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Overview of Integration Types| Hitchhikers Platform
What You’ll Learn
In this section, you will learn:
- An overview of the types of Integrations
- When and why Yext will use the different integration types
What kind of Integrations does Yext Support?
Each publisher has its own set of systems, databases and processes. As you can imagine, this means that each publisher has different requirements and methods of integration — meaning there are a lot of complexities and variations. With over 170+ publishers in our Network, we’ve classified our integrations into two core types:
- Dual Sync Integrations
- Submission Integrations
Yext prefers Dual Sync integrations as it involves both our system talking directly to the publisher and the publisher providing feedback. This feedback includes things like Listings status, analytics, reviews, and more. Yext relies on submission integrations only when absolutely necessary. These one-way integrations mean Yext’s system only submits data to the publisher with no receipt that data was received or returned feedback.
We’ll discuss the differences in more depth soon, but before we do, it’s important to understand some core technical concepts.
What is an API? What is a Feed?
How does Yext actually send data to publishers? There are two main methods of communicating with publishers:
- Via an API Call
- Via a Data Feed
An API, or Application Program Interface, allows for two systems to interact and communicate information. Think about picking up the phone to call a Restaurant. You dial the phone number, the Restaurant owner picks up the phone and you exchange some information, almost like a conversation. Well, API calls between systems are very similar.
Yext knows the protocol and specifications of the publisher’s API, which you can think of like knowing the phone number of the restaurant and language that the restaurant owner speaks. Yext sends information, like the entity’s profile information, and the publisher’s API can respond with a code and additional information. A 200 response means “We got it! All good!” whereas a 400 or 500 response is like getting a busy tone or a voicemail – we might need to try again to get in touch, or maybe we have the wrong phone number. The publisher can also call Yext when there’s additional information to share, like a change in Listing Status, a new Review or Analytics.
To learn more about how APIs work and other Yext API functionality, you can visit our API module.
Now, as it turns out, not all publishers have phone numbers that we can reach at any time. These publishers require what we call Data Feeds. You can think of Feeds like exchanging spreadsheets of information. Sometimes these Feeds contain our entire set of entity data for that publisher, while other times it’s just the data that has changed since the last feed we sent. Some publishers require multiple spreadsheets depending on the field. The feeds are sent in what are called batches, meaning that Yext will aggregate all of the changes and send at some frequency, ranging from every minute, to every hour, or every day.
Sometimes, publishers will respond with their own Feed that contains additional information on each Listing, and indicates the success of the data exchange. Yext then processes these files just like we would an API providing the same information.
Both API publishers and Feed publishers have dedicated publisher Exporters that contain all of the publisher specific logic. How we send the data has no bearing on the data we can send or receive from a publisher.