Openness is so en vogue today with marketing tech. Scott Brinker writes about it on the regular. This is an especially important trait for customer data platforms which, by definition, facilitate the pursuit of unifying customer data.
So, what do you do if you are a vendor? You preach openness, of course! “Our system can be integrated with everyone!” ‘We’re really flexible!’ “It’ll be no problem at all to integrate with vendor X; no worries.” “We have APIs!”
But as we try to build out our own library of integrations or build custom ones for customers, even we’re finding that vendors aren’t nearly as open in practice as they are in sales pitches or on websites. I know, you’re shocked. So we created a checklist that you can ask a vendor to score them on openness which includes questions like:
- Is user documentation out in the open, searchable through Google (vs. behind a login)?
- Is there a developer program? Is it free?
- Is there example code for integrations available online (vs behind a login or send on request by email?)
- Is there an option to get a sandbox/test/development account?
- Are there real time APIs available?
- Are there Batch APIs available?
We put these questions and many more into a handy worksheet where you can score different vendors on their openness and compare them for projects.