Getting started with sources
A source is a website, cloud application, or server that you want to capture data from—it’s a “source” of data!
In Customer.io, you’ll add sources to collect data from your website, backend services, etc. Sources help you capture information about your audience, and how they use your products and services.
You’ll add a different source for each site or app you want to collect data from. Each source has an API Key, which lets you send data from the source to Data Pipelines.
You should create a different source for each application that you want to collect data from. For example, your website and your mobile app are different sources; they might represent the same services, but are separate applications.
Having a different source per app:
- Makes your implementation flexible: granular sources help you control the specific data that you want to send to different destinations. If you use one API key for all your data, it’ll be harder to connect parts of source data to different destinations.
- Helps you debug sources: different API keys per source makes it easy to see where mistakes are.
For now, we have two types of sources, both of which capture first-party data directly from your source. These sources send data directly from your website or servers, without it going through another cloud service first.
In the future, we’ll offer more cloud-based sources, like Stripe where your data is shaped by the source itself.
- Cloud: An application like Customer.io Journeys, that connects directly to Data Pipelines where we transform it to fit your destinations.
- Server: Server-side sources let you send data directly from your servers.
In the Journeys tab after you set up Data Pipelines, you can go to Data & Integrations > Integrations > Data Pipelines and see that Customer.io is already a source of data. If you just created your workspace, this source sends calls from Journeys Track APIs/SDKs and reporting events (like when messages are sent, opened, clicked, etc) to Data Pipelines.
We automatically forward calls from our Journeys Track API to Data Pipelines. This means that you can use our Track API, our Journeys web SDK, or Journeys mobile SDKs to support Data Pipelines without setting up multiple integrations.
In general, if you’re integrating a website or mobile app, you may want to use our Journeys SDKs, to take advantage of both our Journeys and Data Pipelines features without integrating with multiple libraries. For example, if you use our Journeys Web SDK, your website can both accept in-app messages and act as a Data Pipeline source.
For more information, see the Customer.io Source page.