Remote Services

Remote Services is a general term that includes any service you call over the network (internal or Web) for data.


What are they?

A wide range of things

  • Web APIs that you call to download data
  • Product integrations are a subset of web APIs where you call online services from other vendors (e.g., CRM, marketing leads, HR, etc.)
  • Open data portals
  • Internal applications/systems (e.g., database)

What are the potential benefits?

Greater efficiency, competitive advantage and new capabilities

  • Big productivity boost from generating multiple documents at once (e.g., from each row in returned results)
  • Improved timeliness of data by calling source of truth in real-time instead of using data extracts
  • Add new sources of data and customize smart content templates to leverage it - get better data than your competitors, and act on it
  • Gain new capabilities by tapping into fast-evolving web API marketplace

How can I use them?

The reason these services are grouped under Enterprise features, is that they currently require a certain amount of customization. In some cases, there are also additional fees involved.

Note that wherever the term "CSV" (Comma Separated Values) is used below, you can substitute "row/column data source". When remote services are integrated into Tag, there is no need to use CSV files. Data is copied from the network response directly into Tag.

Over time we may move some of this into the general use tool.

Auto fill

The auto fill feature maps data values in CSV columns to smart content data fields. The data can come from any source, including remote services.

More significantly, forms can be wired up to dynamically call services when performing an auto fill. This opens the door to real-time synchronization with remote data sources that is triggered by opening a form (or clicking a button).

Batch generation of multiple documents

This feature drives off CSV rows instead of columns.

Rows correspond to a single data file. When configured properly, each row returned from a remote service can simulate a data file and trigger generation of a unique result document.

The same approach can be used when reading from a file, database or other internal data source.

Product integrations

There are lots of great SaaS offerings available and they can become one of your key systems. If a remote service is storing your data, it likely has an API you can call.

Custom bindings can be created to encapsulate your common requests, along with security credentials (all stored on your local computer) and whatever else is needed.

Web APIs

Web APIs are used for many purposes. Some connect to paid services, some provide open data, and some let you interact with AI.

Popular listings include RapidAPI, ProgrammableWeb, API List, APIs.io, Public APIs, and Nordic APIs.

Tag doesn't care where your data comes from, as long as it maps to columns and rows. Then you can use auto fill for one form, or batch jobs to generate multiple files.


Data mapping

Data mapping panel

However the data arrives, it needs to be mapped to smart content data fields. That is done using a mapping panel as shown above. You simply click on an incoming column name on the left, then click on a target field name on the right. Mapping instructions can be saved to a file and reused as often as necessary.


How do I learn more?

Contact us for more information about any of the above services. And please let us know if you have any suggestions to add to this list.