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Importing / Updating Contacts into 37Signals Highrise CRM system via SQL

Quick overview of my experience Highrise CRM

We have started using 37Signals applications and more and such as Basecamp and Highrise lately for our own CRM needs. Many of our module for DotNetNuke and SharePoint have already integrated with Highrise and Basecamp for a while (via the HTTP Post feature in components such as Dynamic Forms and Dynamic Registration etc…)  Our components and integration has worked great for many of our clients so that each time a user registers or submits a form that information is then posted into the Highrise contacts, notes, cases, etc… For our needs though and because we were already working with their API for integration with a new iPAD App we have been working on, we begin to realize that there is a real need for a much more integrated importing and updating tool for Highrise contacts.  I think the importing tool that they have is “ok” I guess (I would love to see a direct SQL Query option or even newer versions of Excel) but it gets the job done… for us the challenge though was that we found it limited to ever update from our existing systems, tables, and queries that are housed in-house and we would have to clear out our contacts and build a new import each time we needed to “Refresh” some of these properties and custom fields within Highrise.   For example, we like to manage things such as sales counts, issues, and customer history for contacts within Highrise however our existing systems cannot directly update these into Highrise. Furthermore (and pretty frustrating for us) has been that for imports if the contact already exists that contact is skipped during the import (I think it would be much better if you could import contacts and it would only overwrite new custom fields or fields that are brought in on that specific import).

 

Custom SQL / Import and Update Contacts within Highrise via the API

We have been working on some more sophisticated options for working directly with the Highrise API for things like Creating new People/Companies and Updating existing People/Companies.  We have worked with the API for Cases, Notes, Tagging, etc… Basically everything within the API is handled via HTTP Requests and REST XML calls to get existing people within our system and update their information from SQL queries within our system (at least this is the most common scenario, especially for custom fields).  With these updates we do not have to worry about things such starting our import process over every few weeks and wondering what other information was added into the system that we might have lost.

At this point we have not directly handled anything within the API dealing with Tasks or Deals as we have not really utilized these features yet, but the interface looks pretty similar so it shouldn’t be a problem. So, if you are using Highrise and looking for assistance or wanting to provide us with any feedback for creating a more “Global” product that we could release, I would be happy to gather your feedback. Normally, with solutions like this (similar to our Interactive User Import/Export module) we would release this as a tool that anyone could use however the imports into Highrise we have been doing appear to be pretty custom and specific for each client we have worked with. I am also not sure that there are that many customers out there needing these services because of how custom the work is (or if that tool should be released as a DNN Module or maybe as a service).  I would love to hear your experiences and feedback, especially if your are an existing client and already integrating with Highrise via Dynamic Forms or Dynamic Registration. 

 

What else? iPAD Application coming soon for Highrise as well!

We have been working on a new iPAD Application for Highrise that should be out in March. The new iPAD App will be able to easily handle many of the features of the Highrise website but also has new extended functionality which can be used for many advanced searches and clean iPAD Native code (swiping, click to copy/highlight etc…). We are initially focusing on the iPAD but will release versions for iPhone and Android shortly as well.  All API calls utilize the 37Signals Highrise API at http://developer.37signals.com/highrise/. Although the application is still in development we are already taking on extended feature/enhancement requests… We realize how popular Highrise is and everyone has there own requests/needs and so forth but please feel free to let me know (either from comments on here or sending us an email via the “Contact Us” page on www.datasprings.com). We would be happy to review your feature request and try and get it included in the first or upcoming release. 

If you have any questions or would like to have us assist with your integrations with Highrise (or any of the 37Signals systems such as Basecamp), please contact us and let me know! At this point we have the experience now!

 

Thanks,

 

Chad




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