I like to be able to export data from my system, enter it into Excel and create a pivot table or move it to another app without a lot of data entry. There are multiple ways to extract your data or auto post it to another application through their API. Most of the apps I connect together using Zapier. The techniques below are for the ones that don’t have a Zapier integration.
Exporting Database with Custom Template
You can create a template to export data per the instructions above. I created a template based off of one in Bill Erickson’s CRM that is a plain HTML table. I can select all the fields in the template and paste it into an Excel spreadsheet if I need to move the data. You can also generate a list for a mail merge. By modifying the args in WordPress query in the template below you can filter the posts displayed so you can limit it by time frame, category or any other parameters. Here is the template I used in the demo for exporting data.
Exporting Form Data with Gravity Forms
If you use the template above, it will output the data in the database, but if someone made a mistake and you need to see the data as it was originally entered, you can use the export function in Gravity Forms. In Gravity Forms, you can select the fields you want to see and limit the time frame.
Posting to an external application with a HTTP string
Say you already have a CRM and you’re just using this system to automate your marketing to prospects. I have a few clients that are using Lead Mailbox or Velocify or another industry specific CRM to organize themselves but use a system I build to manage the data as a whole. Using Gravity Forms, it’s easy to send data from one system to another using an HTTP POST. This is my favorite tutorial on how to post to an external URL using HTTP.
Posting to an external application with an XML Post
To post to an external application and create an XML post, you need two plugins Forms: 3rd-Party Integration and the child plugin Forms: 3rd-Party XML Post. You’ll need Gravity Forms (preferred) or Contact Form 7 installed.