From Sugar to Facebook…and back!

zapierRecently I’m more than ever realizing that customers are becoming the real drivers of this blog. In the sense that the requests arising from my professional sphere, and that end up turning into posts, are passing over the divulgative intent aiming my curiosity about Sugar world. It’s fine, I say: we can join

the awesome and the interest with the useful and the practical. And that will be my way from now on, do you agree? So, keeping it in mind, let us dive in my true life use case: improving the social functionalities of Sugar adding a first class integration with Facebook.

An integration tool: Zapier

From a general point of view, customer’s request was to activate an automatic exchange of informations between Sugar and Facebook. The operative request was to collect the posts published on a Facebook fan page and send them to Sugar, making them available to the back-office operators. And, just answering to those posts quite on Sugar platform, those answers to be automatically published on Facebook. For the above scenary to set up, I selected a tool coming from Zapier (https://zapier.com/zapbook/facebook/sugarcrm/), an integration solutions company providing cloud apps based on a trigger – action mechanism: triggering a condition or event on the first platform, automatically starts an action on the second platform.

Our first Zap

Zap, in Zapier’s jargon, is an automatism. We can create a zap thanks to the easy and full featured Zapier control panel: we start from choosing the platforms to integrate, go on configuring the zap until we save it, activate it, and, moreover, we can monitor, deactivate, pause, or edit the zaps we created. So, let’s see how simple it is to create our first zap according to the following overall schema:

EN_FromFbToSugar

All the times that a post will be published on a specific Facebook fan page, a Sugar case will be automatically created. And that case will show the post message in the Description field, and the name (or, better, the nickname) of the post author in the Resolution field.

Configuring the Zap

I would say that the following screenshots speak for themselves. Let’s go step by step:

1) platforms and triggers choice: from a brand new Facebook post, the zap will create a brand new Sugar case

Zap1

2) connecting to the Facebook fan page

Zap2

3) connecting to the SugarCRM istance (Zapier will ask for URL, username and password) who will talk with the Facebook page – notice that Sugar version is to be 6.2 at least

Zap3

4) we can filter Facebook posts, so we can choose not to import into Sugar all the posts that are published, but only those matching with the condition configurable from here

Zap4

5) mapping (or matching) Facebook post fields into Sugar case field, so it is here that we can decide that (as we assumed on the overall schema) the case to be created on Sugar will have:

  • field Name fixed: “Post da Facebook”
  • field Description copied from post field Message (the messaggio posted on Facebook)
  • field Resolution copied from post field From_Name (the post author)

Zap5

6) testing the zap, and we will be asked to:

  • create a post on Facebook
  • clic on the test activaction button
  • verify the case creation on Sugar

Zap6

After all that, saving the configuration, we can activate our zap right from now, and the zap will start to collect (and send to Sugar) the new posts arriving on Facebook on a periodical poll basis (with a default interval of 5 minutes).

Conclusions

Easy and very powerful at the same time, isn’t it? Did I awake your interest? If so, let’s take the way back and try yourself to configure this sort of “opposite” mechanism:

EN_FromSugarToFb

Why do customers need it? In order to facilitate the back-office operators’ answers to the Facebook posts. Or to centralize the spread of informations, links, tips and so on for our fan page followers. Keeping everything logged on the CRM platform, for the duty and pleasure of reporting.

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