How do you integrate with Tessitura?

Written by Dr Greg Turner
Published on 6 July 2017

About the author

Greg has been building websites for 17 years. He is an interaction designer and computer scientist specializing in emerging forms of interaction. A founding member of the Interaction Consortium, he is currently the CTO of the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.

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You’ve decided Tessitura is the CRM for your museum. In theory, not integrating with Tessitura is possible. Tessitura has its own ecommerce interface for selling tickets (TNEW), and it’s possible to redirect people to that site from yours. But what seems easy at first often creates a lot of work in the end.

Hard manual labour versus integration

Not integrating with Tessitura will result in a lot of double data entry and link pasting:

  • You’ll have to manually manage links from your website to TNEW.
  • You’ll have to double-enter your event times – once on your website, once on Tessitura.
  • You’ll have to double-manage event sale status (on sale, sold out, cancelled).
  • Your users will have to go from your website to TNEW which makes for a jarring user experience and adds an extra step to the purchase path.
  • Your users will have to make a TNEW account to purchase, and the mobile experience is really not great.

The short term cost savings of not paying a developer to integrate your site with Tessitura will quickly be eaten up in-person hours doing manual content entry. Not to mention the lost income from customers who got annoyed with the bad user experience and don’t make a purchase.

If you can’t beat ‘em, integrate with ‘em

Tessitura is a complex beast with several APIs. Some functions cross over between APIs, other functions don’t.

This makes integration unwieldy, but apparently there are plans to resolve the haphazardness in a forthcoming version of Tessitura. For now, integration is best achieved by building a middleware that sits between your website and Tessitura, an approach pioneered, to our knowledge, by Micah Walters at the Cooper-Hewitt. The idea is that the middleware will translate between Tessitura’s APIs and a simpler API that your website can use.

a diagram showing how the middleware layer integrates the Tessitura API and an API on the database stored procedures into a single, simpler set of endpoints for the website

Once your middleware is in place, it should be straightforward to achieve the level of integration you need. That could be simply querying for performance times so you can link to TNEW to sell tickets, or creating a fully integrated ticket/membership/donation purchasing and payment interface for your website or app.

These two extremes of integration form the bases of the builds we did for ACMI and SFMOMA which we describe in the respective case studies.

Check out the case studies as well as our other posts about Tessitura and CRMs for museums.

End of article.
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