Note: If you'd prefer to learn how to set up a Smart Connector watching a video, see [Video] Setting up a Smart Connector.
In this user guide:
What is a Smart Connector?
A Smart Connector allows you to add data to TapClicks from nearly any source and from almost all file formats. TapClicks has native integrations with 100s of applications. But if there isn’t a native integration, you can build a Smart Connector to bring in any data for use in reports and analysis.
The two most common use cases we see people use are manually-uploaded csv files or fetching data from a Google Drive or Google Sheet location. As you’ll see, the Smart Connector feature is able to pull data from just about anywhere, and can read almost every common file format.
Once you set up the Smart Connector, it will automatically check for and retrieve new files on a daily basis.
Smart Connector - Quick Start Reference
Creating a Smart Connector involves the following steps:
- Select the upload method and location of your data (More on Delivery Types)
- Upload a sample of the data to use for mapping fields (More on sample file best practices)
- Decide whether to join data or pull in only a portion of a JSON file (How to use JSON File Config)
- Define the fields in your file by mapping them to the TapClicks system (More on Field Mapping)
- Determine is optional mappings are necessary
- Setup alerts and fetch settings
- Save your Smart Connector
|NOTE: After creating a Smart Connector, it's not possible to delete it completely. It can be made inactive, or the name can be white labeled (i.e., re-named), but it remains in the system. So, decide your long-term plans before setting up a Smart Connector.|
Smart Connector step-by-step instructions
You’ll find the Smart Connector setup wizard in TapClicks in the Data section of the left sidebar.
- Navigate to Data in left sidenav
- Select Smart Connectors in subnavigation
- Click on the “+” button in the top right corner to create a new Smart Connector
- Enter a name for your Smart Connector. This is effectively the name of the data source, so make it memorable and relevant to the data you are adding.
- Enter a drilldown name for the Smart Connector in the Drilldown field.
Note: The drilldown / view will be the name of the data view you are creating. A Data View is a the same thing as a table in a database. You can read more about Data Views here: What is a Data View?
- Select is active to ensure the Smart Connector is turned on after you save it. You can change this later if needed.
- Choose a Delivery Type from the dropdown
The Delivery Type selection tells the TapClicks system where to look for your data. TapClicks is able to pull data from nearly anywhere. There are four main Delivery Type designations. You can read more about these here: Delivery Types Overview
The steps following your Delivery Type selection will depend on what you choose. For Manual Uploads, for example, you will be asked to select a file. For Databases, you will need to designate the database and provide query parameters. These actions are shown below in this table in bold.
- After you have chosen your Delivery Type and either selected a file or authenticated the source location, you will need to upload a sample file. This will be used to map fields and tell the TapClicks system how to interpret your data.
There are some additional options to consider before you do your mapping. Let’s review those next.
- If you want to email a file into the system, toggle the Use Email Service switch. This will open up a new module that includes a special email address personalized to your instance. When you email a file to this address as an attachment, it will be added to your database.
- If you are uploading a JSON file, the system will automatically recognize this format regardless of what Delivery Type you use. However, if you want to only pull a subset of a JSON file, you can toggle the Use JSON File Config switch.
This will allow you to specify one or more arrays, subarrays, or objects from a JSON file to pull into TapClicks while ignoring the rest.
Learn more about the "Use JSON File Config" settings in this article.
NOTE: A common use case for the "Use JSON File Config" feature is to reduce the size of the file you're importing. JSON files come from APIs and can be very large. This feature enables you to isolate only a portion of the file to reduce load time and make it easier to map fields.
The Use Geo Data feature is by request only and may not be available for all accounts.
- After you Upload sample data you will need to tell the TapClicks system how to interpret each field of the file. This is referred to as Mapping. For example, you will need to tell the system what type of data is being displayed (Text, numeric, etc) as well as how to identify uniqueness.
For more details about mapping data, refer to this article: How to Map Data Fields in a Smart Connector
For more details or help understanding the concept of uniqueness please refer to this article: Uniqueness as it Applies to Smart Connector Data
You can also choose to remove unwanted fields by clicking the trash can icon associated with the row in the mapping window.
- If you have the Multi-level Smart Connector capability enabled, you can JOIN multiple files together using a related field (such as user ID or campaign ID). A common use case for this is when you have a csv file with multiple tabs. Each tab can be loaded individually on a separate file and then joined together using the multi-level feature.
- (Recommended) If you would like to receive alerts should the Smart Connector fail or experience an error, provide one or more emails in the filed marked Confirmation and service alerts.
- (Optional) The Advanced Fetch Settings allow you to delay the daily fetching of data using a Smart Connector. The default fetch time each day is 6 AM Eastern Standard Time (EST). A common use case for delaying the fetch for a Smart Connector is when you don’t expect to upload data into your file location until later in the day.
For example if you receive a file from a 3rd party system at 9 AM EST and typically upload it around 10 AM EST. You may want to select a delay of 5 hours (or 300 minutes) to account for this and give you the most up to date data in your reports.
You can also choose to set a longer or shorter fetch history. By default, the system will grab the last three days of data.
- At this point, the configuration of your file is complete. Save your Smart Connector and begin using it in your reporting.
How to Deactivate a Smart Connector
You cannot delete a Smart Connector. If you want to remove it from the active Smart Connector list, you'll have to deactivate it.
- Click Data.
- Click Smart Connector.
- Locate the Smart Connector you want to set inactive.
- Click the pencil icon to edit the Smart Connector.
- Deselect the Is active? check box.
- Click Save Changes.