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DataCose vs. Zapier

Zapier Overview

Zapier is a great no-code platform to integrate software systems together. Zapier shines at simple tasks, allowing you to start automating immediately. For example, you could alert your team in Slack for every new Shopify order. Unfortunately, the more sophisticated an automation you need, the greater the learning curve and room for error during execution. Learn more about Zapier here.

Zapier Drawbacks

To understand Zapier's limitations, there are some Zapier terms that you should know.

Zap A zap is a single automation. It begins with some triggering event (e.g., new order in Shopify) and consists of steps until everything that needs to happen has taken place.

Task A task is a single step in a Zap. The triggering event for a Zap is not counted as a task but each step afterwards is.

1. Price

Zapier is Expensive

Even on the most basic plan, Zapier monthly plans begin at $29.99 per month, summing to $239.88 for an entire year. For this price, you only get 750 Tasks per month. Sophisticated Zaps often surpass 5 tasks each run. If a single Zap requires 5 tasks, it cannot run more than 5 times a day and this assumes that there is only this single automation. With cloud computing, powerful computers have never been cheaper but you wouldn't know it looking at these prices.

Unfriendly Task-Based Pricing

Every subscription in Zapier is based on a monthly Task allowance, limiting the number of steps you can perform in a single month. From a technical point of view, this doesn't make sense because all Tasks don't require equal resources. A very simple task such as reformatting the ugly date and timestamp "2021-12-25T12:00:00" from a database into the readable "12:00pm December 25, 2021" requires very little computation. On the cheapest plan, each Task costs about $0.04, meaning this single Task is marked up more than 2000% the price of running this on a machine in the cloud.

Even if you have the technical skills yourself or plan to hire someone to write custom JavaScript or Python in each Task to maximize the value, you'll find limitations on the runtime and resources available per Task. Finally, if you don't use your entire Task allowance for the month, you lose what you paid for.

How DataCose Does It Better

Although most businesses haven't updated their pricing models to reflect it, today there's no reason to pay a flat fee for a server. Cloud providers have extremely flexible pricing and only charge you for the resources you actually use in a given month, helping tech companies scale gradually. We don't believe this should only benefit tech companies! We'll only charge you for the resources used each month, meaning no money wasted on unneeded Tasks.

2. Customization & Complexity

It's incredible what you can achieve with Zapier without any programming knowledge. Unfortunately, as you increase the complexity of a single automation or increase the total number of automations, the room for errors grows too. As automated systems begin to grow, it's important to be able to perform routine checks on them to ensure they are behaving as expected. It's also important to have clear logs explaining exactly what went wrong during an error so you can promptly locate and resolve the issue. In our experience, Zapier's error messages can be quite cryptic.

How DataCose Does It Better

To allow giant systems that the world depends on everyday, software engineers have designed sophisticated testing frameworks that allow an entire code base to be automatically tested to ensure each individual piece performs as expected. With custom code we're also able to maintain line by line logs of the code as it runs so in the event of an error, we'll know exactly where and what failed. This removes the guesswork and allows us to start correcting it immediately.

3. Speed

Even at $58.50 a month, your Zapier automation can execute after a 15 minute delay. To reduce the maximum delay time to 2 minutes, be prepared to spend $73.50 every month. If 2 minutes won't cut it, you'll have to budget $448.50 each month to reduce it to a single minute. If your business just needs 750 Tasks per month, but running under a minute, there's no way to avoid paying $448.50 a month and letting your additional 49,250 tasks go to waste.

How DataCose Does It Better

Whether you need a single automation or hundreds, we'll make sure they always run fast. Our automations complete in under 20 seconds. If lightning speed is a strict requirement for an automation, our engineers will deliver high-performance code that will execute as fast as the best hardware can run it. No one has time for bottlenecks.

Important Zapier Features

Zapier has some incredible features that we wouldn't want to leave you without! DataCose also provides the ability to:

  1. Enable and disable automations
  2. View historical and real-time run logs
  3. Replay an automation
  4. Filter by failure for easier debugging

Conclusion

DataCose is here to help take businesses to the next level by reducing costs, response time, and headaches. We offer tech expertise at flexible rates that really scale with your business. You'll never have to pay for Tasks you don't need. You and your team won't be 15 minutes behind the ball on what's happening in your business. Leave the technical challenges to us, freeing yourself up to focus on leading your business and offering incredible service to your customers.

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