10 Smartsheet API Best Practices

Smartsheet API is a powerful tool for developers, but it can be tricky to use. Here are 10 best practices to help you get the most out of it.

Smartsheet is a popular cloud-based project management and collaboration tool used by teams of all sizes. It provides a comprehensive set of features to help teams plan, manage, and track their projects.

The Smartsheet API allows developers to access and integrate the functionality of Smartsheet with other applications. In this article, we’ll discuss 10 best practices for using the Smartsheet API. We’ll cover topics such as authentication, API versioning, error handling, and more. By following these best practices, you can ensure that your integration with Smartsheet is secure and efficient.

1. Utilize Smartsheet’s rate limiting to ensure your requests are not blocked

Rate limiting is a technique used to control the rate of requests sent from an API client. It helps protect against malicious or accidental misuse of an API, and it also ensures that all clients have fair access to resources. Smartsheet’s rate limits are based on the number of requests per minute for each user account. If you exceed the limit, your requests will be blocked until the next minute.

To ensure your requests are not blocked, you should monitor your usage and adjust your code accordingly. You can use the Rate Limit Headers in the response header to check how many requests you’ve made in the last minute. This information can help you determine if you need to reduce the frequency of your requests or increase the time between them. Additionally, you can use the Retry-After Header to find out when you can make more requests without being blocked.

2. Make sure you have the correct permissions for each request

The Smartsheet API uses OAuth 2.0 for authentication and authorization, which means that each request must include an access token to be authorized. This access token is associated with a specific user account, so it’s important to make sure you have the correct permissions for each request in order to ensure that only authorized users can access the data they need.

To do this, you’ll need to use the appropriate scopes when requesting an access token. The available scopes are read-only, write, share, delete, and admin, and each one grants different levels of access to the data. For example, if you want to create a new sheet, you’ll need to use the write scope; if you want to delete a row from a sheet, you’ll need to use the delete scope.

It’s also important to note that some requests require multiple scopes. For instance, if you want to update a cell in a sheet, you’ll need both the read and write scopes.

3. Leverage pagination when making large data requests

Pagination is a technique used to break up large data requests into smaller chunks, or pages. This helps reduce the amount of time it takes for the API request to complete and also reduces the risk of timeout errors. It also allows developers to more easily manage their API usage limits by limiting the number of records returned in each page.

When using pagination with the Smartsheet API, developers can specify the maximum number of rows they want to return per page. The API will then return the requested number of rows along with additional information about the total number of rows available and the next page token. Developers can use this information to make subsequent requests until all the desired data has been retrieved.

4. Utilize bulk operations where appropriate

Bulk operations allow developers to make multiple requests in a single API call, which can significantly reduce the amount of time and resources needed for an operation. This is especially useful when dealing with large datasets or making frequent updates.

When using bulk operations, developers should first identify which operations are best suited for this approach. Bulk operations are most effective when performing similar tasks on multiple items at once, such as creating new rows, updating existing rows, or deleting multiple rows. Developers should also consider the size of the dataset they are working with; if it’s too small, then a bulk operation may not be necessary.

Once the appropriate operations have been identified, developers should use the Smartsheet API’s batch endpoint to send their requests. The batch endpoint allows developers to submit up to 100 individual requests in a single API call. Each request must include the type of operation being performed (e.g., create, update, delete), the object type (e.g., row, column, sheet), and the data associated with that operation.

The Smartsheet API also provides several other features to help developers optimize their bulk operations. For example, developers can specify whether they want the entire batch to succeed or fail together, and they can set limits on how long each request will take to complete. Additionally, developers can use the “try/catch” feature to handle any errors that occur during the batch process.

5. Set up webhooks and notifications to keep track of changes

Webhooks are a way for an application to provide other applications with real-time information. When something changes in the Smartsheet API, such as when a new row is added or updated, webhooks can be used to send notifications to other applications that need to know about those changes. This allows applications to stay up-to-date without having to constantly poll the Smartsheet API for updates.

Setting up webhooks and notifications is easy. All you have to do is create a webhook subscription using the Smartsheet API, specifying which events should trigger a notification. Then, whenever one of those events occurs, the Smartsheet API will send a notification to the specified URL. The notification contains all the necessary data so that the receiving application can take appropriate action.

Using webhooks and notifications helps ensure that applications remain synchronized with the Smartsheet API. It also reduces the amount of time spent polling the API for updates, freeing up resources for more important tasks.

6. Take advantage of Smartsheet’s audit log to monitor user activity

The audit log is a powerful tool that provides an in-depth view of user activity within Smartsheet. It records all changes made to sheets, reports, and dashboards, including who made the change, when it was made, and what type of change was made. This allows administrators to easily track any unauthorized access or suspicious activity.

Using the audit log also helps ensure compliance with data security regulations such as GDPR and HIPAA. By tracking user activity, organizations can quickly identify potential violations and take corrective action if necessary.

To use the audit log, administrators must first enable it from the Account Settings page. Once enabled, they can then filter the log by date range, user, sheet, report, dashboard, or event type. They can also export the log for further analysis.

7. Securely store all authentication tokens

Authentication tokens are used to identify and authenticate users when they access the Smartsheet API. They provide a secure way of verifying user identity, as well as granting them access to certain resources or data. Without authentication tokens, unauthorized users could gain access to sensitive information or make changes to your Smartsheet account without permission.

Storing authentication tokens securely is essential for protecting your data from malicious actors. It’s important to use strong encryption algorithms such as AES-256 to ensure that only authorized users can access the token. Additionally, it’s best practice to store the tokens in an encrypted database or file system, rather than hard coding them into your application code. This will help prevent any potential security breaches due to human error.

It’s also important to regularly rotate authentication tokens to reduce the risk of compromise. By changing the token on a regular basis, you can limit the amount of time a malicious actor has to exploit the token before it expires. Additionally, you should always revoke any unused or expired tokens to further protect your data.

8. Utilize the Smartsheet SDKs to simplify development

The Smartsheet SDKs are designed to make it easier for developers to interact with the Smartsheet API. They provide a layer of abstraction that allows developers to focus on their application logic, rather than having to worry about the details of how to communicate with the API. This makes development faster and more efficient.

The SDKs also provide helpful features such as error handling, authentication, and data validation. These features help ensure that applications built using the SDKs are robust and reliable. Additionally, they can be used to quickly build prototypes or proof-of-concepts, which is useful when testing out new ideas.

The SDKs also come with comprehensive documentation and sample code, making them easy to learn and use. This helps reduce the learning curve associated with developing applications using the Smartsheet API. Furthermore, the SDKs are regularly updated to keep up with changes in the API, so developers don’t have to worry about keeping up with those changes themselves.

9. Follow best practices for RESTful design

RESTful design is a style of software architecture that uses the Representational State Transfer (REST) protocol to create web services. It’s designed to make it easier for developers to build applications that can interact with other systems over the internet. By following best practices for RESTful design, developers can ensure their applications are secure and reliable.

The Smartsheet API follows the principles of RESTful design, which means developers should also follow these principles when building applications using the Smartsheet API. This includes using HTTP methods such as GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE to access resources, using URLs to identify resources, and returning data in formats like JSON or XML.

Following best practices for RESTful design also helps developers take advantage of features like caching, which can improve performance by reducing the amount of data sent between the client and server. Additionally, following best practices makes it easier for developers to debug their applications since they will be familiar with the conventions used by the Smartsheet API.

10. Leverage Smartsheet’s search capabilities to find records quickly

Smartsheet’s search capabilities allow users to quickly and easily find records in a sheet. This is especially useful when working with large datasets, as it eliminates the need to manually scroll through rows of data. Additionally, Smartsheet’s search feature allows for more complex searches, such as searching by specific criteria or using wildcards.

Using the Smartsheet API, developers can access this powerful search functionality programmatically. The API provides methods for performing basic keyword searches, as well as more advanced queries that use filters and sorting options. By leveraging these features, developers can quickly locate the records they need without having to manually parse through the entire dataset.


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