12 February 2013

If This, then That

If you haven't seen IFTTT yet, take a break from what you are doing right now and check it out. It'll be the best 15 minutes of your day.

I first learned about IFTTT from one of Kin Lane's API Evangelist posts.

IFTTT is part of a new bread of API automation platforms. Normally, an API is not for the feint of heart and just the acronym scares away non-coding administrators. But that's the irony of it - while the backbone of IFTTT, and other sites like it, are robust APIs with simple authentication, you don't need to have any programmatic experience to use it. In fact, there is no place for you to add code in the creation and triggering of tasks between services.

IFTTT's power lies in how easy it is to link different Internet accounts together. Each trigger that you create is considered a 'recipe' which you can share with a larger community. This also means it's really easy to use someone else's recipe to keep from re-creating the wheel. For instance, I created a recipe that automatically creates a feed item in one of my chatter groups when I publish a new blogger post. Just by publishing this blog post, I've already gotten a new chatter feed item! Now I can keep people in my org, and in my I <3 Permission Sets chatter group, up to date on the latest and greatest best practices.

That's the beauty of this platform - I can quickly, and declaratively, specify "If new Blogger post, then create a new Chatter feed".

IFTTT does more than just log blog posts to chatter, you can easily search for other kinds of Chatter recipes on IFTTT involving other services that allow you to share photos from Instagram, load Dropbox files into your feed, or publish YouTube videos to help educate your users. I got the last idea, publishing YouTube video links to your chatter feed, from Mike Gerholdt (@MikeGerholdt) who shared it last Dreamforce as a best practice in the Top Admin Tools for Dummies session.

In all, there are over fifty different channels or services you can take advantage of. All you need is a login to each channel in order to unlock the power of integrating without code.

Hopefully, if you're like me, that 15 minute tour will last more than three hours by the time you are done. Have fun cooking up some new recipes and don't forget to share them!


  1. Hi - Have you been having any problems with selecting a Chatter Group in IFTTT? I'm getting "*** Problem accessing your groups! ***" in the chatter group picklist when creating a recipe. I was wondering if it was just me or everyone. Perhaps there's a configuration in our org that's limiting access to groups? I had a recipe that was working with a specific group, but no longer.

  2. @initzero - I'm getting the same error. I'm not sure which API IFTTT is using to call the chatter groups. I did check the activity logs for IFTTT and my original recipe is still working and posting to the group I originally specified. So the integration still works, but for some reason the recipe builder is not providing visibility into the chatter groups as it did before. AFAIK, nothing changed with our API but I'll pass this onto some of the chatter PMs I know. Thanks for surfacing it!


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