+4

Please share an experience of the use of API

Svitlana (Proftranslation LSP) 3 years ago in API updated by Dennis Rosenbaum 3 years ago 20

Anyone use the access to API?
If so, could you please share an experience? For what purpose, what have you achieved with it, etc.?

+2

We use it a lot. We've built a custom portal so that our internal proofreaders can reassign their jobs between their team.

We also use it to send a deadline confirmation to our clients as soon as all translators in a project acepted the jobs.

+4

Wow Robrecht, that's significant. Great work.


We currently use it simply to connect to our website. We use it to generate quotes from our website, and to add/update client billing information via our website without asking clients to go to the client portal.


We found that the QRF (even the new one) doesn't work for us. It doesn't allow tracking code, it needs to be in an iFrame... etc.... so we use the API to directly create quotes from our site.


We are also now testing out generating reports using the API. Hopefully, that will be ready to go in the next 2-4 weeks.


The API generally works for us. My biggest challenge has been twofold. First, it seems that the API is limited in which fields are accessible by the API. For example, when updating a client record, you can't add or update the accounting contact via API. It's just not accessible. Second, the documentation for the API is very limited. There is a long list of examples using the API, but not an extensive documentation of what fields are available and how to access them. I worked with a developer and spent 10 hours just understanding the structure, and what is and isn't available. The lack of documentation added to many inefficiencies with using the API in my opinion.

This sounds like a really good feature. The built in quote request form is impossible to customize, so we can't use it on our website.


Any chance you are willing to sell this code snippet to others?

+2

Honestly, I don't think I could sell it if I wanted to - it's a messy process on our end. 


For better or worse, we decided to not connect directly through the API, but rather use Zapier, and connect XTRF to our website through Zapier. My developer connected the XTRF to Zapier, and that allowed me the flexibility to use Zapier to connect more easily to XTRF - so someone like me could use it without learning the ins and outs of an API.


If this interests you, I'd be happy to connect offline and share with you what I did. If there is code you can use, feel free to have it. I just think there will be so much customization on your end, that it won't be much time saving over doing it from scratch. 

And yes, the lack of customization on the QRF was a big barrier for us. I am surprised I haven't heard others speak about this.

Mark, I have been trying to mimic what you are doing in Zapier. Just curious what online form your are using. We are using Gravity Forms and it is creating double entries and requesting quotes twice for some reason. Just curious what you are using as your trigger in Zapier. Right now I have Gravity Forms as the trigger, then use a series of filters and API posts to 1) create a customer if it does not exist, 2) create a contact if it does not exist, 3) upload a file to the session, and 4) create a quote request related to the contact from 2).


But the fact that every form response results in two submissions is driving me nuts. Zapier says it is Gravity Forms fault.

Cori:


My site is WordPress and I use Gravity Forms for contact forms. Using Zapier, I set up four zaps to process each quote. Each zap goes forward or not with Gravity Form Submission as a trigger. Filters determine if the zaps go forward. 


Challenges...one of the challenges is to know if the person submitting is a company or a person - because we have to know if zapier should use the name fields as the company or a company name as a company.  


Another challenge... We can't upload files to XTRF - the API doesn't seem to let us do that.  


I'm sure there are other ways to do it, but here's what we do.


1a - Take the form and if it's a company, then do the following steps... Create the customer from the company name, create the person from the name field, create the quote, update the source / target languages, update notes, update date and time, update the expected delivery date. 

1b - Same as 1a but use the first and last name to create the customer.

2a - Upload the files to our cloud drive, and send notifications to our PM and a thank you email.

2b - If no files are uploaded, just send email notification and thank you email.


It works very well for us. My only challenge is we occaisional errors - usually in the form of empty required fields or something like that. But all in all, the quotes are created, the communication works, and the PMs are pretty happy with how it's going. No double entries for me.


So, this is my process. I'm not sure of the underlying code that connects XTRF/Zapier on your end. I'm happy to take this offline or even chat on the phone with you about this.


Mark

Hi Mark,  yeah that would be great, not sure how to private message on here, but would love to chat.


I actually got file upload, setting of source and target languages, notes, dates, all in one shot. But it turns out that while file upload is working, that is actually what is causing the issue, somehow the Zap is zplitting at the fileupload step.  


I'm on linkedin, but don't know your last name. Mine is Alcorn. Ping me if you have some time. Thanks!

Mark Bishop

mark at mlconnections dot com

I wonder why I wasn't able to get the files to upload. Oh well. Maybe I can learn that from you!

There is a way though to connect your iFrame to your own javascript code and then add some tracking code in the QRF. It feels a bit hacky, but works eventually.

I did think about that, but I didn't want to resort to using iframes - which would really challenge mobile visitors. I just think the implementation of the QRF isn't up to current web standards.

+1

I do totally agree with you there.

For is it is double, personally I like building software that's using API's but it add's complexity (read costs) to our overall systems.

We also use MS Dynamics CRM as our main CRM system, the fun part of that is that every action you can do in the UI is also available via the API. That's very powerfull stuff.


We are also building a new website and are looking at the new QFR and will decide later to use this or an API integratiion.


I find the documentation very usefull, Are you using "yourxtrfurl/api/docs" as documentation?

Yes. That's what we're using. I think my biggest limitation with is is the limited fields. And initially we didn't understand that if the field wasn't mentioned in the documentation, it wasn't connected to the API. We kept asking for access to new fields, and we'd be told to read the documentation. The documentation doesn't explicitly say, this is all that there is. So we hoped for more. Maybe we were just hoping for more than there is.

I think that these are the only fields in the API. With the views, you can read nearly every data, but if you want to modify someting, you can get into a very difficult situation.

+1

I use the API within .NET as well and I created a simple .NET wrapper to have easy access to all the functionalities within XTRF. If you are interested, I can share it through GitHub if you like.

Sorry the url I mean is: xtrfbaseurl//api/doc/

+1

We have created a customized Client Portal and added integrations into CRM systems. The clients can push their translations into XTRF which creates a project and tasks automatically. When the workflow finishes, the translations are pushed back into client's CRM.