Thursday, August 6, 2009

Getting Started with the Eloqua Web Services API

Aaron Riley joins us this week as a guest blogger. I'm very excited to have Aaron contribute a few posts as he is one of our senior product consultants, and spends a lot of time helping our clients and partner work with the Eloqua web services API.

I hope to feature a number of interesting extensions of the Eloqua platform here in the coming months. Some of the innovations I have seen that extend the marketing automation or multi-channel marketing elements of Eloqua, especially from our partner community, are quite exciting.

If you have been thinking about getting started with the API to build your own extensions, here's Aaron with a quick walk through of how to get started


Web Services and Demand Generation

Tighter business alignment and decision making requires more integration, automation, and the ability to report across multiple systems. Using web services, you can connect back office systems, CRM systems, databases, social media sites, and other offline media with Eloqua.

At Eloqua, our web services API allows for:

1) Bi-directional integration between Eloqua's marketing automation platform and on-premise or custom CRM systems

2) Connecting marketing automation with social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, or Linked-In

3) Automating lead nurturing workflow in concert with other web services such as telemarketing or inbound SMS providers

4) Exporting your marketing data to a data warehouse for Business Intelligence (BI) and reporting for more advanced marketing analysis than what is native to Eloqua

The API gives access to the contact, company, visitor, groups, and data card entities, as well as marketing activities. We currently have over 100 clients using the API and have certified partners who can help.

Getting Started

1) Reach out to your Customer Success Manager (CSM) and ask for the API to be enabled. It won't be enabled by default in your instance, but we'd be happy to turn it on for you.

TIP: Access Customer Central for documentation and examples.

2) Create a user in Eloqua and add them to the API User security group.

TIP: Test your user and password.

3) Import the WSDL into Visual Studio 2008 as a service reference.

4) Run the following “Hello World” VB.NET snippet to get you started:

TIP: Customer Central has code samples in other development languages if you prefer

Public Class Test
Public Sub New()

Dim elqService As New EloquaAPI.EloquaServiceClient()
elqService.ClientCredentials.UserName.UserName = "COMPANY\API.USER"
elqService.ClientCredentials.UserName.Password = "********"

Dim result As EloquaAPI.DescribeEntityTypeResult
result = elqService.DescribeEntityType("Base")

Dim entry As EloquaAPI.EntityType

For Each entry In result.EntityTypes

Catch exS As System.ServiceModel.FaultException
Catch ex As Exception
End Try

End Sub

End Class

You are now connected and ready to integrate your marketing efforts with the rest of your business, update your data warehouse, or further your automated lead nurturing efforts.