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Keeping MetaLocator data in sync with Zapier
Keeping MetaLocator data in sync with Zapier

Zapier can be used to keep MetaLocator up to date with external systems as changes occur.

Michael Fatica avatar
Written by Michael Fatica
Updated over a week ago

MetaLocator has a plethora of import, export and synchronization options that are majority focused on bulk imports, e.g. managing changes of hundreds or thousands of records at a time. However, in some cases a real-time, change-by-change integration is preferred.

MetaLocator can integrate with external systems using Zapier in a model where each individual change that occurs in an external system is "pushed" to MetaLocator as it occurs based on a Zapier Trigger.

Generally speaking, Zapier initiates Actions based on Triggers. Applications such as MetaLocator publish various Actions and Triggers for Zapier users to use. This allows all applications that support Zapier to communicate and exchange data using a common framework. The result is a powerful network of integration possibilities that can be managed without writing code.

For example, if you have a CRM system that offers a Zapier integration and you want an automated integration with MetaLocator you can use a "Find and Update or Create" workflow in Zapier to manage record changes and additions in MetaLocator.

In this example, we will use Zoho CRM as the example source database. In our Zoho CRM we have our dealers in our Contacts database. Each dealer has a "StoreNum" custom field in Zoho CRM that is also configured as an External Key in our MetaLocator account.

Zapier supports over 4,000 connections, so your specific source system will likely be different, but the concepts are the same.

Before continuing, be sure you have configured an External Key in your account, or your source data contains the MetaLocator-provided ID number.

Steps to Connect Zoho CRM to MetaLocator

  1. Login to Zapier and click Zaps, and then "Create" to start a new Zap.

  2. Select your trigger. In this example, we will use Zoho CRM's New or Updated Contact

  3. Follow the instructions to Connect and Test your source system. Part of the test will obtain "Test Data", which is used in subsequent steps.

  4. For the "Action" step, choose Looping by Zapier, this loop will run once for every record the trigger finds.

  5. Choose Create Loop From Line Items, then, on the Line Items, add all the fields as shown, to the loop:

  6. For the "Action" step, choose "MetaLocator" as shown. Only choose the "By Invite" options if specifically directed to do so by our support team.

  7. For the Event in MetaLocator, choose "Find Record". Then enter your MetaLocator email address and password.

  8. To configure the Find Record step, some data field from the Source system must match the content in MetaLocator, and if it does not, the Zap will be configured to Create the record in MetaLocator. This is an important step, and can match an existing record in MetaLocator based on an External Key or MetaLocator's ID field.

    The StoreNum field shown above represents the External Key configured in our sample MetaLocator account (your display will be different). If no such External Key field is displayed in your Action screen, that means there is no External Key configured in your account. MetaLocator recommends using an External Key to match records during import.

    In this example "StoreNum" is stored in our Zoho CRM under a custom field called "StoreNum". The names don't have to be identical, but they happen to be in our example.

    Notice that we are using the StoreNum value from the Loop Action, this is important, as it ensures the value changes each time the loop is run.

  9. In this example, when the Zap does not find a matching record in MetaLocator based on searching for the "StoreNum", it will create a new record in MetaLocator based on the incoming data from the loop. Check the box "Create Record if it doesn't Exist Yet" and choose the fields from the Loop to match the fields in MetaLocator:

  10. Once the form is completed, click Test Action to ensure a record was properly found (or not found based on the Test Data).

  11. Click Close and then the [+] and Choose Filter as shown below:

  12. Then configure the filter to Only continue if data was found during the Find Record action. This will help us conditionally run the "Update Record" action if the Find Record action found a match. Choose "Zap Data Was Found" and (Boolean) is true as shown below.

  13. Now we can configure the "Update Record" action in MetaLocator. Be sure to choose the ID column from the Find Record action and map the remaining fields from your source database:

  14. Click Close and verify the appearance of data in MetaLocator. Run tests with sample data that will cause both record creations and updates. Be sure to verify that each field appears according to your expectations.

  15. Finally we can publish the Zap. The Zap can be monitored, including an execution history using the Zapier dashboard.

If you have any questions regarding the MetaLocator Zapier integration, please reach out to support.

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