Zapier Platform UI vs CLI: Which Should I Choose?
Zapier Platform includes two ways to build new integrations: our UI with an online visual builder, and our CLI. Both let you connect your app’s API to Zapier to authenticate with user accounts, build triggers and actions, and promote your app on Zapier’s app directory.
Zapier Platform UI is the easiest way to build new integrations in a web app. Add your app details, authentication settings, triggers, and actions in an online form, with help text and documentation links to help anytime you get stuck. You can test each part of your integration inside the visual builder, switch to code mode for advanced calls and response parsing, check logs and API response details, and rapidly iterate to build a complete new Zapier integration. It’s an easy way for anyone with API experience to build Zapier integrations.
Zapier Platform UI and CLI both include the same core authentication, trigger, action and most testing features. The CLI additionally lets you add advanced features including resources, middleware, files, hydration, and NPM modules, along with options to write custom test suites. The UI gives you an easier way to build integrations with a form-based editor and WYSIWYG preview of your integration in Zapier, with the option to export projects to the CLI if your needs change.
You can accomplish the same goals and build equally powerful Zapier integrations with both Zapier Platform UI and CLI. The best one for your integration depends on your work style and integration needs.
Zapier Platform UI
Best for: Building new integrations quickly in a team with a range of development experience
Zapier Platform UI is the easiest way to build new integrations. With a general understanding of API authentication and calls, you can build a full Zapier integration without any coding. Its visual builder sets many of the defaults for you automatically. All you need to do is add details about your trigger and action steps, build input forms for users to enter data, and set the API call details to send that data to your app.
Choose Zapier Platform UI for your integration if you’re new to Zapier integration development, want an easy way to build a new integration, or have a team with non-engineers working together on the integration who would find the CLI more difficult to use.
Zapier Platform CLI (Command Line Interface)
Best for: Building customized integrations in an engineering team
Choose CLI if your API needs custom coding for most API calls or you find writing integrations in code easier than using a web app, and if your integration will maintained by an engineering team. Zapier CLI is more difficult to use for non-engineers, but will likely be more efficient for an engineering team to use than visual builder. And soon, you won’t have to choose: You can start with visual builder, then switch to CLI later if you want.
Switching from the UI to the CLI
It’s easy to start your project in the UI and then switch to the CLI later! If you’re having trouble deciding which tool is the best fit for your project, start in the UI and then “export” your project when you find you need the advanced features of the CLI.
See the section on exporting your project to try it out!