How does the AffiliateWP Zapier add-on work?

This article explains the primary concepts and terms used regarding the  AffiliateWP Zapier - Automated Tasks pro add-on

For a guide on set up, troubelshooting, and configuration of this add-on, please refer to the article  Zapier - Setup and configuration.

This article is divided into the following sections:


What is Zapier?

Zapier is the name of a business. Their website is  zapier.com. On this site, they provide a service for which anyone can sign up. Zapier offers both free and paid plans.
The service Zapier provides enables the communication and sharing of data between two different, unconnected things. 
Say you have one person that speaks French, and another person that only speaks  Japanese. They're sitting in a room, and need to communicate with one another. Now, imagine a third person walks into this same room; one that speaks both French and Japanese. This third person can receive information from the French speaker, translate it into Japanese, and tell it to the Japanese speaker (and vice versa). That way, information can flow between the French speaker and the Japanese speaker.
The way Zapier does this is through their own ecosystem of "apps". Sort of like apps on a smartphone, but they only work on zapier.com. Just like how your bank, your gym, or your favorite coffee shop might have an app for your smartphone, many websites, services, and companies have an app on zapier.com. In fact,  over 700 do.
Ultimately, Zapier either receives data from one of these apps, or sends data to one of these apps. 
When Zapier receives data from one of these apps, such as the  AffiliateWP Zapier app, Zapier calls that a trigger.
When Zapier  sends data to one of these apps, Zapier calls that an action.
Triggers cause actions to happen.

What is a "trigger"?

Triggers are incoming data that Zapier receives from an outside source. You can then use that data to do things somewhere else. When Zapier  receives data from one of the Zapier apps, such as your website on which AffiliateWP is installed, Zapier calls that a trigger.

What is an "action"?

Actions are things Zapier  can do on your behalf, to a variety of external services and websites (such as a WordPress site with AffiliateWP!). When Zapier sendsdatato something (perhaps creating an affiliate on your site, or updating a referral), Zapier calls that an action.

How does Zapier connect with AffiliateWP?

Zapier connects with your AffiliateWP installation securely using the  REST API introduced in AffiliateWP 2.0.

What information can Zapier receive?

Pretty much anything that happens in AffiliateWP can be used as a trigger in Zapier.
Zapier receives only the data you've enabled in the AffiliateWP Zapier pro add-on. For more information on how to enable or disable data that Zapier can receive, see the  Triggers section of the  AffiliateWP Zapier pro add-on set up and configuration guide.

What can I do with this add-on?

There are virtually infinite combinations of zaps that can be created. See the following for a few examples of what you can do. Most importantly, you can create zaps using any of Zapier's listed apps - not just those we've used as examples!
We'd love to hear about your experience with this add-on, as well as any zaps you've created! Our goal is to compile an ongoing list of AffiliateWP Zapier zap recipes, and regularly share them with all customers.