Zapier extends its automation service with first-party database and UI tools • TechCrunch


for the longest time, ZapierLaunched in 2011, it has been content to help its users automate simple workflows and build integrations between various business-critical tools. This has been a great business for the company, but today’s users expect more, and over the past two years, the company has decided it’s time to expand its product range. It was the first of these new products Transformation, a tool for transferring data between applications, which was launched last October. Today, at the ZapConnect Conference, you are taking the next step in this journey with the launch of Zapier tables and Interfaces, a database service and user interface builder to allow end users to interact with existing Zapier workflows.

Today, company users often use services like Google Sheets as their database, Zapier to basically create business logic and then maybe Salesforce or Trello as a kind of front end for that workflow. In an interview ahead of today’s announcement, Zapier co-founder and president Mike Knobb noted that about half of the service’s use these days consists of software-type use cases. But this is also a very fragile system, where any chance in the spreadsheet will cause the whole system to stop working.

Image credits: Zapier

“One of the biggest pain points we’ve heard [about from customers] Is that while Zapier has really good coverage on the logical side — the code side if you want to think of it that way — they were just telling us about all those common pain points like having to integrate third-party tools for the user interface and for the data storage layer,” he said. Knop.

Since Google Sheets or even newer tools like Airtable were not designed to be automation system logging systems, there are limitations to the types of automation tools like Zapier can build on.

“Building the first version of automation for tables allowed us to get high-speed change logs and say, ‘Okay, we’re going to protect this system and if you make that change, we’ll automatically bring it into the underlined system or alert you about the applications that depend on it. “We basically went over the list of all the common failures,” Knope explained.

And while tables are on one side of the equation here, Zapier Interfaces is the other side, with a focus on end users. The idea here is to allow users to create dynamic and customizable web pages that work with Zapier and a database, whether they are tables or not. Knob notes that users today often build these systems themselves, but they are also fragile and difficult to maintain after initial setup. With this new tool, users can create forms, edit and share data, and run automation triggers – all using a straightforward drag-and-drop interface.

Zapier demo interfaces

Image credits: Zapier

All of these new features are part of Zapier’s new Early Access program, which currently includes transport, tables, and interfaces. Knoop won’t say exactly what the company will work on next, but there are clearly a lot of other pain points the company can address directly.

This is definitely an interesting move for Zapier. Knoop acknowledged that the company has become a bit complacent and has recently had to catch up to meet the needs of its customers. That took a bit of a shift in the company’s culture around innovation, but that work is starting to pay off, it seems.

In this context, it is worth noting that in addition to these two new products, the company has also launched eight of the most requested features for its users, including the ability to craft Zapts, release, new tools for building more complex Zaps, the ability to schedule transfers in transfers and error notifications Assigned to users at some pricier levels and subfolders and add a super admin level.

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