February ‘21 Release Recap

By Brian Busch in Product Updates Posted Feb 18, 2021

If you’re reading this you’re probably looking for new features that can help you get more wins, faster (in terms of whatever integration project you happen to be working in).

We’re all in this together, so read on to learn about new Elements and templated integration content.

cloud elements february 2021 release

API Integration Catalog Updates: Ceridian Dayforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, Google Ads 2.0, and More!

We’re kicking off 2021 with a host of new Elements that you, our customers, have asked for recently. That starts with Ceridian Dayforce, a comprehensive cloud platform that combines HR, payroll, benefits, workforce management, and talent management in a single application.

Anyone building or integrating products in the hire-to-retire space has heard of Dayforce, especially if your customers include manufacturers, construction contractors, or retailers who need to manage hourly workers. But given the breadth of Ceridian’s offering, there’s no doubt that more than just niche apps serving the above sectors will benefit from integrating with Dayforce.

Next, we’re also excited to announce the Microsoft Business Central (part of the Dynamics 365 family) and Google Ads 2.0 Elements are now available in the GA catalog. Microsoft Business Central is a powerful finance, accounting, and ERP application targeting small and medium businesses that also covers sales, support, and operations.

For banks automating mass payables to virtual card companies to better manage business expenses, Microsoft Business Central is an in-demand integration. And for product teams working in the digital marketing arena, updated Google Ads functionality is now available via the 2.0 Element. We’re also happy to announce the Sugar Market Element to help you integrate to the new architecture of the SugarCRM suite.

Auth Hassles? No More.

We often get the question, “Why use your Element vs writing directly to the native API?” Of course, we can go on about the benefits of normalized methods (Elements convert SOAP to REST and bring consistency to error codes) and enhanced functionality (Discovery APIs, webhooks/a pre-built polling framework, and bulk data operations), and more… 

But, as we talked about in last month’s release developers love standardized auth, which has been in beta for several months. It’s now available to all Cloud Elements users—one simple API for auth and no more IF/THEN/ELSE logic in your code regardless of the auth standard used by the endpoint.

We even have a customizable UI for user credentials to match our OAuth 2.0 facade for endpoints using other auth mechanisms. As we said before, it’s auth, solved.

More Templates! Pre-Built Process APIs and Data APIs For Procure-to-Pay

Let’s say you want to help users submit, negotiate, and fulfill purchase orders (POs). The process may vary from customer to customer some, but in most cases you’ll need vendor data (who you’re buying from), the line item data (what you want to buy), and once the order is complete you’ll need the billing information including payment instructions (how to pay).

However, if you need that same information from a few similar ERP applications, say Microsoft Dynamics, NetSuite, and Sage Intacct, the API orchestration needed for each can be wildly different. For one, that may mean six separate API calls and transformations/verifications, for another that may be eleven separate API calls, and another could mean eight calls. Not to mention the auth nuances for each different software.

Worse, your team needs to research and learn the ins and outs of each of these different systems. That’s why we often hear from customers that building one productized, self-serve accounting/ERP integration often takes 9 to 12 months, or longer.

For that reason, our new Process APIs and Data APIs are really exciting—we’ve taken years of experience as developer tooling and now built a knowledge of the target systems into our platform. With one API call you can now trigger the six, or eight, or eleven separate API calls that you know are necessary to GET /vendors and /line-items and /bills from applications like Dynamics, NetSuite, and Intacct.

What’s more, with the Data APIs, you can simply call GET /ce-vendors or /ce-line-items or /ce-bills for any of more than a dozen target accounting/ERP applications and you’ll get back a consistent data object no matter what target application you’re building an integration to. Said another way, build once, get a dozen accounting/ERP integrations. Think Plaid but for AR/AP data.

A Look Ahead: UI Updates For Ground2Cloud

Trying to integrate to on-prem and desktop applications like QuickBooks Enterprise? Need to create a secure tunnel through a firewall? We’ve got you covered with Ground2Cloud (G2C). While this functionality has existed for several years, we’ve heard from you and your customers that Ground2Cloud could be easier to use.

Keep an eye out for a new UI for G2C and easier installation for your end-users in a few weeks (and share your feedback, we’d love to hear your comments).

Ready to see these new features in action?

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