With so many different tools on the market, each with its own purpose, it is becoming more and more important for these tools to work together. When all your different applications can work together, it saves valuable time and prevents a lot of manual, tedious tasks. A streamlined work process can make the awards management process easier for all involved!
Award Force offers an API to facilitate this. To help you harness the power of this API, we have outlined some helpful use cases you may want to implement in your own awards program.
But before we get into some of the possibilities, let’s talk about what an API actually is.
API is an acronym for Application Programming Interface, which is simply a set of instructions that allows programs to communicate with one other. An API makes it possible to bring different programs together so that they can work in tandem.
Here are 13 ways you can use the API in your own awards program to help you save time and streamline regular tasks.
1. Create your own entry gallery
Award Force makes it quick and easy to create a beautiful gallery of your entries with our built-in gallery feature. This can be shared through social media and/or linked from your website. However, you may want to create a custom gallery on your own website. Perhaps you have unique brand requirements or a specific layout you’d like to achieve. With the API, you can pull in entry information and any attachments to your own custom gallery.
2. Create an archive of entry attachments
Speaking of attachments, images and videos uploaded to an entry can often serve more purposes than simply for judges to review. They can often be used for program promotion or used for a presentation during an awards ceremony. In cases like these, programs need a way to collect all attachments for easy sharing––without providing access to entire awards entries. Using the API, you can download all entry attachments to a service like Dropbox. No need to download and upload them yourself.
3. Enable Single Sign-On (SSO)
If you have an existing database of users, Single Sign-On (SSO) allows your users to log in to your Award Force account without having to register.
We offer a WordPress SSO plugin and support SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language). And, with the use of our API, you can also create your own SSO integration.
4. Validate fields with external database
An entrant’s address is often collected during registration or on the entry form. If you need to mail something to the entrant you may want to ensure the address is accurate.
Using a national or international address database, you can use the API to send the entrant’s address to the address validation API for comparison. Any entries with invalid addresses can then be tagged for follow-up with the entrant.
5. Validate membership
If you have a database of members or employees for your organisation, you can use the API to send the entrant’s details to the API of your membership or employee database to ensure all entrants are eligible to participate in your program.
Other alternatives include using SSO mentioned above or limiting registration to those with a specific email domain such as @yourwebsite.com.
6. Add new users to email marketing software
Marketing is an essential part of any awards program and chances are you’re already using an email marketing software like Mailchimp. Just as Award Force specialises in awards management, tools like Mailchimp specialise in email marketing so it can be useful to connect the two. For every new user who registers in Award Force, the API can be used to add a new subscriber in Mailchimp.
7. Manage events
A common element of an awards program is an awards ceremony where the winners are recognised for their achievements. Due to the pandemic, there has been a move to make these events virtual.
Depending on your chosen events management system you can add a new attendee to your event when the entrant submits their entry using the API. This saves you or the entrant from registering separately for the awards ceremony.
8. Create a Slack message notification
As more of us are working from home, Slack and other instant messaging tools are becoming important tools to stay in contact with our colleagues throughout the day.
A simple yet effective way to use our API is to create a new Slack message when an entry is submitted. These messages can be as simple as stating a new entry has been submitted to a more detailed one with key information like the entrant’s name and email address. This can be especially useful if further action is required by your team and means they don’t need to log in to Award Force to get those details.
Entry submitted is one helpful trigger but there are a number of others like user registered, entry created, entry updated, entry tagged and payment success. To see a full list of webhook triggers, see our API documentation.
9. Add new users to CRM
If you use a CRM (Customer Relationship Management System) like HubSpot to help manage your entrants or members, it can be useful to sync any new users from your awards program with your CRM.
By using the API, it saves you from exporting your users from Award Force manually and importing them into your CRM of choice. You can also update existing users if they have updated their phone number or address, for example. This way you’ll always have the most up-to-date details in your CRM.
10. Create transaction/bill/invoice in accounting software
For programs with paid entries, it can be important to ensure the orders received in Award Force are integrated with your accounting system. When a payment is successfully made, you can send those details through to an accounting system like Xero.
Additionally, if you have the invoice payment method enabled you can have the order in Award Force marked as paid once the finance team has confirmed receipt of the payment in your accounting software.
This means your finance team doesn’t need to be granted access to your Award Force account in order to reconcile payments. They have all the information they need in the software they already use every day.
11. Create an entry archive in Award Force
If you have awards entries stored in other awards management systems from the past, Award Force provides a way for you to use our API to import all your historical data. For more details on how to do this, see our article on how you can do this. We also have a service where we can do this for you.
12. Use an external form for entry submission
Entrant registration with Award Force is quick and easy. However, there are times where using an external form on your own website is preferable. Perhaps your entrants don’t need to register or you simply want to streamline the entry process even further. You can use our API to connect an external form to the Award Force system. Check out our article on how you can achieve this.
13. Recognise contributors
For project-based entries, there is often a team behind the completion of a successful project. Award Force’s contributor functionality allows entrants to recognise these individuals for their contribution. You may want to use the API to add these people to your email list or include them in a certificate to recognise their contributions.
These are just some of the possibilities you can achieve with the Award Force API. Take a look at our API documentation to see how you can maximise the efficiency of your awards program.