1. How-To Guides
  2. Accessing Native Data

While we pride ourselves on the richness of our unified API and aim to support the most important fields across all objects, sometimes you need to access data that exists only in one particular CRM or for one particular customer (e.g., a custom field). That’s why we’ve added first class support for working with native data (the untransformed data in the downstream CRM) in all of our endpoints. Below are some methods and patterns for working with such data.

Note: We use Field to mean a property on a CRM object, e.g., for a Contact that looks like { id: '36fa123ee123', firstName: 'Test' }, ‘id’ and ‘firstName’ would both be considered fields.

Reading Native Data

When you include the query param allFields=true in any of our object endpoints, you’ll see the fields we received from the downstream CRM, untransformed, through the additional property. To assist in understanding the shape of these fields, we provide /crm/[object]/details endpoints for all objects.

const { contact } = api.get(`crm/contact?id=123ef341fee31233&allFields=true`);

const untransformedContact = contact.additional;

Writing Native Fields

Writing fields we don’t unify is simple, just include the field you want to write in the body of any object create or update endpoint via the additional property. For example, if I wanted to create a contact with a custom field set to a particular value, I could POST to crm/contact with the following payload:

{
  "accessToken": "ACCESS_TOKEN",
  "contact": {
    "firstName": "michael",
    ...
    "additional": {
      "custom_field": 42
    }
  }
}

Note: When writing native fields, it’s important to ensure the field conforms to the type and options (in the case of single/multi select fields) as specified by the /details/ endpoint as Vessel will not transform the field in anyway before attempting to write to the downstream CRM.

Use Cases

Here’s are a few common workflows that might arise while working with native data.

Use /details to convert a Deal stage key to a Deal stage name

Since Vessel will always return the selected key of any single select and multi select field, it might be the case that you want to convert the value to the displayable name. One such example is in the case of displaying the current stage of a Deal. Here’s how you would go from the stage key to the the stage name:

const dealId = "12fe231232eed"; // The deal I want to display
const { deal } = api.get(`crm/deal?id=${dealId}`);
const { fields } = api.get(`crm/deal/details?id=${dealId}`); // In the case of deals, we need to pass the Id since a deal could be in a particular pipeline.

const stageKey = deal.stage; // E.g., 1 or 'closedwon'
const stageOptions = fields.find((field) => field.key === "stage").options;

const stageName = stageOptions.find((option) => option.key === stageKey).name; // E.g., 'New' or 'Closed Won'

Read all custom fields to ensure a particular custom field exists

CRMs are often highly customized, it might be the case that your app needs to react to a field that doesn’t exist natively in the downstream CRM. Here’s how you could go about executing a piece of logic if a particular custom field exists in the user’s CRM.

const CUSTOM_FIELD_KEY = "_acme_created_contact";
const { fields } = api.get(`crm/contact/details?allFields=true`);

const allCustomFieldKeys = field
  .filter((field) => !!field.custom)
  .map((field) => field.key);

if (!allCustomFieldKeys.includes(CUSTOM_FIELD_KEY)) {
  throw new Error(
    `CRM has not been correctly configured! Please add the ${CUSTOM_FIELD_KEY} custom field to your contact object.`
  );
}

Write an arbitrary field back to the CRM

In cases where you want to allow users to edit any field on an object, you can leverage the /details/ endpoints to understand how each field can be updated.

const { account } = api.get(`crm/account?id=123ef341fee31233&allFields=true`);
const { fields } = api.get(`crm/account/details?allFields=true`);
const updatableFields = fields.filter((field) => field.updatable);

const fieldKey = await askUser(
  `Which field do you want to update? ${fields.map((f) => f.key).join(", ")}`
);
const fieldToUpdate = fields.find((f) => f.key === fieldKey);

let newFieldValue;
if (fieldToUpdate.type === "string") {
  newFieldValue = randomString();
} else if (fieldToUpdate.type === "decimal") {
  newFieldValue = Math.random();
  // ... handle other types ...
} else if (fieldToUpdate.type === "singleselect") {
  const fieldOptions = fieldToUpdate.options;
  newFieldVlaue = drawRandom(fieldOptions).key;
}

api.patch(`crm/account`, {
  body: {
    id: account.id,
    accessToken: "[ACCESS_TOKEN]",
    account: {
      ...account,
      additional: {
        [fieldToUpdate.key]: newFieldValue,
      },
    },
  },
});