WHAT’s IN THIS ARTICLE: 

At A Glance:
  • Article purpose: This document gives a brief overview of Appspace integrations with third-party solutions and how these integrations function at a high level within the Appspace platform architecture.

  • Business problem: Appspace is able to integrate with third-party solutions for multiple use cases (e.g. showing dashboards, data visualizations, status reports, etc). However, integrating with these source systems requires a secure, authenticated, and authorized connection, to be able to access private data.

  • Solution: Appspace provides a framework that allows administrators to establish and configure integrations with third-party solutions via an authenticated service. Specifically, Appspace cards and apps can interact with Appspace common services to manage these third-party integrations and display content.

  • Conclusion: Appspace leverages the authentication service to display protected information that resides in third party systems.

 

WHAT’s IN THIS ARTICLE: 

 

What are Appspace Integrations

Appspace is able to integrate with third-party platforms and services to display external content and data. Many of these third-party systems store private data that must be accessed using authenticated and authorized connections. Each system establishes and manages these connections differently. 

Appspace has created a standard framework for such integrations that leverages standard technologies to create long-lived, authenticated, and secure connections. Each integration requires an initial connection to be established with the third-party system. These connections are stored in a virtual passport in Appspace and can be used until the third-party system revokes or cancels the integration.  

Appspace considers an integration to exist when Appspace is able to establish a secure connection to the third-party platform, establish an authenticated and authorized connection, and engage in the authorized transfer of data from the third-party system. The initial configuration is established by an administrator using the Appspace console. The data and data visualizations are presented as content in an Appspace card.

How an Integration Works

Establishing a New Integration

To establish a new integration with a third-party (source) system, an Appspace administrator creates a virtual passport to the source system in the Appspace console and enters the credentials for the service account that has been configured in the source system. The service account in the third-party system must meet the minimum data access and scope requirements for the integration to work correctly.

Note
These access requirements vary by system, so the applicable Appspace Knowledge Center articles should be consulted.

Once the service account credentials are verified, Appspace will store a security token provided by the source system. This token will be used to create a card and allow it to retrieve information from the source system.

There are two primary kinds of integrations: direct or enterprise messaging app (Appspace App bot). Appspace Cards often use a direct integration while enterprise messaging apps often require the use of an app created for that app.

Direct Integrations using Appspace Cards

When creating a card that requires access to data that resides in a third-party system, the correct authentication passport should be used. The passport will allow the card to establish a connection with the third-party system at runtime, handing a passport ID to the corresponding Appspace service, which will return the authentication token that the Appspace card will use to establish an authorized connection.

When a card is deployed using an integration, it will get updates directly from the source system or from an Appspace service that interfaces to the source system. Regardless of how the card receives updates, Appspace retrieves the security token from the source system’s authentication service and uses it when requesting information. 

Enterprise Messaging App Publishing using Appspace Bots

Enterprise messaging app integrations require a connection to be established between an Appspace service and the third-party solution. This is done by deploying an Appspace App bot into the third-party environment. This app will receive a push notification from the Appspace service and proceed to publish the content from an Appspace channel into the corresponding chat.

When an Appspace App bot is deployed into a third-party environment, the Appspace service will send push notifications to indicate when an update needs to be published.

Integration Examples

Room Booking

As an example, the Schedule Board Card communicates directly with a calendar provider (Office 365 / Google Calendar).

  1. An Appspace Account Owner creates a passport for Google Calendar in the Appspace console.
  2. An Appspace Account Owner/Publisher creates a Schedule Board card using the passport.
  3. At runtime, the card will connect to its common service (Appspace Calendar Service) to get the data.
  4. The calendar service will receive the passport ID from the card and use it to get the API token associated with it from the passport service.
  5. The Appspace calendar service will talk to the external system (Google Calendar) and get the data needed using the API token it received from the passport service.
  6. The room scheduling card will get back the data from the Appspace calendar service and display it based on its configuration.

Slack

Publishing to Slack requires that the Slack App be configured with Appspace.

  1. An Appspace Account Owner creates a passport authentication service for Slack in the Appspace console.
  2. An Appspace Publisher selects the Slack passport authentication service from the available passports in the Publish > App tab in an Appspace channel.
  3. The enterprise messaging apps integration service in Appspace will use the passport to query the chats that are available for the account (the ones the account that set up the passport has access to).
  4. The list of chats available is displayed for selection.
  5. Once a chat is linked, the Appspace App bot is added to the chat.
  6. When an Appspace Creator posts content to a channel, the Appspace enterprise messaging apps service will push the notification to the Appspace Slack app. The Slack app will then retrieve the content following the established publishing.
  7. Content is then published to the Slack channel/chat room.
Related Articles