Life of An Integration Request

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“Life” by Dan Valenzuela for Order Desk

Order Desk has hundreds of integrations to many of the most popular ecommerce services and we regularly add more. Many times, the integrations that we build are suggestions from you or requests from the proposed company directly.

If you you’re considering using Order Desk and don’t see an integration to the services you use on our list, or if you currently use Order Desk and you’d like to expand your list of vendors, you can submit a request for us to build a new integration here.

But what happens after you make that request?

The Life of An Integration Request

Reviewing API Documentation

An API (Application Programming Interface) is the intermediary between two applications that allows them to speak to each other. API documentation tells us how we should communicate with another service, as well as what communications we should expect back.

To paraphrase a fantastic metaphor from Kalob Taulien, imagine that Order Desk is a customer at a restaurant and the application you want us to integrate with is the chef. The API in this case would be the waiter who brings the order to the chef.

Expanding on that, think of the API documentation as the menu. Much like how a menu at a restaurant tells you what food is available and what each dish is called, API documentation tells us what data is available and what to call it when we request that data.

This in mind, whether or not a service has an API and how robust their documentation is has a large effect on whether or not we can consider building an integration.

Assessing Request Volume

To be transparent, we also need to ensure that a new integration will be beneficial to as large a number of customers as possible. Our support team stores your name and email address any time you request an integration, and our integration development team will look at the number of requests when reviewing which integrations to build next.

Sometimes only one customer requests an integration, or a service requests to integrate with us directly without a current Order Desk customer requesting it first. In cases like these, our developers will assess each request individually and make a note of a variety of factors before deciding whether to build it anyway or to revisit the integration once more interest has been shown for it.

Examining the Necessary Resources

Any new build takes work on the part of our developers. We are a small team and our developers are already working everyday to maintain the app, troubleshoot issues, and support emails, and implement fixes to keep Order Desk running smoothly for all of our customers.

When an integration request comes in, we have to assess how much time and resources will need to be spent on building it.

This also requires us to look at our own roadmap and confirm whether or not building the requested integration fits into our overall vision as a company.

The Build Out

Once an integration request has been approved, it takes anywhere from one week to a couple of months for the build to be completed. The timeline varies due to a variety of factors, such as other concurrent projects, urgent matters that need to be addressed, and third-party support.

So even if an integration is approved on our end, our developers need to fit it into their existing workflow and work with the other application’s developers to answer questions, gain credentials, and run tests. That can also mean the other services’ developers taking the time to do their own due diligence!

In The Meantime…

One major benefit to using Order Desk is that your workflow can be customized many different ways, even if a direct integration to your preferred service isn’t available yet. If you still want to use a service that we haven’t yet integrated with, you can still use some of our existing tools to manage your orders and connect to the other ecommerce companies you use.

Import templates can be used to import or edit orders and add shipment details. Export templates can be used to send orders to your fulfillment partners that we don’t yet have integrations with, as well as send shipment details back out to your carts.

Order Desk is built to be highly flexible, so if a direct solution doesn’t seem clear for the needs of your business, I’d encourage you to reach out to us at support@orderdesk.com so our support team can review your available options with you.

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