Data Synchronization using Bulk Read and Notification APIs

Data Synchronization using Bulk Read and Notification APIs

Hello everyone!
Welcome back to yet another insightful post in our Kaizen series.

Consider that your organization is involved in selling laptops. Your sales team uses Zoho CRM for their daily activities, managing Leads, Deals, and inventory modules, whereas your Accounts team relies on a legacy application. It is important to maintain data synchronization from Zoho CRM to the legacy system to ensure that the Accounts team always works with the latest information.
To ensure that this synchronization happens in near real-time, the legacy application uses Zoho CRM's Bulk Read API and Notification API.

In this article, we'll discuss how one-way data sync will be achieved for the "Leads" module.

Bulk Read API 

This asynchronous API facilitates the export of up to 200,000 records from a module in a single job. If there are more than 200,000 records, additional API calls are required to fetch all the records.

Notification API

This API allows you to subscribe to events such as creating, updating, and deleting a record in a module through a webhook URL. Each of these actions triggers a corresponding HTTP request to your webhook.

Flow Diagram

The above diagram represents the initial sync on how the legacy application syncs data from Zoho CRM.

Step 1: Sync Start

This is the starting point of the code for the data sync from Zoho CRM to the legacy application and keeping the data updated in near real-time.

Step 2: Subscribe to the channel via Notification API

First, subscribe to events (create, update, and delete) occurring in the Leads module through a channel created via the Notification API, and then trigger the Bulk Read API (Step 3) to synchronize the entire data in Zoho CRM.

Reason:

During the asynchronous execution of the Bulk Read API job, all records from the specific module are saved to a CSV file. Let's consider a scenario where a record that has already undergone processing by the Bulk Read API is updated through the web UI or any other source. This means that the data in the Bulk Read CSV may become outdated by the time the job concludes.

To address this issue, you can leverage the Notification API. You subscribe to a channel, actively monitoring any actions performed on records in that module. When an action occurs, you will receive a notification through the configured URL. Subsequently, upon receiving this notification, you can store the updated data in the legacy database, including the modified time. This ensures that only the most recent data is stored in the database.

Sample Request URL: {{api-domain}}/crm/v6/actions/watch
Request Method: POST

Sample Input
{
    "watch": [
        {
            "channel_id": "10000",
            "events": [
                "Leads.create",
                "Leads.edit",
                "Leads.delete"
            ],
            "channel_expiry": "2024-01-21T00:13:59-08:00",
            "token": "leads.all.notif",
        }
    ]
}

Sample Response
{
    "watch": [
        {
            "code": "SUCCESS",
            "details": {
                "events": [
                    {
                        "channel_expiry": "2024-01-21T00:13:59-08:00",
                        "resource_uri": "https://www.zohoapis.com/crm/v6/Leads",
                        "resource_id": "5725767000000002175",
                        "resource_name": "Leads",
                        "channel_id": "10000"
                    }
                ]
            },
            "message": "Successfully subscribed for actions-watch of the given module",
            "status": "success"
        }
    ]
}

The response confirms a successful subscription for actions-watch on the "Leads" module. For more information about the Notification API, refer to this Kaizen post on the Notification API.

Step 2.1: On each notification, update that record in DB along with the modified time

If a record gets updated or a new record is created, or a record is deleted in the Leads module, you are notified about the change in data via the subscribed notification channel and stored in the legacy database along with the modified time.

Sample JSON Notification Response 

Note: The primary purpose of subscribing to the channel via notification is not to miss any data that has been modified or created during the data backup.

Step 3: Bulk Read Initialize

Initiate the data backup by using the Bulk Read API after subscribing to the channel via Notification API.  As the API is an asynchronous one, a bulk read job is scheduled. After the job is completed on the Zoho CRM end, a notification will be sent via the callback URL. Also, the application can periodically check the job status using the Get the Status of the Bulk Read Job API
Note: For the Bulk Read API, the records will be sorted based on the id field in ascending order.

Sample Request for Initial Bulk Read

Request URL:  {{api-domain}}/crm/bulk/v6/read
Request Method:  POST

Sample Input
{
    "callback": {
        "url": "https://www.xyz.com/callback",
        "method": "post"
    },
    "query": {
        "module": {
            "api_name": "Leads",
            "page" : 1
        }
    }
}

Sample Response
{
    "data": [
        {
            "status": "success",
            "code": "ADDED_SUCCESSFULLY",
            "message": "Added successfully",
            "details": {
                "id": "5725767000002002008", //job_id
                "operation": "read",
                "state": "ADDED",
                "created_by": {
                    "id": "5725767000000411001",
                    "name": "Patricia Boyle"
                },
                "created_time": "2024-01-20T04:01:48-08:00"
            }
        }
    ],
    "info": {}
}
For more details and examples, refer to the Create Bulk Read Job API help document. 

Get the Status of Scheduled Bulk Read Job

Check the status of the scheduled bulk read job using the job_id you received.
Request URL: {{api-domain}}/crm/bulk/v6/read/{job_id}
Request Method: GET

Sample Response
{
    "data": [
        {
            "id": "5725767000002025007",
            "operation": "read",
            "state": "COMPLETED",
            "result": {
                "page": 1,
                "per_page": 200000,
                "count": 142,
                "download_url": "/crm/bulk/v6/read/5725767000002025007/result",
                "more_records": false
            },
            "query": {
                "module": {
                    "id": "5725767000000002175",
                    "api_name": "Leads"
                },
                "page": 1
            },
            "created_by": {
                "id": "5725767000000411001",
                "name": "Patricia Boyle"
            },
            "created_time": "2024-01-24T21:35:11-08:00",
            "file_type": "csv"
        }
    ]
}

The above response contains the status of the scheduled job as either ADDED, IN PROGRESS, or COMPLETED.
When the job is complete, the response contains the result JSON object with the keys page, count, more_records, and download_url. The download_url in the callback response from which you can download the zip file containing the CSV file.

Step 4: Sync the Bulk Read data with the legacy DB, if it has a more recent modified time

Once the bulk-read data CSV is available, the data will be updated in the database. If any record's modified time in the CSV file is less than the modified time already present in the database, then it's an outdated record and need not be updated in the legacy's database, as it has already been handled via the Notification API's subscribed channel.

If the CSV contains exactly 200,000 records, there is a possibility of having more records. In the response of the Status of the Bulk Read Job API, if the more_records key is true, it indicates additional records to be exported. To retrieve them, simply update the value of the page key in the POST request and schedule another bulk read job to fetch the next set of records. By default, you can fetch up to 200,000 records in a single API call. Repeat this process until all the records are fetched from the CRM side. For more details on how to download, refer to this Kaizen post about the Bulk Read API.

Channel Resubscription

The channel subscription will remain active for a maximum of one day. After this period, it needs to be re-subscribed using the Enable Notification API to continue receiving notifications for create/update/delete actions in the Leads module. It is recommended to perform the re-subscription every 23 hours and 55 minutes, just short of 24 hours. Note that if the expiry time is not specified during the subscription, it will expire within one hour.

Troubleshooting

There are some scenarios where data synchronization may fail. 
For instance,
1. Unreachable Webhook URL: If the webhook URL is down, Zoho CRM cannot notify data updates through it.
2. Notification Expiry : If the notification expires before resubscribing to the channel, there is a risk of losing newly registered leads in between.
3. The code logic in the Webhook URL may break due to unforeseen reasons.
To handle such scenarios, store the last successful data sync time. Use this stored time as the modified time criteria in the bulk-read API to fetch any missed data and update the database.

We trust that this post meets your needs and is helpful. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section or reach out to us at support@zohocrm.com
Stay tuned for more insights in our upcoming Kaizen posts!
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Previous Kaizen Post : Kaizen #121 - Customize List Views using Client Script
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