Look out bit.ly! Watch your back goo.gl! Method Integration now has a URL shortener of its own: MIurl.cc! Ever since Twitter, FaceBook and LinkedIn status updates introduced the need to say a whole lot in as little as 140 characters, URL shorteners have been all the rage.
The purpose for a URL shortener is traditionally to make a long web page address as short as possible. For MIurl.cc, however, we had different ambitions. We saw the need for Method users to pass a short, encrypted URL to their internal staff, customers or partners, and pack it full of powerful information. Here's how it works:
- Use the "Create Short Method URL" action.
- Specify whether you want to create a shortcut to a regular method screen, a mobile screen, or a portal screen.
- Specify which screen the user will be taken to when they click on the link. For example, we might take them to the QuickBooks invoices screen.
- Specify which record they should see when the screen opens. For example, we might want to send a link to a customer for a specific overdue invoice they haven't paid yet.
- You'll get back an Action Result, which contains a short URL, that will look something like http://MIurl.cc/3g4T3g.
- Give this URL to the desired staff, partner or customer. You'll do this typically by emailing it to them.
- When your staff, partner or customer clicks on the link, they are taken straight to the screen and record you specified.
That's a lot of power packed into a seemingly innocent little "3g4T3g"!! It knows who you are, who the recipient is, where to take them, and what to show them. You'll see this having immediate impact in two areas in Method in coming weeks:
- Portals - One optional feature of the short URL for portals is that your customers don't need to create a user name and password for portal access anymore. They can be authenticated based purely on their email address, which gives both security and convenience. You'll soon see most QuickBooks transaction screens will have a "Save & Email" button that will send a MIurl.cc link directly to your customers so they can see and pay their bills in their portal.
- Notifications - You'll soon be getting automated email notifications from Method telling you about overdue CRM activities and opportunities and other tasks that require your attention.
We gave a preview to some of our Method Solution Providers this week, and thought we'd share some of their feedback:
"Wow! Now I can have the system send emails with a specific link that takes an employee directly into Method to a specific work order, maybe direct a customer to an unpaid invoice, once a case question has been answered the system can send a link that goes directly to the answer. I can’t even begin to count the uses. Way to go Method. What a boon!" - Mark Crews, LaCrews BSP
"There are a number of our Method clients that will benefit from this feature including a client who uses a work order system to notify customers of the progress their orders. With this feature, the customers would be directed straight to the work order page and wouldn't be required to re-login!" - Selwyn van Rooyen, Wyn Solutions
For us, this is a game-changer. But since Method is a design-it-yourself business app, please let us know how you plan on using it in your screens!