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Zenhub’s API: How to make Zenhub even more powerful

We’re biased, but we think Zenhub is pretty great. It’s sleek, simplifies agile, handles busywork, and smooths handoffs – the list goes on. 

Of course, sometimes users have specific problems to solve in Zenhub that require a little tailoring to make it fit “just right.” For these situations, we have our Zenhub API, which, in recent months, has had a bit of a facelift. 

We used to keep our API documentation on GitHub, which was, in a word, fine. But back in June, we moved it to its own documentation site, with a sandbox for testing using GraphiQL. Now, developers can make a request directly on the site rather than having to use third-party tools. There is no need to set anything up  – everything you need is up-to-date and right there, and the API even performs better to boot.

We built Zenhub to be a simple, efficient plug-in to your workflows. Making the API easier and more accessible than ever does just that. Senior Product Manager Joseph Totera sat down with us to explain how developers can use the API to take Zenhub to the next level by tying it into their specific working setup. 

Enhance the utility of other tools

One way to do this is to leverage Zenhub to enhance your other tools, especially if you have internal tooling or business tools like PowerBi or Google Sheets. You can customize and streamline reporting by integrating Zenhub data into these other tools. 

“Many of our Enterprise clients use the API to integrate with other third-party systems they’re using for tracking, analytics, performance metrics, and productivity,” Joseph says. “Having that regularly generated data automatically feed into those existing tools lets those companies continue to take advantage of other software they’ve already paid for while leveraging Zenhub’s strengths. This makes the overall operation a lot more unified. It’s one of the same principles we designed Zenhub around: centralization of repos.”

For example, plenty of big companies in the tech space make regular use of complex, query-level language search functions to help them dig through code quickly and efficiently. “Searching is pretty powerful,” Joseph says. “Many people are used to searching for specific issues, pulling those in, and generating reports on internal productivity metrics. The Zenhub API enables those companies to plug those in-house search engines into Zenhub, making it faster and easier to find important data and ensure accuracy.” 

Enhancing automation

Another interesting way we’ve seen people using the API is by extending Zenhub’s automation tools to tailor them to their particular business. 

This is a common use where businesses create custom automation, particularly in Issues and Epics. “In fact, the majority of people using Zenhub API use it to manipulate issue data based on other events,” Joseph says, “though many users also use the API to do bulk creation of issues and bulk edit.”  

“For example, we see labels being created to notify particular people when issues move through the pipeline; this is very useful if particular people should be looking at it at different stages,” Joseph says.

“Small-to-medium-size companies will often build these bespoke miniature automations or workflows,” Joseph explains. “For example, many organizations will keep track of the status of an issue, and then when it moves to a pipeline, they’ll add a new label to it through the API. They’ll do that where there are small custom tweaks they want to make, like changing issue data based on movements or opening and closing of issues.” 

This helps enterprises take advantage of Zenhub’s robust automation features and its ability to easily create Issues and holistically track them in Epics to suit their particular organizational needs.

Improvements coming down the pipeline

While we’re delighted with how far Zenhub’s API has come, Joseph says this is far from the end of the road. Updating the API will be part and parcel of our efforts to continue improving Zenhub, which means users of the API will constantly be seeing updates on features and documentation in the future. 

Curious about what you can do with it? Check out the documentation to see how you can leverage Zenhub even further.

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