By Dan Moren
December 8, 2020 2:14 PM PT
Integromat, for all your web-service workflow needs
The world is full of web services for all manner of tasks, but sometimes what you want to do is connect two (or more) services in order to complete a single task. What do you need for that? Another service, of course!
There’s no shortage of sites that offer this kind of ability: the first I recall was Yahoo! Pipes, though I’m sure there were other similar options even at the time. More recently, I’ve used sites like IFTTT and Zapier, but in the past few weeks, I’ve been playing with a new-to-me option that I find very impressive: Integromat.
There are a few things that drew me to Integromat. For one, it seems to offer some integration capabilities that aren’t available on other platforms. For example, the project I was working on required me to interact with channels on a Discord server—a feature not offered by Zapier’s Discord integration. Integromat offered the options I was looking for, and a whole lot more—way more, in fact, than Zapier.
But the main thing that I really appreciate about Integromat is its interface. The layout is highly graphical, presenting each integration as a little bubble-like module. Click on any icon and you’ll get easy to read and understand parameters that you can quickly fill out. To connect that bubble to another task, just drag one of the handles on the side to the other module you’ve added and voilà!
Integromat also offers powerful features for flow control. So, for example, if your workflow has a branch that only needs to be completed in certain cases, it’s easy to set up a filter that checks for specific criteria and only executes if those are met.
There are also a ton of useful built-in programming-like features. I spent a while looking for a module that would convert a string to uppercase characters only to discover that I could put a conversion function right in the field that I wanted.
So far, I’ve only experimented with Integromat’s free plan, as I ramp up my workflow for actual use. I imagine I’ll need to sign up for at least a month’s worth of the paid plan, however, as I’m already approaching the limit on number of operations in a month. Which is one of the few downsides I’ve discovered so far with the service: depending on how complex your workflow is, it’s easy to end up using a lot of your quota—probably a testament to how simple it is to keep adding on to a workflow. That said, the service offers a very reasonable $9/month plan that should appease most casual users, as well as more expensive plans that are probably aimed more at business users.
I also ran into some problems with the Google Drive module Integromat offers: a new security process on Google’s side meant that I needed to jump through some hoops to access the API, something which took a little bit of know-how, although Integromat does walk you through the steps. (For some reason unknown to me, it seems as though Zapier’s integration with Google Drive doesn’t require this workaround at present; I’m not sure why.)
Overall, though, I’ve been very pleased with Integromat’s interface and performance. It seems pretty zippy, and I’ve rarely had anything fail to work (except, in the case of mistakes I mad myself); plus, I’ve barely scratched the surface of all that it has to offer. So if you’ve found yourself a little frustrated by IFTTT’s lack of power or Zapier’s cumbersome interface, maybe give Integromat a try.
[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Twitter at @dmoren or reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The latest novel in his Galactic Cold War series of sci-fi space adventures, The Nova Incident, is available now.]