Crawl, walk, run to integrate Zipwhip

engineering blog integration

Key takeaways

  • Integrating Zipwhip into proprietary systems
  • Embedding the full Zipwhip web app
  • Embedding the Conversation Widget
  • Custom integration

Crawl, walk, run integration

As text messaging becomes a more integral part of your business, it makes sense to combine Zipwhip with the internal, proprietary software that your employees already use. The goal of this article is to guide you through integrating Zipwhip’s GUI components and API into your software.

These solutions rely on you using a valid session to embed (or use) their functionality. The benefit to you is that the software user does not need to know, or have, access to the password associated with the Zipwhip account.

Available elements to integrate include:

  • Embed our full web app = crawl
  • Embed our Conversation Widget = walk
  • Create your own custom GUI components utilizing our API = run

Embedding the full web app

By embedding the web app into your software, you’re adding the full functionality of Zipwhip’s text messaging solution to your product in a simple-to-access manner. Your users do not need to switch between two browser tabs or switch applications.

Embedding the full web app is as simple as adding an iFrame or WebKit window to your thin or thick client, respectively. We call this deeplinking into our Web App. The deeplink relies on a session, either for a given phone number or an Operator on a given phone number.

GET /session/v2/deeplink HHTTP/1.1

By pointing an iFrame or WebKit window at this URL, the Zipwhip web app is rendered and is logged into the phone number or Operator, associated with the session that is passed in.

Embed the Conversation Widget

The Conversation Widget is a light-weight GUI component that can be embedded throughout your software solution. The main benefits of the widget are that it requires minimal screen real estate and it brings the user into a specific conversation. A conversation is an interaction between your text-enabled phone number and a customer’s mobile number. We recommend adding a link to the Conversation Widget, or automatically loading the widget when the software user goes into a customer record. Automatically loading the widget gives the software user the ability to see previous text conversations with the customer and, for example, fire-off a quick message to confirm an appointment.

The Conversation Widget works in a manner similar to deeplinking into the web app. You can find a full integration guide here: Conversation Widget

Custom GUI components

Zipwhip documents a full set of APIs that you can use to reproduce our messaging features and functions. While we don’t recommend re-inventing the wheel, we understand that your business needs may go beyond the features of our web app. We encourage you to utilize the embeddable GUI components and API together to enjoy the full benefit of speed-to-market and custom integrations to solve your business needs.

Our online documentation can be found here: Zipwhip API

Combining everything with our API

One area of interest for you are our Web Hooks, also known as Callbacks. Web Hooks provide real-time notifications of messaging events. Events and their significance are covered in detail in our Zipwhip API Developer Reference, Message Send & Receive in Section 4.

Example uses for Web Hooks:

  • Feed message events into your customer interaction history database to run reports on customer interactions.
  • Use the message receive event to notify employees of a new message to which they should attend.
  • Enable intelligent keywords to allow customers to track the status of their order.
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