Support: Before you begin

There are a few steps to take in the Ion platform prior to setting up most integrations. If you're going to set up an integration that exports data from Ion to an external platform, read on!

This document provides instructions around creating Ion data collection fields, forms and a testing creative which will all be needed for integration set up and testing.

1. Create Ion data collection fields

For each data point you seek to include in your integration's field mapping, a corresponding data collection field needs to be created in Ion. Ion data collection fields need to be created prior to setting up the integration so that they're available to select in your field mapping.

Your console is preloaded with commonly used data collection fields. Custom form fields, hidden fields and data passed into an Ion experience on the query string all need to be backed by dedicated Ion data collection fields. 

  • Under the Data Management navigation menu, select Data Collection
  • Under data fields, navigate into an existing category or create a new one
  • Give the field a friendly title and optionally add a description
  • Enter a data name, which is the label the values will be stored under
    • If creating a data collection field to back a query string parameter, ensure your data name matches the parameter name
  • Set a maximum length of characters for the field
  • Optionally add a validation pattern from the drop-down menu
    • Validation patterns are regular expression patterns used to ensure the data collected matches the format you seek
    • ion comes preloaded with commonly used validation patterns, but you can add your own from data collection screen, under validation patterns
  • Optionally add a default value
  • Optionally set the data as sensitive and mark for auto-deletion from the Sensitive data expiration drop-down menu
  • Save
  • Repeat these steps for each data collection field

2. Create choice sets for non-text inputs

Choice sets are comprised of the respondent-facing options for non-text inputs and the corresponding values that get save and exported. The choice values you create must match the expected values of the platform you're exporting data to. Follow the steps below to create a choice set.

  • Under the Data Management menu, select Data Collection
  • Under choice sets, navigate into an existing category or create a new one
  • Click on +choice set, enter a friendly label and optionally add a description
  • Click on +choice
  • Enter a name
    • This will be the choice that appears to the respondent
  • Enter a value
    • This will be the value saved into Ion and exported in your integration
  • Save
  • Add in each choice that should belong in the set

3. Create form

In order to test your integration, you'll need a form that collects the data you seek to export. There are (3) types of forms available in Ion, but it is most common to create a freestyle form directly on your creative. Follow the steps below to add a freestyle form to the creative you will use to test your integration.

  • From the creative studio, drag a form onto your page
  • For text input fields, drag a textbox into the form
    • From the edit tab, label the form field
    • Click over the textbox, then from the edit tab click on +Data Field
    • From the selection menu, select the category then data field the value will be stored in
    • Repeat for each text input field
  • For non-text input fields, drag a drop-down, choice group, choice or slider into the form
    • From the edit tab, label the field
    • Click on +Data Field and select the category then data field the value will be stored in
      • For choice groups and choices set the value to save in creative studio 
      • For drop-downs, click on +Choice set and select the category then choice set you seek to add

4. Open a traffic source for your testing creative

The content on the creative is not important for integration testing. Any form, rules that save values for export, or hidden inputs for export do need to be in place, however. Once the testing creative collects the data that will be included in your integration, it's ready for use. You'll need to test from a traffic source URL, opposed to preview. Follow the steps below to open a traffic source.

  • Navigate to the creative management screen and set the mode to engaged
  • Click on the campaign bookmark link to navigate to the campaign management screen then click on the traffic sources tab
  • Click on +traffic source
  • Select the subdomain you'd like to use for your testing URL
  • Select how you'd like to track your testing visits
  • Choose the creative you've engaged and save
  • Click on the pencil icon beside your URL at the top of the screen
  • Under details, set Respondents always new to Yes
    • This is a setting most often used for testing integrations
    • It prevents you from needing to clear cookies in between tests

Nice job!

All of the Ion prerequisites for setting up an integration are completed. Please check out the support document for your integration type to get started. Feel free to contact our Support Team for support.