OAuth 2.0 for Any App or API? Yes We Can.
If nothing else, we’ve all learned a few things over the course of the pandemic.
We learned that you can make your own hand sanitizer, but it might compete with your quarantini. We learned that when it comes to annual predictions, our definition of ‘a big deal!’ has changed. And we’ve learned that amid a public health and economic crisis, demands for seamless experiences between apps has only increased as more and more of work and life has moved online.
One thing that hasn’t changed: consistently hear that user authentication and instance provisioning is a headache for developers.
If you’re trying to connect to an API to prototype something from your local machine, no problem; if you’re trying to productize a self-serve integration experience for your users so they can integrate your product with a handful of similar applications, say CRMs, it’s much, much harder.
And the core challenge? Dozens of lines of IF/THEN/ELSE statements in your code to let users authenticate, all dictated by the different auth types (and even implementations of standards—like OAuth) required by the endpoints you’re working with... NO MORE! With this release, we’re adding an OAuth 2.0 facade for any API plus a credential UI that you can custom brand and then trigger with a single API call.
A little less IF/THEN/ELSE, a little more time to focus on the important things in life.
Product Highlights To Get Excited About
Unified Authentication & Provisioning
Advancing the paradigm of one-to-many integrations, with the new auth flow from Cloud Elements, you can build truly endpoint agnostic experiences for users and skip the IF/THEN… logic that would otherwise be dictated by the native API’s auth requirements. Plus, we’ve added a customizable UI so you don’t need to build a user credentials modal—yours is just an API call away. Here’s what it could look like (roughly) for you:
Not surprisingly, we’re excited about this because we know that once you’ve built that first auth flow, there’s not a ton more to learn, but there’s a ton more tedious work to be done to extend to the second, third, fourth targets... and so on. Now it’s just a single JWT bearer token to keep track of all Element and platform API calls.
More, with this new functionality you can focus more time on the challenges you want to solve, bring user-facing integrations to market even faster, and rest easy knowing that your users’ credentials are secure. Chat with your account manager about early access.
Automapping in VDRs
Another integration pain point we’ve heard frequently from developers over the years: repeated data mapping and transformation is tedious and nit-picky work that few enjoy doing. We’re always thinking about how to save you time, so suggested mappings felt like a good place to start—here’s a quick gif to show you what it looks like:
This is not the only enhancement to VDRs to help you deliver on integration needs faster. In fact, this release brings a one-two punch, so to speak, with more templates.
More Integration Content Templates
We often hear “I just need to build an integration, I don’t want to have to become an expert in [NetSuite/Great Plains/Workday/etc.]” The truth is, on your own it’s hard to deliver a working integration without learning the target applications and their nuances. But looking across Cloud Elements customers, we start to see similarities in terms of the data objects, field names, validation rules, etc. for common use cases like mass payments, applicant-to-hire onboarding, and lead information sync.
Coming soon you’ll start to see more VDR and Formula templates appear in your staging instance, which are ready for you to use as a starter and are customizable for your specific needs. Importantly, these templates leverage intelligence from hundreds of thousands of integrations to help ensure that you’re not overlooking key rules or steps and to help you reduce the time you spend learning what precisely what fields JD Edwards (now Oracle) includes in the /account object.
(Further) Improved Logging
Debugging is a critical step in integration development. And we’ve heard that you, our users, want more transparency into what’s happening behind the scenes to make debugging easier. Building on work earlier this year, you can count on added visibility into end-to-end steps in transformations so that you can dive into the details and identify corner cases and tweaks faster. Here’s a screenshot:
We hope you caught our last product update webinar. If not, our Product Design Lead Ryan Kelly joined to talk through some interesting updates based on input from sessions with users like you. Chief among these updates:
- Cleaner management of triggers on Formulas
- Moving CRON triggers from a query string to a simple UI
- A new card layout for artifact galleries (VDRs, Formulas, etc.) to pull useful information to the fore
Sydney Data Center
For customers with a large, global user base, Cloud Elements now offers a product environment in the APAC region. Talk to your account manager if you have data residency constraints or want to improve system performance and lower latency for users in that region. Coming soon: Frankfurt!
The ‘Doctor’ Gets a New UI
‘Enhanced Integration Content Management’ is a mouthful. But if you’ve used the ‘Doctor’ from the command line, you know there was only one way to deploy new Formulas, VDRs, or Element updates to production. This functionality now comes into the UI along with helpful tools like instance validation that give you more visibility into how your integrations are performing for each user account.
Additional Parent-Child Controls
Now, parent accounts (i.e., “super-orgs”) can restrict and manage what integration content customers/users see. This is particularly useful for customers offering integration tooling via our custom-branded offering or large enterprises working in a COE model (more here).
New Elements - SugarCRM x4, Ultipro, Sage 50, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and more...
Our Elements team has been busy working on Ariba Networks, several for SugarCRM (Sell, Serve, Professional, and Enterprise), MSFT Dynamics CRM (REST API), Ultimate Software’s Ultipro for HR, and Sage 50 for accounting and finance. Every Element is a first-class connection resource that standardizes auth, offers normalized methods, and contains functionality like webhooks and bulk whether or not the native API supports that functionality. Look for these in the catalog in the near future.
As a parting note, not only do we want to hear from you (firstname.lastname@example.org), we also have several exciting user research opportunities upcoming. With all the time you save commuting, this is your chance to help shape what we build. Email us to get involved.