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Fall Release: UI Tuneups & Groundwork for Integrations

Published by Stormi Hoebelheinrich on

It’s a big day at Shoutbase: Release Day. As a Shoutbase user, you may not have noticed much of a change this morning. We pushed some minor tweaks and tuneups to the user interface, but the majority of the effort has been on the backend, laying the groundwork for cross-system integration. More on these integrations will be coming soon, so stay tuned! In the meantime, here’s what’s new:

API Changes

OAuth

One of the biggest upgrades that happened under the hood is the implementation of OAuth. If you’re a non-technical Shoutbase user, what this basically means is that Shoutbase now has the capability to connect with accounts on other services like Google, GitHub, Zapier, etc. in a safe and secure way.

As a user, you will be able to grant other services access to your Shoutbase account. Shoutbase will manage these authorizations, and you will be able to view and make changes to them via the “Connected Apps” dashboard discussed later in this article. Pictured below is the new authorization page users see when an authorization request has been initiated.

Screenshot of Shoutbase oauth authorization page

In this new release, Shoutbase is also capable of receiving authorizations to access your accounts on third-party services. This opens up the possibility for deep integrations with other systems to help users automate tasks, communicate data between systems, and improve productivity.

Support for Zapier Integrations

We implemented minor updates to our API to support our first Zapier integration. With this Zapier integration, you will be able to create “Zaps” using your Shoutbase account. Our first integration includes support for the following Triggers and Actions:

Triggers:

  1. New Time Entry: Zapier will poll Shoutbase for newly stopped time entries on your account. When a new time entry is found, your Zap will be triggered. Using Zapier, you can define what happens next. Maybe you want to post in Slack, add a line item into a Google spreadsheet, create a time record in Quickbooks, or make a comment on a Jira issue. You can use your creativity and ingenuity to create Zaps that automate tasks and improve your workflow.

  2. New Report: This instantaneous trigger fires when a request is made to prepare a new report. You can create a Zap using the data from the new report to send email invoices, prepare an invoice in Quickbooks, post a status report in Slack, and more.

Actions:

  1. Create Time Record: With this Zapier action, you can use Zapier to automatically create time records for you, based on your activity. For example, you could define a Zap that starts a time record for you when you say “Good morning!” in a Slack channel, start a Zoom call, or PR something to GitHub. There are thousands of opportunities.

  2. Create Tag: Similar to the action above, this Zapier action allows you to create a Shoutbase tag automatically. This could be useful for automatically creating tags when you create a new Jira issue, create a new Slack channel, or add a new client to your Google Contacts. + Soon, we will be releasing in-depth tutorials that will help you get started with using Shoutbase on Zapier. For now, feel free to play around. Here is our invite link to try the Shoutbase integration in beta version.

REST Hooks

REST Hooks is a pattern for creating lightweight integrations between systems. It’s a way for the server to notify other subscribing services that events have occurred and new information is available. Through REST Hooks, services that have been authorized through OAuth2 can create subscriptions to Shoutbase events and receive data to their webhooks. For now, the use of REST Hooks is limited, but we have big plans for widening the scope moving forward.

User Interface

Connected Apps

To accompany the new OAuth2 authorization capability of Shoutbase, we have added a new dashboard to user settings, so users can keep track of connected apps and authorizations. If you have granted other apps access to your Shoutbase account, you can see those authorizations here. Users can also delete authorizations using this dashboard. Currently, Zapier is the only client able to receive authorizations. In the future, we will be opening this up to create deeper integrations.

Screen capture of Shoutbase Connected Apps page

Minor User Interface Upgrades

In addition to all of the energy on the backend, we also rolled out several improvements and bug fixes on the frontend. These upgrades include improvements to mobile experiences, better messaging throughout the app, cross-browser tuneups, and more.

Here’s a more detailed list of these changes:

  1. Improved text wrapping and large number rounding in goal tags. For massive teams tracking large goals, numbers are now human-readable, no matter how big, without any negative impact on the UI.

  2. Allows entering tags and team invite emails to be separated by a new line or a comma, rather than just by comma, for more efficient input and predictable behavior.

  3. Updates to Password Reset, including more informative error handling messages and password specifications that are consistent with the rest of the app.

  4. Fixes the Zendesk widget that was covering buttons and information in mobile views.
  5. Stabilizes the size of the date range selector component.

  6. Improves the messaging about archiving team members to clarify the consequences of archiving, rather than deleting, a team member.

  7. Removes misleading “Add Tag” button from non-admin’s team member tag modal. Only admins can add tags to their teams.

  8. Removes a sneaky old browser confirmation message and replaces it with a toast when deleting a tag. This is consistent with the rest of our toast-based notifications in the app.

  9. Fixes for free trial banner not appearing in Firefox or Safari browsers.

Shoutbase is still actively growing and evolving with efforts made daily to add new features and improve user experience. If you have any feedback about how the app looks or works today, or suggestions for the future, we would love to hear from you!



What did we miss?

Please let us know by tweeting to @shoutbase on Twitter.

Stormi Hoebelheinrich

Developer of Shoutbase and Olio Apps.

LinkedIn: @shoebelheinrich

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