What are Native Integrations and Why You Should Use Them
Anthony Penner on Mar 25 2022
Basin provides an unlimited amount of third-party integration options through Zapier, Make (formerly Integromat), Pabbly, and webhooks. These universal integration services can be great for a lot of use cases. In this post, we will discuss the pros and cons of using these integration broker services compared to using our direct/native integrations with each of these third-party services.
Zapier and similar services start affordable for simple small scale use cases but quickly become cost-prohibitive depending on the volume of events you anticipate. Take for example the pricing table in the screenshot below, if you simply wanted to write your Basin submissions to a Google Sheet, it might cost an additional $20 to $89 simply to write 750 to 5000 rows a month to your Google sheet. The same native integration to Google Sheets provided by Basin would do this free of charge.
Native integrations will be faster than ones provided through a workflows automation app like Zapier or Make. There is no middle party that needs to coordinate the syncing. It is just one app talking to the other. Depending on the service you are using and the type of integration that’s been created between your service providers (polling vs webhooks), you are also at the mercy of tired pricing for update times. If you look at the Zapier screenshot above, this ranges from 15 minutes down to 1 minute. At a 1-minute polling interval, the average additional latency is probably around 30 seconds. A direct integration will most likely provide an average latency of just a few seconds.
UX & Steps to Integrate
Our native Slack integration is a one click button that starts an authorization flow. You select the desired Slack channel to send submissions to and then you end up back at your form settings. It can’t get any easier than that. Basin developed specific formatting for Slack messages so they appear nice in your Slack channels, and this works without any configuration.
The same integration with a workflow automation tool would require going to this third-party site, configuring the integration with your desired Basin form probably by copy-pasting API keys. Then do an authorization flow with Slack and select the desired channel through the workflow UI. In order to recreate the message formatting provided by Basin out of the box, this is on the end-user to develop and format their Slack messages.
Flexibility and the Complexity of Your Workflow
This is where Zapier and Make shine. It’s very simple to chain many integrations together and create complex workflows that would be unimaginable through native integrations alone. The alternative is probably building your own custom applications, and at this point, the price may no longer be the determining factor.
I hope this article has helped you consider the pros and cons of native integrations vs workflow builders. There is a time and place for each. At Basin, we will continue adding to our list of native integrations in order to deliver value for you.