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How to leverage Integromat to expand the capabilities of your app(s): Episode 1

Very often Saas users find that their beloved app is missing a feature that would make their life so much better. Most of the time this missing part it is very specific to a customer or a business, so chances are that the feature will never be implemented. Luckily we have tools like Zapier and Integromat that allows us to bridge those feature gaps and expand the capabilities of an existing app stack. This is the first episode of the new series that will give real life examples of such integrations.


Custom Time Off approval automation using Jotform ,Google calendar and Integromat


I was looking into the newish Jotform Approvals tool today and I was surprised that it was not possible to send a notification via webhook. So I was searching their forum and found a user that had the following issue:


They were trying to use Jotform Approvals to approve or deny Time Off request, but they also wanted to create an event in Google Calendar once the Time Off request was approved. The native Jotform Google Calendar integration allows to create an event in the calendar but only at the form submission, and not after the approval. This is clearly a problem in this case, Jotform is almost capable of creating this great little automation by itself, almost ....


So what to do? One option is to wait for Jotform engineers to build a feature that would allow this, but it may never come. The other option is to use another No-code tool to expand the capabilities of your existing app stack without getting a developer: Integromat.


Ok so what do we need to achieve this?


In Jotform Approval it is possible to add an email action in the workflow. So here the idea is to email a mailhook in Integromat to trigger an automation there and create the Google Calendar event.





  1. Build a form on Jotform

  2. Build an Approval workflow in Jotform that email the mailhook upon approval

  3. Build an automation (scenario) in Integromat that trigger with the mailhook and create the Google calendar event


Build the Time Off request form in Jotform


I will not get into too much details here because it is very straightforward. Basically all we need for our proof of concept is a field where the requester can identify themselves (name, email, ..), a start date field, an end date field and a comment/note field.



building a time off request form in jotform
Jotform Form Builder

Build the Approval workflow in Jotform


Once your form is ready you can create an Approval workflow by selecting "Approvals" on the top left of the builder. Jotform has a default workflow set-up. The only thing that I need to add to complete this proof of concept is to add an email action after the approval and before the end as in the screenshot below:



time off approval workflow
Jotform Approval Tool workflow

The idea is to email a "mailhook" in Integromat with the submission ID to trigger the automation. I will go into more details about this in the next chapter.


Build the scenario in Integromat


The scenario in Integromat is very simple: 1. Mailhook: get the email from Jotform so we know the Time Off has been approved

2. Jotform "Get Submission" so we get all the data about that specific submission 3. Google Calendar: Create the Time Off event



Create a google calendar when a jotform submission is approved
Mailhook -> Jotform -> Calendar Integration

1. Mailhook set-up

Integromat Mailhook set-up
Integromat Mailhook set-up

Mailhook set-up: click on Add and enter a name that will be easy to recognize in the future. Save and click on "copy address to clipboard"


2. Email set-up in Jotform Approval


Jotform Approval Email Action set-up part 1
Jotform Approval Email Action set-up part 1

Open the email settings in your action, in the email tab go to email subject and enter {id}, that will dynamically set the submission id as the subject when the submission is approved. You can ignore the email body as we won't use it.

Jotform Approval Email Action set-up part 2
Jotform Approval Email Action set-up part 2

Now go to the "Recipients" tab and paste the Integromat mailhook url in the recipient email field. Save


3. Jotform module set-up



Jotform :"Get Submission" set-up
Jotform :"Get Submission" set-up

Select/Create your connection to Jotform, select the form, set the limit to 1. For the filter use the following formula: id=[dynamically map the mailhook subject here]


4. Google Calendar "Create an event" set-up



Google Calendar "Create event set-up"


Summary:


Jotform is very powerful, but often users run into a unique roadblock that can ruin a great automation idea, that seemed easy at first. This is when a tool like Integromat can really save the day. It took me about 15 minutes to set-up this automation that really makes this Time Off approval workflow whole. Jotform is great, but Jotform + Integromat is something else altogether.





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