Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Google Apps integration to Act!

As more and more businesses move to the cloud for email, document storage and other key business functions there is an increasing desire to improve the way that Act! talks to online applications.

At Xact Software we have long been aware that integration to Act! needs to be simpler; this was one of the motivations for building the XData API which was released back in June 2011.

One of the key functions of XData is to enable Act! to connect to third party, cloud-based applications, and today we want to show you that it is possible using a few snippets of code to integrate Google Apps with Act! using Google Scripts and XData. Google scripts is a development platform that enables you to utilize Google services (Docs, Gmail, Calendar etc) and access data stored in Google. By simply creating a Google Script and adding some intelligence we are able to trigger XData functions.

At the end of the day the more complex the function, the more complex the code. Given this, we mocked up three simple integrations to give you an idea of what can be done. The code is all real, just not refined for end-user consumption.

Our three examples are as follows:
  1. Create a new contact in Act! using data collected from a Google Form in real time 
  2. Import your Act! contact list to a Google Spreadsheet in real time 
  3. Attach an email, sent from Gmail, to Act! History in real time 

Take a look at our Tech Demo to see the integration in action!

As we've mentioned these are just to give you a taste of what can be done. In addition to this we know that there is much more functionality that you can add including:
  • Attach an inbound email from Gmail to Act! History - plus have options for creating new records if the email address cannot be found, or updating existing records for example if someone has emailed you from a new email address 
  • Attach an email from Gmail including all of its attachments to Act! History 
Google scripts work with most of the common Google services and new functionality is being added (from Google’s end) all the time so watch this space!

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