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Product updates & features

2023 wrapped: A year of remarkable growth and innovation

As we embrace the new year, it's the perfect time to reflect on the incredible journey we had in 2023. This was a year where we hit important milestones, launched new features and saw our community grow, and now we're well-positioned to make 2024 our best year yet.

A new chapter

2023 was a landmark year for us! We ended 2022 with a $52 million Series B investment, fueling our ambition to redefine data file exchange. This financial milestone paved the way for 2023’s exciting launch of Flatfile as a platform with a powerful set of APIs, open-source plugins, and event streams that allow developers to use the building blocks of Flatfile to solve nearly any data exchange problem. We also acquired ChatCSV (this AI-powered app acts as a personal data analyst that allows users to “chat” with their CSV files. Check it out directly at chatcsv.co!), were selected by Forbes as one of the top startup employers in the U.S. and were awarded numerous G2 badges, including best support, easiest to use, easiest setup and more.

Developers first

With the launch of the Flatfile Data Exchange Platform in 2023, we created a developer-first platform that empowers organizations to build the ideal data exchange solution tailored to their unique needs. You have complete control of each step of the user experience, workflow, and data logic without the challenges of building it yourself from scratch.

We made a few basic but very important decisions that are the foundation for this strategy, including:

  • API-first: Ensures seamless integration into any existing application or system and adaptability to meet future needs or changes.

  • Event-driven architecture: Provides complete control at every step of the data flow and user journey while also offering easier testing, monitoring and debugging.

  • Yes, code: Offers the ultimate flexibility to collect, clean, validate, and convert data. Every process is driven by reusable code – roll your own or use community plugins.

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A new developer experience

We're always focused on customer and user feedback, using what we’ve learned from you to add new features and enhance Flatfile's capabilities. Recognizing the huge range of data import, collection, exchange, and onboarding requirements our users have, we've been concentrating our most recent efforts on making different use cases much easier and faster to implement.  Read all about the new developer experience in this recent post.

Powerful data exchange features galore

Since the initial platform launch six months ago, we've continually introduced new features. Here are some of the standout highlights:

  • A better data experience for your end users: Enable value-based filtering, pin columns in the view or hide them, effortlessly resolve errors with a robust find and replace function, and streamline data search and filtering in Sheets using our UI-based filter or FFQL (Flatfile Query Language), a user-friendly, composable query language. This makes working with the Flatfile Platform smoother than ever.

  • Enterprise features: From user roles to permissions to data retention policy configuration, we have added powerful management options for our enterprise plan customers.

  • Customization: From localization, i.e., language support for 18 languages, standalone web pages (via Documents) and advanced theming, you can make your Flatfile-powered data exchange look and feel exactly the way you need it to.

  • Dynamic everything: Configure your schema and update it anytime as things change. For example, you can use data from a precise moment in time from an external API to determine the appearance of your Workbook.

Orchestration for customizable data workflows

We've also introduced orchestration, which harnesses our Actions and Jobs frameworks to enable the seamless creation of customized workflows tailored to your unique use cases. Orchestration not only grants you visibility into the status and progression of asynchronous and long-running jobs but also equips you to effectively manage and troubleshoot the data processing pipeline. As a result, you can create data exchange workflows that offer your end users real-time UI-based updates on progress and outcomes.

SDKs for Node.js, GO, Java and Python

Our new Node.js library (@flatfile/api) marked a significant upgrade. It's crafted to feel natural to developers, mirroring the code you'd write yourself. Experience the difference of our resource-based approach and advanced features like native support for union types. We also expanded our API SDKs into GO, Java, and Python, ensuring Flatfile integrates seamlessly into your preferred tech stack.

There is also now @flatfile/listener. This core library empowers you to dynamically build your workflow, adapting to events as they happen.

Plugins for ultimate extensibility

2023 was also the year for platform extensibility. We added 18 new plugins in 2023, and here are just a few examples:

  • Extractor plugins let you embrace versatility by handling almost any file type. From XLSX to XML, PDF, JSON and even custom delimiters, our extractor plugins efficiently extract structured data, saving you time without sacrificing the ability to inform how extraction should take place. If you don’t see one that’s just right for you, you can make your own!

  • Schema plugins automatically convert your schema to the Flatfile Blueprint, a powerful DDL (Data Definition Language) with a focus on validation and data preparation. Schema plugins currently support JSON schema, YAML schema, SQL DDL, and OpenAPI.

  • Additional plugins, including dedupe, finds duplicate records in a sheet on command while automapping listens for and responds to file extraction jobs and then creates a mapping job automatically.

Some of our favorite moments of 2023 involved seeing what people in our Slack and open-source communities were building. We love that people are contributing and helping each other and are excited to see some of you build your own plugins! If you're interested in getting involved, check out our library of open-source plugins, and feel free to build your own to help Flatfile fit your specific use case and requirements.

Self-service guides and API references

One important building block behind the developer-first principle is that our developer users need to be self-sufficient. From the self-service sign-up to unlimited free development environment usage to complete and open documentation. We continued to create hundreds of new docs pages that will help guide you smoothly through all of our features. Our revamped API reference now offers a clearer, more detailed guide to our API. We also added a groundbreaking addition, ChatGPT-powered search, to our docs, which provides instant, intelligent support. Watching the weekly npm installs of the Flatfile CLI grow from 1,000 to over 5,000 has been a testament to developers' trust and reliance on our tools.

A lively and engaged Flatfile community

We’re also happy to say that our Slack community, launched late in 2023, has been growing tremendously. Slack is where developers can engage with our team, request features, seek advice, and even get code reviews. If you haven't joined yet, now's the perfect time!

If you're curious about what's in store for 2024, join our Slack community and keep an eye on our blog and our changelog for the latest updates. It's going to be an exciting year, so stay tuned!

Your support and feedback have been pivotal in shaping Flatfile into what it is today, and we wouldn't be where we are without you. Thank you so much for being part of this incredible journey, and here's to a fantastic 2024 filled with more innovation, growth, and community engagement!