Create Custom Connections in Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM Custom Connections

This tutorial will walk you through creating custom connections in Zoho CRM. This tutorial will not be teaching underlying technologies such as OAuth 2.0. To learn more about how to implement OAuth 2.0 in Zoho CRM, see this GitHub Repository: Deluge OAuth 2.0 Client.


Zoho CRM gives you the ability to create high ROI integrations to your software tools. Zoho created the Deluge scripting language to quickly connect your data. One way this is done is via Connections. These connections simplify complex API authentication workflows into using a simple connection parameter in your API call. Below is an example of an API call to Zoho CRM using a connection parameter:
					getContact = invokeurl [
  url: ""
  type: GET
  connection: "zoho_crm"

This connection to Zoho CRM from Zoho CRM (sooooo meta, right?) is part of the prebuilt Zoho OAuth connection. Zoho has provided a number of out-of-the-box connections to Shopify, Survey Monkey, MailChimp, and many other popular business software.

In this tutorial we will cover how to create a custom connection to a tool that Zoho has not built a connection for.


Getting Started

To access the Connections, do the following:

  1. Go to the Setup page in Zoho CRM
  2. Under Developer Space, click Connections
  3. Click [+ Add Connection]

In the Pick Your Service tab you can browse for available connections.

Let’s head over to the Custom Service tab and see what’s going on.

A few important first-observations:

  • Service Details contains the naming and authentication info for the tool you are trying to connect to.
  • Connection Details specifies the naming you will use in your Deluge scripts.

We’re going to continue with an API that uses the OAuth 2.0 authentication framework. This is the most common method of authentication for major Open APIs.

Creating OAuth 2.0 Parameters

Within the service you are trying to connect, follow the guide to generate a Client ID and Client Secret for your application.

Redirect URIs

When creating your Client ID and Client Secret you will need to declare an authorized Redirect URI and often scopes.

Zoho CRM custom connections require that you add the following authorized Redirect URI:


Many OAuth 2 APIs require each Client ID to be given a set of scopes (think: permissions and limitations) to promote data security. Each scope maps to a set of API endpoints. You should give each Client ID the least amount of scopes possible to successfully perform your integration. In order to find the scopes you need, consult your API reference (it is often referenced in the section discussing the Authorization Request).

OAuth 2.0 URLs

OAuth 2.0 relies on the following URLs which the software service will provide in their API Reference:

  1. Authroize URL: Makes Authorization Requests (Often ends with /oauth2/auth/auth, or /authorize).
  2. Access Token URL: Generates Access Tokens and Refresh Tokens (Often ends with /oauth2/token or /api/token).
  3. Refresh Token URL: Generates Access Tokens with a Refresh Token (Often ends with /oauth2/token or /api/token).

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Creating the Connection in Zoho CRM

  • Go to your Connections in Zoho CRM
  • Click [+ Add Connection], go to the Custom Service tab, then select Create Your Own.
  • Enter the following field mapping:
    • Service Name: [The name of the service you are connecting (e.g., Hubspot, Survey Monkey).]
    • Service LinkName: [The name of the service you are connecting without sapaces (e.g., hubspot, survey_monkey).
    • Authentication Type: oAuth2
    • Param Type: Header
    • Grant Type: Authorization Code
    • Client Id: [Client ID registerd in the software service.]
    • Client Secret: [Client Secret generated along with your Client ID]
    • Authorize Url: [Authorize URL OAuth 2.0 endpoint provided in your service’s API reference.]
    • Access Token Url: [Access Token URL OAuth 2.0 endpoint provided in your service’s API reference.]
    • Refresh Token Url: [Refresh Token URL OAuth 2.0 endpoint provided in your service’s API reference.]
    • Connection Name: [The name of the connection. If you plan to create multiple connections for a Service, name it differently than the Service Name (e.g., Hubspot Accounts, Survey Monkey).]
    • Connection LinkName: [The name of the conneciton that will be used in Deluge scripts (e.g., hubspot_accounts, survey_monkey).]
    • Scope: [Enter the requested scopes one-by-one (be sure to click the plus sign).
    • Scope Delimiter: [The character between each of your scopes. This only appears when multiple scopes are entered. Most common is a space, but consult your API reference for more information.]
    • Select Create and Connect.
    • Follow the authorization prompts from your service.

Connection Usage

After your connection is created, Zoho will generate an invokeUrl statement to be used in your Deluge code.

It should look something like this:

					response = invokeUrl [
    url : <url>
    parameters : <paramMap/string>
    connection : YOUR_CONNECTION_NAME

Sometimes the Deluge editor doesn’t like your connection name, in which case surround it with quotations like 'YOUR_CONNECTION_NAME'. As long as you have the permissions, you are now able to make an API call to any software you need.

You should now be connected to your custom service! There are some services which for whatever reason do not play well with Custom Connections. If this is the case, reach out to us. You may also consider building your own OAuth 2.0 workflow in Deluge, in which case you may reference the following repository: Deluge OAuth 2.0 Client.

If you ran into any issues or have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

Click here to copy these scripts. For more Zoho-wizardry, check out our GitHub page. And, if you want to know how Zoho CRM stacks up agains the competition, check out our detailed comparison of Zoho CRM and HubSpot.

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