When you first started your business, you most likely used a variety of free and open source tools to help you get the job done.
Maybe it was Google Docs and Google Sheets to start, then your accountant told you about accounting software so you upgraded to Quickbooks, then you needed a payment gateway to take online payments and project software to organize and manage your team.
And finally to pay your employees so you have a payroll vendor like Paychex, in addition to some HR management tools for the HR team right? That’s not including communication tools like Slack, Zulip, Skype.
Let’s take a look at what that ends up looking like:
You maybe be thinking “How can I even review ERP software when I have already invested hundreds, maybe millions over the years into my current software?”
Good Question. Let’s use Zapier.
Zapier allows you to pass data from one system to another in the form of an API (Application Programming Interface).
It’s simple really, you just need to understand where and how you want to get the data.
GET:We want to get data from another system or we want to get data from our system and push it into another system
POST: We want to post (or deposit the data from one system to another)
DELETE: We want to delete from one system or another
Now that you are a master of the commands, let’s talk about simple values and variables.
For each piece of data, think of what you are trying to GET, POST, or DELETE and your reference terms.
Let say we have 5 employees named Joe, John, James, Jack, Jason, Jerry that all work for the widget company.
1. Are we trying to GET a list of all employees that work for the company?
2. Are we trying GET a list of employees whose first names begin with the letter?
3. Are we trying to GET the number of employees that work for the company?
4. Are we trying to send (POST) the list of employees that begin with J to another system?
While this is an over simplification, the basic idea is that Zapier allows you to send a data set to another system based on the series of parameters and variables
Other Integration Tools
If Zapier is not a fit for you, there is also IFTTT https://ifttt.com/ which stands for If THIS THEN THAT. Essentially if you are familiar with Excel or IF Statements, it works in the same manner.
Now go create some cool integrations. You can learn more about integrating software into your business with Open Source.