How to set up an Automatic data import utilizing Zapier


(Niklas Schwibbe) #1

Hi there,
Part 2 on the topic of furthering your automation exploits, utilizing the zapier platform.
For a short rundown of the zapier platform, please refer to this post.

How and why do I get my data to AX Semantics?

The arguably most important issue for a hands-of content automation is making your data accessible for the content generation. That mandates, your data being accessible at all, which is by no means a common thing. Normally, your data dwells in places well hidden, like deeply buried databases or lonesome folders located on sinister servers. However the case, for us and our use case that’s no good. We need the necessary data to be accessible online.

File or no File?

First you have to think about, wether you want to use a file to transport your data or not.
As this method has some advantages and disadvantages its worth to get a brief overview:

Methods for filetransfer:
Excel-file
CSV-file
JSON-file (not covered in this example)

Perks:

  • Relatively easy to setup
  • Widespread use and know-how of applications (MS Excel, Libre office, Texteditor)
  • Needs less to no programming know-how
  • Needs instead knowhow of file formatting (UTF8, structure of a csv-file, …)

An Example using Zapier:

First step is to make your data file accessible online. One of the easiest ways and our way to go for our example is google sheets. If you have an example file just drop it into your google drive and your file is accessible enough for the next step. By inserting your file into google drive you can then access it via zapier (Keep in mind, that you have to open the file once to get an actual google sheet):

How to setup the trigger

Choose Google sheets as App for your trigger.

Then you can define your trigger action. One option is to setup the data import to be triggered each time a new spreadsheet is created in your account. Another option would be to monitor a specific spreadsheet and determine that an import is done each time a row is updated or added. For the sake of demonstration I would go with the option new or updated spreadsheet row:

Connect your account to grant zapier access to your google drive:

The Choose the spreadsheet and worksheet you wish to monitor for the data import (optionally you could define a specific column to be monitored as a trigger):

Now each time a uid is changed or added, a new import will be triggered. As a next step lets define the import in the AX Semantics platform.

How to set up the Import

Choose the AX Semantics App as your action:

Currently the only available option here is to create / update a document. If you feel we are missing something, please do tell us in the comments below. For our automation example this should suffice:

Connect your AX Semantics Account:

After that you have to tell the Zapier application where your data should go, and, most importantly, which fields to include from the selected sheet. Also you can change the field names if you want:

If that template is properly configured, every data field included is then imported into the specified collection, whenever the trigger is triggered.

This concludes the configuration of the most basic import automation using Zapier. Feel free to explore the many existing integrations of Apps like Magento, to find the way most appropriate for your own environment.

If any questions arise feel free to contact our support Team.

Best regards
Niklas