As I recall, we tried to integrate DoubleClick for Advertisers (now renamed DoubleClick Campaign Manager, aka. DCM) about 3 years ago.
However, at the time, and for the first time since the beginning of DashThis, I had to tell a client that we couldn’t do what he asked for. He asked that DashThis connect to DCM/DFA (aka. DoubleClick for Advertisers) so that he could automate all his clients’ monthly/quarterly reporting. And connecting to all kinds of data sources and automating the reporting process is basically what we do for a living, right?
After having personally had a first look at the API, I thought it would be a standard, straight forward, worry-free integration like many others we had done before. After all, it’s an API. All APIs must be easy to work with, right?
Not this time.
The API was quite old for current standards, plus, it just wasn’t built for reporting. Our best developers worked on the project for weeks, but still couldn’t meet our minimal success criteria, i.e. it must be a perceptible gain for the client. The speed of each API request alone would have killed the project. It would have taken about 10 minutes to get a simple, basic metric such as the total count of clicks for a campaign.
As a matter of comparison, in Adwords, the same process takes, at most, one second.
There’s no way we could put the DCM API integration live in such a state. It would be easier and faster for the client to copy/paste the data from DCM and create widgets manually than wait for the API to respond.
That was a blow; every entrepreneur and business owner hates to tell a client that he can’t deliver what he promised. We may have lost a battle, but the war was far from over. This is when we started looking for an alternative solution.