Interface automation, using APIs, is becoming more and more the focus of automation experts. Today we take a closer look at the two dominant tools in the cloud BPA scene and compare the two: which is better, Zapier or Make?
Zapier: strong design and easy entry
Zapier shines with an easy-to-use user interface and intuitive operation. For each workflow - also called Zap - the tool provides dummy data with which each integrated interface can be integrated and immediately tested. This feature makes it much easier for the user to find any errors.
Both a curse and a blessing are the number of apps - about 2,000+ in number. The sheer number of apps can be a bit overwhelming, especially at first, but if you look a little closer, you'll notice that not all file-modifying POST or file-fetching GET routes are always already available in Zapier. Furthermore, not all of the 2,000+ apps are immediately accessible in Zapier, but are declared as premium apps, which can limit the selection depending on the packages you choose.
The choice between Zapier or Make becomes clearer in the case of a more complex project and with larger processes. As a matter of fact, things can get tight with Zapier: A maximum of three paths can be mapped in a workflow. This leads to the fact that If statements can only be nested twice.
One of the biggest shortcomings concerns only us Europeans, which refers to the ruling of the ECJ on the subject of the GDPR. Zapier is a US company and, according to the latest ruling, does not comply with the European data protection directives.
UPDATE: Zapier renewed its Terms of Service on Aug. 31, 2020, and aims to provide more transparency around the use of private data as well as security.
Here's what has changed, according to the data:
In the Terms of Service, there is also the information that Zapier operates within the so-called EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework, which should not be confused with the GDPR Regulation. This is merely a mechanism that allows participating companies to comply with EU requirements for the transfer of personal data to third countries.
Make: great technical possibilities
Compared to Zapier, Make represents the tool for more complex landscapes and is ideally suited for clearly mapping even larger processes. In addition, Make offers the possibility to adapt and rearrange the workflow as desired. In practice, we rarely see processes that have been defined once and are never adapted again. This possibility makes Make very attractive as a modular solution.
From a European perspective, there is another decisive advantage to chose between Zapier or Make which is: The company behind the software tool comes from the Czech Republic. Accordingly, Make operates in compliance with the GDPR.
Data processing as well as data storage at Make are also advanced. There is the possibility to save results and data for further processes. Make also makes it very easy to track what data is sent where via API call.
A sorely missed feature is that of code execution. With Make, it is unfortunately not possible to quickly write a Python script and have it executed within the workflow.
If we had to chose between Zapier or Make, for sure Make can do a lot and is great for more complex processes, but the documentation is not very detailed.
Zapier or Make: Which tool is better?
Zapier is suitable for a quick and easy introduction to the subject and for implementing initial processes. Make should be used when the processes become more complex. In the enterprise context, we would always reach for Make if the DSGVO plays a major role and is mandatory. For those who want to delve further into process automation in the cloud, take a look at our article on Integrated Platform as a Service (iPaaS).