Automation with Python becomes a lot of fun when you combine it with services like Zapier, IFTTT, Microsoft Flow and others. You can write small Python scripts that can trigger other actions. Like sending an e-mail or text message to yourself. In this article you can find a brief overview of these services.
There are a number of automation service providers in the market. Their offerings are very similar. You can use them to connect to your e-mail, online file storage, Google Sheets, Slack, Trello, etc. Here is an overview of the number of third-party integrations they provide:
- Zapier: 1,000+
- IFTTT: 600+
- Microsoft Flow: 250+
- Integromat: 250+
- Automate.io: 100+
All these providers offer web hooks. So you can write a Python script (with the requests package) that posts data to these hooks. The hook then triggers another action and processes your data. The number of possible actions is almost limitless. For one-on-one help with Python scripts, check out my mentoring offerings.
Firstly, the most well-known automation service is probably Zapier. It has been around for a decade and currently offers the most integrations of them all. You can create “Zaps” linked to your applications (Apps) that perform certain actions, called “Tasks”. Check out their introduction video to learn more:
Normally you would use Python’s requests library to simply post data to their web hooks. But since 2019 you can even use Python code in Zaps. You can create catch hooks (web hooks) to trigger a Python script. Pretty awesome!
Secondly, IFTTT is another major player. It literally stands for: “if this then that”. IFTTT’s community of 10+ million users run 1+ billion applets each month, according to the company. Here is a 5 minute introduction on how to use the platform:
Just to get a little inspiration and an idea of what is possible, check out this small tutorial: Use IFTTT web requests to send email alerts.
Thirdly, checkout Integromat. They call themselves the glue of the internet.
Although they don’t offer any Python capabilities like Zapier, there are interesting opportunities for automation here too. For example, you can use their webhooks to kick off Google Cloud Functions. Check out this example: Use Python with Integromat via Google Cloud Functions.
Fourthly, let’s take a look at the new kid on the block: Automate.io. Here is their own introduction:
The number of integrations they offer is smaller Zapier’s, but nevertheless plenty. You will be able to find the most important applications, so it might be sufficient for your needs.
Lastly, there are other providers like PieSync (by HubSpot) and Microsoft Flow. You might want to give these ones a try as well. You can decide for yourself which platforms you like and best fit your needs. Like you’ve seen, there are plenty of options.
Conclusion: Automation with Python
To conclude: there are many opportunities for automation by combining Python scripts with automation service providers. Hopefully this article has given you some ideas. Let us know in the comments what you have automated!