Most SaaS integration services that synchronise user accounts, do a one-way sync that copies over to new accounts. PieSync, from Ghent, Belgium, has developed a two-way sync platform, with various sync settings, so you can sync contact information between your favorite cloud apps. Unlike many other sync account companies, PieSync:

  • offers full sync in both (or multiple) apps
  • weeds out duplicates
  • brings all existing information together, also the data that existed before you started using PieSync
  • automatically reflects changes and updates that occur in one app, in the other(s).

Concrete: By using PieSync, you can integrate all or part of your Google Contacts data in Mailchimp and the other way round. When you make a change in one of these apps, the other app will be updated immediately. No messing around curating data, so you save time.

Syncing between Drupal and Google Contacts

We’ve been talking with Piesync about creating a module to sync user profiles between Drupal and Google Contacts, your CRM and other cloud apps. The tricky part is that in Drupal the user profile can be arbitrarily extended, and when you have additional fields you probably also want to synchronise them. So, a Piesync module will need to be able to map user fields to an object that is synced with PieSync (default PieSync object and you map the fields to that, then two-way syncing). Drupal sites operate in an environment with increasingly specialised SaaS platforms (e.g. invoicing with Xero, contacts in Google Contacts, Salesforce as a cloud CRM) that are not interrelated, so a sync module will save you from manually importing all that data across these apps, ensuring accuracy and saving you time. The added bonus is that this sync will make Drupal a central base that keeps data consistent across your apps.

PieSync already provides syncing possibilities between many SaaS apps:

Syncing with PieSync: connections currently available.

Why use a commercial service for syncing? The APIs (application program interface) of SaaS and Cloud apps change regularly. Even popular projects that integrate with third party APIs, e.g. the Hybridauth module, or Facebook Connect, sometimes break when the module is not updated in time to follow API changes. Ideally it would be the responsibility of the API owner to maintain their Drupal integrations, but not everyone does this, and most site owners don’t have the budget or skills to follow these API changes.

We want to partner with Piesync who will guarantee API functionality.

Another advantage of Piesync is that it becomes easier to change apps, because you can seamlessly sync your data. This would also allow you to postpone choosing certain cloud services that interact with your user data, until after you have finished your site building project.

Would you use PieSync’s Drupal module? Tell us how you would use it and we will let you know as soon as the module is out!

About the author

Kristof van Tomme

CEO, Co-founder

Kristof is a Drupal strategist and architect with a degree in bioengineering. He started his career as a technology manager. At Pronovix, the company he co-founded, he’s been focussing on Drupal since 4.7. Recently his interest in DITA and reusable, single source documentation have culminated in the project, an open source project that aims to become the GitHub of website documentation.

He initiated and later became the co-organizer of an introductory Drupal course at the University of Szeged (Hungary). As a permanent member of the Drupal Association, he was at some point the lead for the selection task force for European Drupalcons and of the inaugural Nomination Committee. Among others, he was the initiator and (co-)lead of Drupalcon Szeged (2008), DrupalCXO Brussels (2010), Drupal Developer Days Brussels (2011) and Drupal Government Days (2011). Currently he is involved in the organization of the Write the docs unconference in Berlin (2014 July).