Elements Connect vs The Zendesk API
Your data is essential in Zendesk. With the help of options such as CSV, custom API or Marketplace apps you can bulk import external data to Zendesk ticket fields to help your clients and agents. But what happens when you have to bulk update this information? How can you have your imported data in Zendesk ticket fields kept up to date?
One thing quite a number of people already know is that bulk updating ticket field values with external data in Zendesk is a pain in the neck. There are so many factors you have to keep in mind when doing this. Such as ensuring that the new ticket field values do not replace the older ticket field values so as to avoid having older ticket forms with empty information.
So, what are the options available to overcome this bottleneck in your Zendesk ticket field update?
- You could write a script to update using the Zendesk API
- Or you can use Elements Connect
Currently in Zendesk world, the API is the solution to a long list of issues. From creating tickets, migrating ticket data from old database, record search and even bulk update ticket field values.
In this article, I’ll show you how Elements Connect, a low code connector works easier than the API. To make an informed decision on which solution to choose when you want to update your custom ticket fields in Zendesk, you should ask yourself the following questions
- How can I easily bulk update ticket field values?
- Can I easily create custom drop down ticket fields?
- Will there be loss of information?
- Will my values be duplicated?
How can I easily bulk update Zendesk ticket field values?
The Zendesk API is usually described as “easy to use” but frankly, it is far from that. There are certain pitfalls you need to be aware of with this option. First is knowledge of coding or scripting. Using the API often means having an experienced devs team that could write a custom script and if you don’t have an internal developers’ team or the knowledge of scripting, you may have to hire one which could potentially increase your budget.
Next is time. Working with the Zendesk API is time consuming. It takes a significant amount of time to properly write a successful Zendesk API script. This time affects your project’s deadlines and extends the projects duration.
Or maybe you simply use an Excel file to store your data. That's one more step added to importation process by converting the Excel file to CSV. (You'll see the rest of the process in the next point)
Elements Connect allows you update Zendesk ticket field values within seconds giving you enough time to focus on your primary tasks. The app is created so that all you need to do is set the new values you want updated in your ticket fields and the rest is done for you. No need to have any scripting knowledge. No need to outsource a devs team. The work is already done for you.
This means you spend more time running your business smoothly and less time on custom codes.
Can I create custom Zendesk drop down ticket fields?
The process of updating with the Zendesk API typically looks like this: import external values- usually by CSV, adapt the values to fit the Zendesk API (converting to JSON format), then execute the Zendesk API function.
It may seem straightforward, but this is a long and manual process. Using the Zendesk API means you manually input the name and value property for each item in your database into the script. Meaning if you want your ticket field to display values in a certain format, you will have to write multiple separate scripts to properly execute this
Elements Connect has this problem covered. With native Zendesk look and feel, the app allows you to set the way you want your custom drop down fields in Zendesk to be viewed without any scripting. You can select and view the datasource you want to query then set a template on how your ticket field values should be displayed.
Do I lose my data?
Another important factor to consider is data storage. Say you currently have 5 items your custom drop down field on your Zendesk ticket form. You’ve added 10 items to external data source catalog and now it needs to be updated on the dropdown menu.
To perform this action with the Zendesk API, you’re going to “Erase and Replace”. This means when updating the newly added items to your ticket field, you lose the previous items. So rather than having 15 items in your drop down ticket field, only the newly added 10 items are stored and displayed making the older tickets with the deleted ticket values lose this information and become empty.
But unlike the API, Elements Connect saves both your older ticket field values and the newer ticket values. Now in your Zendesk custom drop down field you have all 15 items, and your older tickets still have all the selected information displayed.
Will my custom drop down field values be duplicated or deleted?
Tags are automatically created for any ticket field (drop down, multi select, etc). By default, Zendesk won’t allow you to create two ticket fields with the same values. This means if, for several reasons, you have different tickets fields with the same ticket fields values, a new tag cannot be created for one of the tickets field values.
This leaves you with the option of manually creating new tags for hundreds of entries and chances are you may forget how you tagged earlier entries. And with the API, the new tags overwrite the existing tags and becomes a problem if you want the existing tags kept.
Elements Connect takes care of avoiding this conflict. The app works behind the scenes so you don’t have the same tag for similar ticket fields. A prefix is automatically added to each ticket field value and this helps distinguish your ticket field values from similar values in other ticket fields.
How does Elements Connect compare with Zendesk API
Got any questions? don't hesitate to comment below.
And also check out the full app documentation.
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