Automate your Transaction Data Workflow with Forte and Zapier

At Forte, we want to make managing your data simple and painless. That’s why we’ve partnered with Zapier to develop the Forte Payments Zapier app. The Forte Payments app can connect to thousands of other web apps you use every day to automate your work and make you a productivity superstar.

How does it work? First, you connect to Forte Payments Zapier account by adding your Forte REST API production credentials and start building a Zap. A Zap is simply a workflow that is made up of a trigger and one or more actions, searches, or notifications. Triggers are events that occur via your REST API integration (e.g., creating a sale transaction or adding a customer). When a trigger event occurs from your REST API integration, Zapier automatically detects it and performs a specified action, conducts a data search, or generates a notification in one or more of your connected web apps. Need to track your sales for invoicing in Quickbooks? There’s a workflow for that. Want to maintain an up-to-date customer list with SalesForce?  There’s a workflow for that too. And the best part? It’s all automated!

The next few sections detail what information you’ll need to begin building a Zapier workflow and step-by-step instructions for building your very first Zap. Happy zapping!

What You’ll Need to Start Zapping

To create your first Zap, you’ll need the following information:

  • A Zapier Account
  • Login Credentials to Dex – These credentials should be for a Production account that includes CREATE API permissions and READ permissions to view the resources you want to include in your Zap (e.g., Customers, Transactions, Paymethods, etc.).
  • Credentials for the Third-Party Apps you want to include in your Zap – If you want to connect Forte to Quickbooks or SalesForce, you’ll need account credentials for each app you want to connect in the workflow. NOTE: Some premium apps can only be added to a workflow if you are subscribed to the paid Zapier Professional or Teams plans.
  • Postman Setup where You Can Test REST API Calls – Postman is easy to set up and easy to use. If you have another method for testing REST calls, you can use it instead.

Set Up

Step 1: Create API Credentials in Dex

Before you begin building your Zap, you must create an API Access ID and an API Secure Key in the Production environment of the Dex application. If you log into Dex and the following banner displays at the top of your screen, you are in Sandbox: “Sandbox: Your view in Sandbox might not match your view in the Live environment due to the permissions you’ve selected.” To change environments, click the user icon and select Switch to Live. Dex automatically switches you to Production and the banner disappears.

Zapier and Postman will use your API Access ID and API Secure Key Production credentials for authenticating your merchant account. To create the credentials, complete the following steps:

  1. Log into Dex and navigate to Developer > API Credentials. NOTE: If you do not see the API Credentials menu option, ask the account administrator to adjust your permissions to Api_User.
  2. From the API Credential screen, click the Create The Create API Credentials screen displays.
  3. Enter a name for your credentials in the Name
  4. Click the Create New API Key Dex displays your new API Access ID and API Secure Key in their respective fields.
  5. Click the Copy button to copy these credentials to your clipboard.

STEP 2: Set Up Postman

Postman enables you to quickly set up, test, monitor, and share RESTful API calls. For each version of Forte’s REST API, we’ve created a “collection” of pre-fabricated calls you can use to test our API. This collection can be downloaded from our REST API v3 DevDocs by clicking the Run in Postman button.

Zapier can only be used for Production accounts and the DevDocs collections use only a Sandbox account, so before you begin running calls, you’ll need to create an environment template that includes global parameters (e.g., parameters used in every request). To do this, complete the following steps:

  1. Click > Manage Environments in the upper right corner of the Postman screen.
  2. Click the Add button on the Manage Environments pop-up modal.
  3. Enter a name in the Environment Name field and then enter your Production values for the following fields (enter the field names into the Key column and the values in the Value column):
  1. When you finish adding all the Key-Value pairs, click the Add button on the Manage Environments pop-up modal. Postman adds your new environment.

Before running a test call, ensure that you’ve selected your newly created environment from Postman’s Environment dropdown box in the upper right corner.  To run a test call, click Customers > Create Customer with Billing, Shipping, and Payment Data. Postman automatically loads the required parameters and sample data. Click the Send button. The API response displays on the bottom half of the screen. If your call was successful, the response_desc parameter in the response will display “Create Successful.” You can enter your own data in the request body including additional parameters listed in the REST API v3 integration documentation.

STEP 3: Set Up Your Zapier Account

If you haven’t already done so, create your Zapier account by navigating to the Zapier homepage and signing up for an account. Zapier lets you choose between free accounts, business accounts, and team accounts. The type of account you choose depends on your automation requirements, such as the need for multi-step Zaps, downtime protection, or higher-volume workflows.

Once you create a Zapier account and log into it, you can search for the Forte Payments Zapier app under the Explore tab of your Zapier homepage. From here you can use a predefined Forte Payments Zap Template to quickly automate a task, or you can build a customized Zap by clicking the Make a Zap! button at the top of the screen.

Build Your Zap

Step 1: Set Up Your Trigger

The trigger event is the catalyst for all consecutive workflow activity in your Zap. To define your trigger, complete the following steps:

  1. From the Zapier account homepage, click the Make a Zap! button to start building your Zap. Zapier takes you to the Zap configuration page.

  2. In the upper-left corner of the configuration screen, enter a name for this Zap in the Name your zap free-text field.
  3. From the list of Trigger Apps, select the Forte Payments The Trigger Selection screen displays:

  4. Choose your trigger event from the provided list by selecting the radio button next to it. For the sake of this example, we’ll use the New Customer
  5. Click the Save + Continue The Connect Account screen displays:

  1. Click the Connect a New Account The Zapier Account Connection pop-up-modal displays.

  1. Enter your Organization ID (just the number, not the prefix), the API Access ID, and API Secure Key you created in Dex in the appropriate fields and click the Yes, Continue After connecting, your account will display in the list of connected accounts. Click the Edit button to edit the name of the account, if desired.
  2. Click the Save + Continue The Test App Connection screen displays.

  1. If you ran a Create Customer test call when you set up your Postman global variables, you should have an existing customer ready to be fetched by Zapier. If so, click the Fetch & Continue If not, go back to Postman and run the Customers > Create Customer with Billing, Shipping, and Payment Data test call. Then, come back to Zapier and click the Fetch and Continue button.
  2. Once you’ve successfully tested your connection, click the Continue button to set up your action.

Step 2: Set up Your Action

After you’ve defined your trigger event, you then have to define the action this event will instigate in the workflow. NOTE: If you’re using the Zapier Free plan, your Zap can have only one trigger and one action. Only Zaps created with Zapier Professional or Teams plans can include more than one action.

To set up your action, complete the following steps:

  1. From the Action App page, search for the app you want to connect or scroll through the available drop-down list. When you find the desired app, click it. For our example, we’ll use Freshbooks New.

  1. Zapier displays the New Action screen. From here you can select what action or search you want to occur after the trigger event. In our example, our trigger event is when a user creates a new customer via the REST API. For our action, we’ll capture that customer’s information in Freshbooks New so that we’ll always have the most up-to-date customer data in both applications. On the New Action screen, select Create Client and then click the Save + Continue

  1. The Connect Account screen displays.

Click the Connect an Account button. The Freshbooks login pop-up modal displays:

  1. Enter your Freshbooks login credentials and click the Log in Zapier connects the account and returns you to the Connect Account screen.
  2. Select the radio button next to the desired account and click Save + Continue. Zapier displays the Set Up page where you will map the customer fields from Forte’s REST API to the contact fields in Freshbooks.

  1. Scroll through the list of contact fields and add the applicable REST API parameters by clicking the Insert a Field The list of available REST API parameters and the values that display come from the test call you made when setting up your trigger.
  2. When you finish mapping your fields, click the Continue Zapier displays a sample template of the mapped fields. From here you can test the Zap.

  1. To test the call, click the Send Test to Freshbooks New If successful, the following screen displays:

  2. Click the Finish button to complete your Zap. Zapier asks you if you’re ready to turn on your Zap.

  1. Click the ON/OFF toggle to activate your Zap. You Zap is now live and will instantly and automatically run anytime the Forte Payments New Customer trigger event occurs.

Step 3: Test Your Zap

After building your Zap, it’s prudent to run test calls to ensure your data is being captured and properly processed. To do this, you’ll need to open Postman and the third-party app you included in your Zap. For us, this app is FreshBooks.

To test your Zap, complete the following steps:

  1. Open the version 3 Forte REST API Postman collection and select the environment with the Production values you previously created.
  2. Select Customers > Create Customer with Billing, Shipping, and Payment Data from the list of pre-fabricated calls.
  3. Click the Send button to make the request. Postman returns a response indicating whether or not the call was successful:

  4. Log into FreshBooks and click Clients. The customer you created in Postman should display in your FreshBooks Clients dashboard:

  5. Double-click on the client name and then click the Edit button to view the data that FreshBooks captured:

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