Planning Changes To Your API Integration

It would seem that if you had thousands of paying customers, many of which access your API, you’d have a good strategy for rolling out your API, and any changes associated with it.

I guess that’s not always the case however.  Zoho apparently made some stealth changes to their CRM API (and perhaps other facets… I only work with the CRM) in the past few weeks that are causing people to see ZOHO API error code 4890.

The reason this appears to be happening is that ZOHO limited the number of concurrent API TICKET connections to 20 from what I assume was previously unlimited.

In fairness, a ticket only needs to be generated once per week, and unlike the overall API key, it’s associated by user as opposed to the account.  So really, you only NEED one concurrent Ticket connection anyhow if I understand the problem correctly.

However, API programmers accessing their CRM data may have been sloppy, and not closed Ticket sessions etc.  So, they are seeing errors when their users are going to work with whatever web apps they have coded against the API.

As I’m sure you understand, that’s a huge disruption in business.

Now, ZOHO is perfectly within their rights to limit those connections.  It’s a security risk, and a resource demand if they don’t.  However, making a massive change like that without any prior documentation or warning is simply bad business.

Now, developers are scrambling to fix their code so that they can do business as usual.

So a good takeaway is this:  If you’re going to change a critical (or any) function of your API, do us a favor and drop us an email, won’t you?  Give us a few weeks to work on code, etc.  It keeps your trouble ticket queue in better shape, and it keeps you customers.

As a side note to ZOHO API users, you also need to be SURE your are connecting via HTTPS going forward, as well as using the POST method to generate your weekly user tickets.  GET will cease functioning on June 6th, 2011.

If you’re using PHP for the ticket gen process, I have some CURL code that works just great.  Drop me a line and I will send it to you.

About kevin

I work as an internet marketing manager in domestic (US) manufacturing, and blog about B2B web lead generation, CRMs, web analytics, and a little bit about affiliate marketing. I also am an avid Kayak Fisherman.