You can use the Profiles API to create a single view of a customer across applications and systems. A profile contains one or more identifiers for a person in a specific application or system. Each profile is associated with a Zendesk user when it's created.

Profiles are not comprehensive user profiles as these are traditionally understood. Instead, profiles act like name tags for a person in different applications and systems. The information lets you associate data streams from the different systems to a single user in Zendesk.

A profile usually contains only a few pieces of information:

  • at least one identifier that uniquely identifies the person in a specific application or system
  • optional attributes for the person used in the application, such as a language preference
  • the Zendesk user id of the person associated with the profile

The actual user data is stored different systems. For example, events or tickets are stored in the Zendesk infrastructure. Other information may be stored in your system or in third-party systems such as AWS. Profiles are keys to unlocking meaning in the distributed data and building a 360-degree view of the customer.

Developer resources

Getting access to the Profiles API

  1. Get Zendesk Support.

    A Zendesk Support account on a Zendesk Suite plan is required to use the API.

    You can get a free, 14-day trial account. If you're interested in becoming a Zendesk developer partner, you can convert your trial account into a sponsored Zendesk Support account.

    You'll also need agent or admin permissions in the account to use the API.

  2. Enable the Profiles API in the account.

    An admin in your Zendesk account can enable the API for the account. If you're not an admin, ask one to enable it for you.

    To enable the API, sign into the account as an admin and visit the Sunshine page in the Admin Center at https://{your_subdomain}.zendesk.com/admin/sunshine/features. Select Profiles and click Get Started.

Complying with privacy and data protection laws

Under certain privacy and data protection laws, profile identifiers may be considered personal data and you may have certain obligations under these laws. The laws include the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Other laws may apply in other jurisdictions.

Personal data, which might also be known as personal information, is any data that can be used to identify an individual. Obvious examples include an email address, a phone number, or a social security number. Personal data may also include any data that could be used indirectly to identify an individual. For example, a person's name may not be personal data because many people share the same name. However, if the name can be combined with other data such as a work address, the name could be considered personal data because it helps identify the individual.

Your organization is responsible for deciding what is personal data. Is it simply an email address or phone number, or combinations of identities and attributes?

For more information, see Complying with Privacy and Data Protection Law in Zendesk Sunshine in the Zendesk Help Center.