Custom integration for Bitrix24 with the popular delivery service
29 September 2022next article
The ability to install ready-made integration with Bitrix24.Marketplace greatly contributed to the growth of popularity of Bitrix24 throughout the world. This is extremely convenient for users and relieves them of a number of problems at once. The integration is actually a regular application, so it can be installed on the Portal or removed. Just go to Markeplay, search and install the appropriate application and use it. During the existence of the product, integrators have enriched the Marketplace catalog with thousands of ready-made integrations, so popular services are already represented here with great probability. But this method also has its drawbacks.
Peculiarities of working with Bitrix24.Marketplace
Bitrix24's online application store is essentially a free marketplace where software developers can offer their products. Anyone can become a developer if they sign a contract with the vendor Bitrix Inc. and compliance with corporate rules. In the Marketplace you will find a lot of free software, but you should not forget that this is a commercial platform, and therefore its main purpose for developers is to make a profit.
For quite a long time, the Marketplace was completely free for users: download whatever you want, use as much as you want, and decide for yourself who you will pay for commercial subscriptions. The cost of licenses was also arbitrary, according to the wishes of the authors of the application: from a few cents to hundreds of dollars. But over time, the authors of Bitrix24 switched to the Maret+ paid subscription model, when the user pays a fixed fee every month and can use all the offers of this extensive package. Thus, as of today, the use of integrations with Bitrix24.Marketplace inevitably increases the monthly bill for using cloud-based Bitrix24. And the owners of on-premise newsrooms should follow the monthly extension of the subscription to Market+.
But the additional payment is not the worst. Like any centralized system, Bitrix24.Marketplace is completely dependent on the policy of its owners, which can under certain conditions become a big problem for ordinary users. A vivid example is our Time and Project Report application, which during its stay at Bitrix24.Marketplace gathered an audience of more than 20,000 Portals around the world and was among the TOP-10 most downloaded programs. After February 24, 2022, when Russia started a full-scale war in Ukraine, all products of Avivi, which is of Ukrainian origin, were simply removed from Bitrix24.Marketplace, and the company itself was removed from the list of Partners. So now all existing users are left without our technical support.
This fact shows that no application in Bitrix24.Marketplace is immune from force majeure. And if you have high hopes for developing your business in a specific direction using a specific software, there are no guarantees that at some point all your business processes will not be disrupted due to problems with the Marketplace.
Guaranteed working model
Obviously, our clients who ordered their own integration with a popular delivery service were guided by these principles. A ready-made solution can be found at Bitrix24.Marketplace, but the entrepreneurs wanted to eliminate the surprise factor and ensure their business as much as possible. It is worth noting that this is possible only with the use of on-premise Bitrix24. Cloud service, unfortunately, is also dependent on the centralized policy of the vendor.
In contrast, the self-hosted Bitrix24 is purely owned by its owner and does not have much influence from developers. That is why it is possible to implement any integration that will work autonomously. The only thing that can threaten it is a change in API methods by a third party — that is, the platform with which the current version of Bitrix24 is integrated.
Case from Avivi
The customer tasked our team with creating a similar integration with one of the popular delivery services available at Bitrix24.Marketplace. The finished version includes all the necessary options for describing the parcel, its dimensions and weight, entering data about the recipient. This is a standard set of requirements dictated by some delivery service, so we had neither the need nor the opportunity to invent something new.
As for the implementation in Bitrix24, it was possible to improve the application. In the original version, filling in data for the delivery service takes place in a separate window. The package manager must take at least three steps to get to this window from the Deal card. Our developers built custom fields right into the Agreement, reducing the number of actions to one.
We also took care of the automation of filling in key fields. It is known that "Agreement" in Bitrix24 is always attached to some "Contact", and it is formed from "Lead". So if at any of the pre-sale stages such data as name, surname and phone were filled in, our integration will replace them in TTN. Of course, if the registration is for another person, the manager can easily edit it.
Now you see the advantages of a custom integration over a ready-made solution from Bitrix24.Marketplace. Of course, that doesn't mean you have to write your own apps yet. The main thing we wanted to say with this article, apart from the fact that Aviva has great developers for Bitrix24, with the on-premise edition, every owner can protect their business as much as possible from external factors. How relevant it is for you is currently unknown. But entrepreneurs in Ukraine also did not think that the war would cause not only destruction and death, but also restrictions on the use of software. Therefore, if you have a desire to communicate with our managers on issues of custom development for Bitirx24, we are always happy to have a conversation.
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