Computers and Humans are different, however there are a few similarities. Just like humans have generations, computers too have their own generations. What started with the iconic Intel 8086 processor, today it’s all about Kaby Lake and Coffee Lake multi-core processors. Like humans have languages, computers too have languages. Be it the basic LOGO programming language or the powerful Java or C#. With so many languages around, it is largely becoming difficult to communicate what you want to. For humans, languages must be becoming extinct, but for computers, there’s one almost every other day ! Websites talk a different language, mobile apps have their own lingo. So ever wondered how these different systems communicate ? Well, just like humans have translators, computers make use of APIs or WebHooks to transfer information and communicate. Today’s Tech-article will be about ViaSocket and how you van leverage it to fortify your apps. But before I talk about it, I’ll talk about APIs and WebHooks.
What are APIs and WebHooks ?
Beginning with the full form of API – Application Programming Interface – is a set of code specifications that software can follow to communicate with each other. APIs usually consists to two broad phases – Request and Response. A piece of code first starts by making a request to an API which then validates the request and responds with whatever was asked for. There are millions of APIs available for use, right from OpenWeatherMap, FlightRadar and our very own Govt. Of India through its OpenData initiative. So if you want to know the weather of a particular place, you simply send a request to the weather API with the city. The API will validate the request and respond with the Weather. That’s about API.
What if you want event based services where in you don’t want to send a request but you get a response when something happens ? Well, there are Webhooks that are based on events. Webhooks are generally triggered on some events say a code check-in to a repository or a comment on a blog etc. When that event occurs, the site sends an HTTP request to the URL which is configured as a Webhook. Which means that if you own multiple websites and want to trigger an email from one website based on some action that happened on another website, you need a webhook. Most of the companies like Twitter, Trello, Onedrive are providing Webhooks. So let’s say you want to know who logged in to your website, well that’s an event. And a Webkook can be configured to inform you of the same. Just the way I showed in my previous post where we sent SMS from WordPress using MSG91 and ViaSocket whenever someone logged in to our website.
So when Webhooks are great way to communicate on the web, then why are companies / developers shying away from using Webhooks ? Well to develop anything, it takes time and requires skills. Setting up event based calls to a URL isn’t as easy as A,B,C. Many firms are still going in with APIs which are relatively easier to develop. So how can you as a company or developer save time and money and still fortify your apps with Webhooks ? Read on.
Get more work done with ViaSocket
With multiple APIs around us, it gets difficult to manage the amount of data that might be coming in. Also to make any small change, you would need to get in touch with your developer that can consume a lot of time. If you are a firm, you may have your customer data coming in, the supplier data, the marketing numbers and what not. And you might want to put this data to use by other 3rd party services. How do you do that ? That’s where ViaSocket comes in handy – Swiss knife for Software ! ViaSocket is a multiple API integration and automation tool. It provides with a custom end point url that can be used to source data from multiple APIs and forward it to 3rd party services.
IFTTT vs Zapier vs ViaSocket – who’s the best ?
- ViaSocket works with any API that you can think of unlike IFTTT and Zapier that provide only work with certain APIs.
- With custom flows and endpoint URL, ViaSocket allows you to see data moving across the end.
- Further the market place on the ViaSocket is ever expanding and has newer services coming up frequently.
So what are the use cases where in you can use ViaSocket ?
- You might have a woo-commerce setup running and want to collect your customer data in a google spreadsheet and send SMS to them.
- You have numbers coming in and want to make sense of it. Push it to ViaSocket and connect it to Google Analytics that can help make sense of the numbers.
- You customer leaves a bad rating on your website, you can forward that to ViaSocket and email them. Post which your offline team can take forward.
Developer ? ViaSocket will make your life easy.
I’m not new to ViaSocket as I already used it to configure MSG91 to send SMS from my WordPress site. I had assumptions that it might take some time and lots of coffee to configure it. However it was in place even before my coffee was ready ! Setting up the Flow is pretty easy as you just need to provide a name and you get your endpoint URL. That’s it, forward your data/events to this ViaSocket endpoint URL and then use third party services to take it up a notch further. Missed a business call ? See how ViaSocket can help you here. Further with the sublime customer support, you will never will blocked.
You see how easy it is configure ViaSocket. It comes with loads of 3rd party app services with more and more being added as I write this. If you are a Developer who feels that you’d have to spend a lot of time understanding and configuring then you are wrong. Whether you are a expert programmer or a novice like me, you can do wonders with your apps with ViaSocket. In the end, it’s your creativity as to how you will use this. Pour in some ideas you think where ViaSocket could be useful. Who knows it might be a billion dollar idea. Mention your views, ideas and suggestion in the comments below or tweet to me at @atulmaharaj