Document Centric: How Unified APIs Support Better Legal Platform UX David Hallinan Published: November 6, 2019 Photo by Helloquence on UnsplashCompanyZoltar Suite is a legal practice management platform. Their customers use the Zoltar Suite application to manage cases and documents; take in and track leads; bill clients; create accounting reports; project management tasks and time entry; scan documents and business cards; and email within a centralized product environment. Legal firms flock to Zoltar Suite for its single source of truth, level of control and ease of use on the go.ChallengeThe smaller firms and solo attorneys who use Zoltar Suite also use a range of generic cloud storage services such as Dropbox. So within Zoltar Suite, they need to access files they already have in these other storage services. For example, a lawyer could review a case and wish to open a document a colleague works on. They’d prefer to avoid browsing through folders and files in a separate system. Ideally, they’d see every document associated with a case in one place. To make this possible, Zoltar Suite had to integrate with third-party cloud storage services. Ideally, a user inside Zoltar Suite would click on “Matter” and then “Documents” to see all case-related files. Although such integrations are a convenience rather than a core function of the Zoltar Suite product, dozens of their customers would be unhappy to learn they could not connect to the storage service of their choice. Conversely, Zoltar Suite had to have the integrations its competitors already boasted. So they began their investigation of solution providers.Upon searching for vendors, Zoltar Suite encountered integrations-as-a-service that required their users to exit their app and log in to a separate environment. This disjointed experience could deter clients from using the Zoltar Suite app. CEO of Zoltar Suite Josh Baskin explains, “Once a client logs into the product, they get familiar with a UI language, there’s a consistency to that, one point of support, one build, one set of credentials. We feel embedded integrations deliver the best UX.” At this point, Zoltar Suite considered building each cloud storage service connection themselves, but in Josh’s words, they “didn’t want to reinvent the wheel for every single one of them.” Josh assumed a fast, embeddable solution existed for integrated multiple services at once, and he was right. SolutionUpon searching for “Dropbox Box GDrive integration API,” Zoltar Suite found Kloudless online. Kloudless specialized in the native storage APIs Zoltar Suite needed to connect with, so Zoltar Suite trusted Kloudless’ competency and experience with edge cases and other complexities. Knowing that bespoke integrations would take too much time and prove too complex, they dove in with Kloudless immediately. Zoltar Suite uses Kloudless’ unified OAuth flow to authenticate customer accounts for 25+ cloud storage apps, without having to learn the specifics of each third-party service’s authentication protocol. Zoltar Suite is then able to display a user’s cloud storage file tree to load files from and saves files to using Kloudless’ unified Storage API. The Storage API provides uniform API endpoints and data formats to list folder contents, retrieve file metadata, download and upload files, create folders, and more.ResultsWith the storage integrations in place, Zoltar Suite enjoys more time for product innovation. They are relieved to report that they “have less maintenance” and avoid the headaches of dealing with outages for individual storage services. To further set their minds at ease, Josh reports that “Kloudless has one of the most responsive support teams.” Had Zoltar Suite chosen to build these integrations themselves, he admits “it would have taken at least two to three times longer.”Looking AheadThanks to having storage integrations off their plate, Zoltar Suite’s engineering team can concentrate on core product enhancements, such as additional accounting and business intelligence capabilities. To learn more about how Kloudless can help with your application’s integration strategy, click here.