7 API integration examples worth implementing

API integration examples

In many cases, APIs offer the best solution for integrating your applications.

They allow you to exchange data in, or near, real-time; they provide a security layer with access controls; they offer a high level of stability—and much, much more.

Given its benefits, you’re likely looking to leverage it across your tech stack. We’ll help you navigate this exercise by showcasing some of the most impactful API integration examples.

1. Add attachments from a sales opportunity to your file storage platform

Your customer-facing teams likely use a variety of documents for managing prospects and clients. The list can include anything from sales decks to contracts to invoices.

To help them (and other teams) keep track of the documents that get created for different accounts, and to share and manage any securely and easily, you can integrate your CRM (e.g. Salesforce) with your file storage platform (e.g. Dropbox) and implement the following workflow:

Note: The example below only applies to new opportunities. You can easily clone this automation and modify it so that it triggers when an opportunity is marked as “Closed Won.”

A visual diagram of a workflow automation that adds file attachments from a Salesforce opportunity to a folder in Dropbox

1. Once a new opportunity with attachments gets added to your CRM, the workflow gets triggered. 

2. An enterprise automation platform checks to see if a folder already exists for that opportunity in your file storage platform. If it doesn’t, a new one gets created.

3. Each of the attachments from the opportunity get added to the appropriate folder.

2. Create a customer in your ERP system in near real-time

As soon as a prospect converts to a client, you’ll want to move quickly on invoicing them in order to get paid as soon as possible. Moreover, it’s imperative that you avoid adding the client to your ERP system manually, as doing so can lead to human errors that can, among other things, significantly impact your invoice (e.g. charging by the wrong amount).

To help on both fronts, you can integrate your CRM with your ERP system (e.g. NetSuite) and implement the following one-way sync between the two.

A workflow between Salesforce and NetSuite that keeps accounts and customers in sync

1. An account gets marked as “Closed Won.”

2. An enterprise automation platform checks to see if that account exists in your ERP system. 

3. If the account already exists as a customer in the ERP system, it gets updated according to any changes within the mapped fields; otherwise, the account gets added as a customer, and it includes pre-selected fields from the associated CRM account.

Related: 3 powerful CRM-ERP integration use cases

3. Notify a channel in your business communications platform when a lead comes in

Once a lead comes in, various stakeholders across your team will likely want to be made aware. Only then can they collaborate and align on how they pursue it. In addition, they need to be made aware quickly, as a slow response time can reduce their chances of converting the lead successfully

To aid your team, you can connect your business communications platform (e.g. Slack) with your CRM and implement a workflow where, once a lead gets added to your CRM, a predefined channel receives a message with all of the information they need. 

A diagram of a workflow where once a lead gets added to Salesforce, a message gets posted in a specific Slack channel

The information presented in the Slack message can include the lead’s name, their job title, contact information, lead score, how they were sourced, among a number of other items that, taken together, can help your team respond to the lead more thoughtfully.

Related: The top benefits of API integration

4. Post customers’ contract information in a Google Sheet

Finance and sales teams can benefit from storing customer contracts in an application like Google Sheets. The application provides flexibility in terms of how teams can collaborate, and it allows its users to perform robust analysis. In addition, Google Sheets can easily sync with Google Slides—the latter can use the former’s data to create visually compelling charts and tables.

To access contracts and their associated information in Google Sheets, you can integrate your electronic signature application (e.g. DocuSign) with Sheets. From there, you can set up a workflow that works as follows:

A visual of an automation that adds newly-signed contracts to rows in a Google Sheet

 1. Every few days, an enterprise automation platform polls the electronic signature app for newly-signed contracts. 

2. Each contract the enterprise automation platform finds is added to a row in a specific sheet. Also, the columns for each row can include key details on a contract, including the customer’s name, the date the contract was signed, the contract’s dollar value, the contract’s duration, etc.

Related: REST API integration defined

5. Create a user in your ITSM for each new hire that’s added to your HRIS

IT will want to be made aware whenever a candidate signs their offer letter. Any delays in notifying the team can prevent them from procuring the equipment and provisioning the applications that the new hire needs by their first day.

To help alert IT as well as streamline their ticketing process for incoming employees, you can integrate your HRIS (e.g. Namely) with your ITSM (ServiceNow) and design the following:

A visual of a workflow where once a new employee gets added to Namely, they are also added to an ITSM tool like ServiceNow

1. Once an employee is added to your HRIS, the workflow gets triggered.

2. An enterprise automation platform checks to see if that employee already exists in your ITSM. Assuming they don’t, the enterprise automation platform goes on to add the employee, along with specific information from their HRIS profile.

Related: How to identify the best API integration platform

6. Escalate issues with ease by syncing your ITSM platforms

In many cases, your support agents won’t be able to resolve issues on their own. They’ll need engineers on-hand who can help troubleshoot and address issues on their behalf quickly.

To help facilitate this cross-functional collaboration, you can sync the application your support agents use for managing incidents (e.g. Jira) with the tool your engineers use (e.g. Github) and implement the following:

1. Once an issue in Jira gets updated to “Urgent”, the workflow gets triggered.

2. The issue gets created in Github, which includes all of the critical information your engineers need.

3. A specific message also gets posted to a channel where your escalation team can learn about the issue and find the link to the issue’s page in Github.

7. Enrich prospects that convert from ad campaigns before adding them to your CRM

Once one of your ads converts a prospect, you’ll want to collect the information they provided in their form and enrich them via a data enrichment tool (e.g. Zoominfo) quickly so that you can share them with the sales rep on time. You might also want to add logic to your workflow that can automatically disqualify leads who fail to meet specific criteria. 

Based on all of the information provided to sales, they can also decide whether to follow up as well as how.

Here’s more:

A visual of a workflow where once a lead converts from an ad, they're enriched via a 3rd party tool and then added as a lead in your CRM

1. Once a form gets submitted from an ad on Linkedin, the workflow gets triggered.

2. The lead and their employer are both enriched; in the example above, we are specifically interested in uncovering the company’s tech stack, but there’s additional company info that should prove valuable.

3. If the company earns more than a certain level of revenue (according to what’s found by the data enrichment tool), they’re added as a lead in your CRM; otherwise, they aren’t.

We can even tack on our 3rd API integration example to the end of this workflow. In other words, if the lead gets added to your CRM, a specific channel in your business comms platform gets notified. 

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About the author
Jon Gitlin Content Strategist @ Workato
Jon Gitlin is the Managing Editor of The Connector, where you can get the latest news on Workato and uncover tips, examples, and frameworks for implementing powerful integrations and automations. In his free time, he loves to run outside, watch soccer (er...football) matches, and explore local restaurants.