly, it doesn't notice the water getting hot and doesn't jump out of the pot and only realizes what is happening when it's already too late.

Be honest and tell us that the self hosted option will at one point be a thing of the past and only cloud will be available since Invision will become SaaS.

You are a business and that is your decision to make but at least be honest about it. This way it just seems you need the self hosted clients to keep paying until you finish the transition period and make the announcement that only cloud remains as an option.

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1 hour ago, Tom_K said:

This sounds like marketing BS. Cloud is nothing but a bunch of servers. Which technology would be so advanced to prevent simple features from being offered to self hosted clients?

I’d be interested to know what is so restrictive and can’t run on a dedicated server or my own cloud? It does sound a bit odd to me. Shared hosting by IPS may be ok for a novice single community startup or enterprise customers that have a big budget, but for others in the middle, your own server or cloud is the way to go. I have a few licenses and my sever is tailored to IPS for all of them. I can’t see paying to host them. My guess is that if this is the direction, it will drive people like myself away. It’ll be unfortunate if this is the go forward plan 😔 . I will not enjoy migrating to a different platform as I like and have grown fond of IPS.

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I understand it and fine.

19 hours ago, Matt said:

Trying to produce software for the lowest common denominator...

Likely accurate but maybe not the best way to describe those who self-host and have supported you for many years.

I often do not see such these ties as a strength anyway, as over the decades I've seen many applications and integrations rise and fall, silently breaking as they are no longer supported or changed irrevocably. Just look at Instagram embeds for a recent example.

Hence, I'm fine with it just for Could and Enterprise. 🙂

- and if Invision does become Cloud-only then I will sadly have to plan to leave as I've a multi-thousand dollar server that I don't wish to leave idle.

Edited by PoC2
'see'
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I'm disagree, Zapier plugins are running on all powerfull CMS whithout problems in regular servers so where is the problem? If this app needs more hosting resources will be a self problem and you can recomended a minum hosting settings for that. So will be our responsability to set this minimun settings to run correctly this zapier app or others future apps. All hosting providers are constantly upgrading your systems, so isn't any problem.

If your definetly solution is change to cloud or enterprise system whats happend with our recent licences? We have any discount coupon to change or compensation?

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19 hours ago, Matt said:

We are actually in the process of revamping our cloud plans to be much more generous with data storage and are considering other metrics as the headline differentiator.

Probably you can consider a kind of quantity discount for multiple licenses' holder 😃 And a kind of start-up discount for the first six months, the time the community needs to grow. 😊

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