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The AdRoll Design Squad solves an obvious problem for our customers.

Don’t have ads? We’ll give you ads.

Want more ads? We’ll give you more ads.

AdRoll has had a design team for years, but previously customers—almost all internal—could only make requests with Salesforce or Zendesk tickets.

Developing a Micro Service Through a Zendesk API

We wanted to bring this functionality to the long tail of AdRoll customers. To do that, we needed this utilization in our application—a cohesive user experience with no need to write an email to, or placing a phone call with, an AdRoll employee.

It was simple to execute. We created a clean user interface atop of the Zendesk Restful API. The fields you see in the AdRoll Design Squad interface map to various ticket fields within our Zendesk installation. It makes no difference to the design team if someone manually wrote this ticket, or if an end user did it with our application.

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We were able to take this integration one step further by polling the Zendesk API for various ticket statuses. The AdRoll dashboard changes to reflect whether you’ve submitted a request, if it’s pending or fulfilled. Once the ticket is completed, the designer simply attaches the ad files to the ticket—in Zendesk—and our application extracts and uploads those ads to our library.

Building Towards a Public Service

We took this concept a step further and created an abstraction layer on top of the Zendesk API. Now, other product and engineering teams can interface with our design team. You can send a request for a creative refresh programmatically and include the AdRoll internal identifier for a specific ad.

We’ll send the right ads—as an example—to the designer. All of this can happen from the AdRoll application, or even manually—via scripts—when our business intelligence team finds fatiguing ads.

Over time, I hope that we can make this a public service, so that any developer can build on top of it. I can imagine, for example, my friends at Teespring interfacing with Design Squad to offer creative design services; entirely white labelled within their application.

Giving tasks to real people with an API is not a new idea. Companies like Zapier enable such interfaces, and startups like Segment have blogged about replacing middle management with APIs.

AdRoll might, however be the first example of company creating a micro service that assigns tasks to people. Not only that, but we created a documented micro-service that others can use.