Two features to power portals in Zapier

February 9, 2024

I pulled a staple out of my son’s finger this morning. 

No, no I didn’t. My wife did. I was busy dancing around as if I was the one with the staple. I was trying not to pass out. My son’s doing great— it was a tiny staple, thankfully. 

Football player, musician, teacher, architect, trash man. This was my childhood list for who I’d want to be when I grew up. See what’s not on the list? Doctor. I don’t particularly enjoy thinking that anything exists underneath my skin. Given the choice, I would choose to be hollow. I would choose to be a log. 

Bottom line: there are some things I want to see and some things I don’t (like a staple in a finger).

Today, I’m going to teach you how use Zapier Interfaces’ managed users and dynamic filtering* so that you can show people only what they need to see. Turns out these two ingredients are what you need to bring client portals to life within Zapier.  

*FYI: managed users and dynamic filtering are only available on paid plans.

Let’s portal up.

Build an app, not a document

Imagine you are building a client portal. You’ve got two clients and a single table to hold all of your client projects and their details. You want to build out a client portal once but be able to use it for both of your clients. So, to “build once and use twice” your portal needs to behave like an app. 

You don’t want a document that you’ll have to duplicate each time you have a client. You want an app that flexes and filters depending on who is looking at it. You can start with this client portal template if you want to follow along today.

There are two features that make Interfaces behave like an app:

  • Managed users
  • Dynamic filtering

Someday Interfaces will have text and image components that will change based on each logged-in user. Then it will be even more like an app. But let’s look at what’s available today: managed users and dynamic filtering. 

Managed users

By default, Interfaces is publicly accessible. But for your client portal, you need to give it a lock. You could password-protect it but what you really want is for your clients to login using their email address. That way you can tell the app who is looking at it (so that it can dress accordingly).

Go to your interface settings > access & users and choose “managed users only.” You’ll then be able to add the names and emails of your clients. Managing users can also be done with a Zap so that you can automate the adding and removing of clients as needed.

A table and an interface walk into a filter

You’ll need two things, first, before you set up a dynamic filter to only show a client’s specific content: a table and a table component. Zapier Tables will house all the project related data for your clients and then a table component will display it within your interface. 

In your table, ensure there’s a field for the client’s email address since that’s what will tell the filter to look at. Then, add a data filter to only show content where the email address “is current user.” That’s it! When the client logs in, they’ll only see records from the table that pertain to them. 

Prefer a video? Check out this 2-minute demo that my teammate Joshua Barnes made showing you exactly what I went through today.

To recap:

  • Build your client portals like apps: build once, use multiple times
  • Managed users and dynamic filtering allow to show and hide content based on the logged-in user
  • Try this client portal template to get started 

That’s all for this week!

Happy Building,

Bryce

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