Documentation

Glossary

Action

In an Applet, the action is the work that IFTTT undertakes as a result of an updated trigger.

Actions are organized under services. Each action has its own endpoint, to which IFTTT will POST data.

Some example actions, from a user’s perspective, are “Send me a text message” or “Create a status message on Facebook”.

Services do not need have to have both triggers and actions. Some services will only need one or the other.

Action field

When a user builds an Applet, they populate the action’s “action fields” with data, usually including ingredients provided by the trigger.

Think of action fields as the params that IFTTT fills in with data when POSTing to an action’s endpoint.

For example, when using the “Post a new tweet” action, the only action field is the text of the message. When using the “Send me an email” action, the two action fields are the subject and body of the message.

Almost every action has at least one action field.

Applet

An Applet allows people to connect services on IFTTT and automate different triggers and actions between them. Applets can be turned on from within partners' apps, from IFTTT.com, and from within the IFTTT mobile app. There are Applets where a single trigger initiaties a single action (e.g. if this, then that), Applets where a single trigger can initative multiple actions, and Applets that can initiate actions only if certain conditions are met.

Example Applets include “If a search matching my terms shows up on Craigslist, then send me an email” or “Every time there’s a new final score for the Boston Red Sox, update a spreadsheet on Google Drive”.

IFTTT users can turn on Applets that have been created by services or other users, or they can create their own custom Applets with a single "if this, then that" trigger and action.

Applet defaults

See Applet defaults in the API reference documentation.

Applet run

When a user sets up an Applet, IFTTT starts monitoring the endpoint specified by the trigger service. Every time IFTTT finds that the data’s been updated, IFTTT will execute the Applet, pushing the data from the trigger over to the action(s). This is an “Applet Run”.

To get an Applet to run as close to the triggering event as possible, IFTTT platform developers whose services use triggers should use the Realtime API.

Endpoint

The URI at the service partner’s domain where IFTTT will request updates (for triggers) or POST data (for actions).

Ingredient

Each trigger contains ingredients – individual pieces of data.

Some example ingredients from the “New tweet by you” trigger from the Twitter service:

  • Text – The tweet itself.
  • UserName – User name of tweeter.
  • LinkToTweet – The URL to the tweet itself.
  • CreatedAt – Date and time tweet was created.
  • TweetEmbedCode – The HTML embed code for the Tweet.

A user will take the individual ingredients provided by a trigger and will use them to fill in an action’s action fields.

Realtime API

IFTTT’s Realtime API lets Applets using your triggers to run near-instantly. Utilizing the Realtime API is required for services with triggers.

Service

Services are the basic building blocks of IFTTT.

Some example services are Twitter, Email, Facebook, Google Drive, and SMS.

If you’re building a service on the IFTTT platform, you’ll need to have at least one trigger or action.

Slug

In the context of the IFTTT platform, a slug is the immutable ID of a service, trigger, trigger field, ingredient, action, or action field.

Trigger

In an Applet, the trigger is the data that, when changed, prompts an action on IFTTT. Some example triggers are “I’m tagged in a photo on Facebook,” “I check in on Foursquare,” or “is will rain in my ZIP code tomorrow”.

Triggers are organized under services. Each service partner provides an endpoint for each trigger, which is checked after the service POSTs to the Realtime API (recommended) alerting IFTTT that there is fresh trigger data. If the Realtime API is not used, the trigger is checked for new data periodically.

Services do not need have to have both triggers and actions. Some services will only need one or the other.

Trigger field

When setting up an Applet, a user can specify certain parameters that IFTTT will pass to the service partner’s endpoint when it makes the request for new data. These custom parameters are the trigger fields.

Some people find it helpful to think of trigger fields as a “filter” for the data requested from a trigger.

For example, on the ESPN service, the “Breaking news for sport” has the trigger field “Sport”. When the user sets up an Applet with that trigger, she can select which sport she’s interested in. Or for the Craigslist “New results from search” trigger, the user can specify the URL of the specific search they want.