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.
One great thing DCM could do was export reports and send them by email. This was the second best option, since we could automate the reporting quickly and easily. It would just involve a minor manual step for the client, but it would still be a major time gain when compared to the hours a normal account manager would spend creating monthly reports.
So, long story short, we created a CSV file importation tool. Yes, that’s right, if you use the CSV file manager in DashThis today, you now know that it was originally built to import DoubleClick Campaign Manager/For Advertisers reports in CSV format.
Since then, with this addition, we have been able to provide our clients with an easy and flexible solution to simplify their monthly DCM/DFA client reporting.
However, we always knew this was just a temporary patch and not the real thing. We knew we would need to try again in the future. Integrating the native API is the best, and probably the only, way to go in this kind of business. Integrating some kind of workaround, like a CSV file export system, is far from ideal.
Recently though, I noticed a change in the DCM API – and this time, it looked better.
I asked our CTO to dig it up and do some tests. “Boss, it’s way better this time; we can do it”. I quadruple-checked before getting excited. I didn’t want false hope, or worse, I didn’t want to make more false promises that we couldn’t keep.
But this time, I smelled victory.
The DoubleClick Campaign Manager/DoubleClick for Advertisers integration is now a reality; you can create awesome dashboards and reports for DCM/DFA. If your monthly and quarterly reporting used to be hell, that’s over now.
This has been possible thanks to our dev team’s hard work changing almost everything in the back-end in order to support picky APIs. Plus, it’s now faster, more reliable, more efficient and less prone to network/outage/outside errors and technical problems.
You want to know what’s available in this new DCM/DFA integration?
If there’s something missing or anything you’d like us to add, simply drop us an email!
I hope you are as excited as we are to be one of the few reporting solutions to offer a native integration to DoubleClick Campaign Manager/DoubleClick for Advertisers.
Don’t hesitate to give us any comments or feedback about this!
P.S: There’s more info on the DCM integration in our knowledge base.
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