Developers

Choose a Framework to get started with Flatfile Portal

Getting started with Portal typically takes less than one hour


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Getting started

Welcome to Flatfile! We are here to help you get started implementing Flatfile into your current application, but first, we just want to let you know up front the assumptions we are making in this documentation (and also provide some resources if you need a refresher).

  • You should be familiar with a package manager OR CDN provider. We reference using either NPM or a CDN link within the docs themselves, so knowing about working with one of these helps. If you prefer working with Yarn over NPM, we've got you covered there too. We just reference the NPM commands throughout the documentation.
  • You should have a basic understanding of JSON and how to work with JSON objects.. At the end of an import, Flatfile will return a JSON object. It doesn't matter if your backend is Ruby, C#, Python, Node.js, PHP or anything else you could be using. We will give you clean data as JSON and a way to send it to your server. Your server will take it from there.
  • You should have a basic understanding of Javascript OR a solid grasp on programming in general. If you aren't a developer or don't have access to a developer for your product, we can still help you, but you might be a better fit for our Concierge product. Our Portal product is a frontend-oriented solution that will integrate into your frontend codebase. At a minimum, you'll need to understand how to start the importer and get the returned data with Javascript. If you want to send the data to your server, then you'll need to know how to make the server call as well. You may also need to know how to manipulate data on the frontend with Javascript if you want to utilize datahooks and some of our SDK references. Sound like too much for you to handle? We have a growing library of guides that can help you tackle specific issues as well as a team of support staff and engineers that can help get you references. Don't let a basic knowledge of Javascript stop you from using such a powerful tool. We can help you get started.

Key terminology

One final thing to point out is the terminology used in this documentation. There are a few terms we'll use that have alternate meanings, and you may be more familiar with the other definitions. We feel it's important for us to clarify the terminology below.

  • field - This often gets used interchangeably with a column of similar data. For example, if you're accepting a full name, email address and phone number in your data, each of those would be their own field.
  • record - You might refer to this as a row or line. This is referring to an individual record/row/line of the data. So this would encompass one person's name, email address and phone number.
  • value - This one you might refer to as a cell. It's the intersection of a specific record and specific field. If, for example, you want the email for one specific record, this is the value or cell we're referring to.