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Increasing the Intelligence of Your Systems Using IFTTT.

Does IFTTT Have a Future with Licensing Bodies?

Back in 2010 a pair of web app developers decided to apply a simple logical concept used in software development to a multitude of web services. Since then, the app known as If This Then That (IFTTT) has shown remarkable growth. It was one of Time’s 50 most useful websites, and the company has  launched a mobile version for both Android and iOS devices.With the continued growth of IFTTT, the interconnectedness of everyday web services is poised to transform our daily lives over the next few years. Should this include how licensing authorities operate?

Background on IFTTT.

The core of IFTTT is simple; meeting a certain condition triggers an action. It’s a variation of conditional statements often used in software development. Instead of a single, fully-integrated application, IFTTT lets different apps work together.

What’s remarkable about IFTTT is that it allows users to manage all manners of devices using a common method. That method is a web-service where users create a variety of conditions to control other independent services. This is accomplished using “recipes,” and there the IFTTT community has generated literally thousands of them since the app’s release. For example, your car’s GPS could tell your thermostat to warm or cool your home as you leave your workplace. This in turn might trigger specific light settings 20 minutes later or directly when your garage door opens.

How Could IFTTT Affect Alinity Users?

Alinity already uses many conditional statements. For example, if a registrant is a student the system doesn’t require a jurisprudence exam on their renewal form. It’s also possible to prevent renewals if a criminal record check hasn’t been provided. These are just a few ways conditional logic is applied in Alinity, but there are other uses for IFTTT logic as well. Hypothetically, IFTTT could help automate functions throughout a licensing body, including tracking membership competency, managing complaints, and even payment processing!

Tracking Member Competency

Skilsure is a web-service used by many licensing bodies for improving member’s continued education and exams. Although the service doesn’t have an IFTTT channel as of this posting, it’s not hard to envision a future where a licensing body could be automatically notified when a member completes a continuing competency course or passes an exam.

Managing Commendations and Complaints

Part of what makes IFTTT useful is that you can upload a document with a list of keywords that you want to search for on a specific channel. This lets you use the IFTTT service to monitor channels for specific keyword or sets of keywords. With the right recipe, IFTTT could monitor your Facebook or Twitter feed for terms such as “very helpful” or “simple to use.” What’s more, you could configure the recipe to produce a response whenever it comes across those terms, such as sending off a polite reply or liking the comment.

On the other hand, you could upload document featuring negative keywords often associated with complaints. Then, configure the recipe to automatically generate a task for someone to investigate the complaint.

Payment Tracking and Confirmation

square-logo-blackIFTTT even has a role to play in payment processing. Do you have members that pay fees in person at your office? Perhaps you use Square, an app (with an attachment) that allows credit card transactions through mobile devices. They’ve embraced IFTTT and created their own channel. With the proper recipe, IFTTT could automatically let Alinity know when a member has paid their renewal fees and clear the requirement on the member’s records.

For the time being, Alinity doesn’t have its own IFTTT channel, so these recipes are still just possibilities. But as the idea of IFTTT spreads, the potential impact it can have is enormous. Do you see a use for IFTTT in your license management software that we didn’t think of? Or do you just have any favourite IFTTT recipes you think people need to hear about? Let us know in the comments below.