Tool sync

Why you will never see data from another user on Ansearch and how our tech works

Mael Abgrall


CEO of Ansearch

October 10, 2023

When I'm pitching Ansearch around, there are two things people say almost every time: "Wow, I would love to use this" (thank you 😀) and "Can you make sure my colleagues won't see my files?".

So I think it's been long due that I explain how our tech works and why you will never see someone else documents on your results. And don't worry, this is not a tech article!

1 - connecting a tool

Click to connect

To connect to a new tool, you need to go to the "connect" page of the app.

To initiate the process, search and click on any tool you want to connect. You will be automatically redirected on the website of the third party for the second step of the process.

For example here, let's click to connect and search Notion, Slack and Jira together.

2 - The authorization

OAuth authorization screen

So now you have landed on a special page; some of you might have already seen this in the past. It is called an authorization process. This screen changes depending on the app you are trying to connect; each has its own UI and information, but the general idea is that it will show you what Ansearch will try to access.

We are considerate of your data, so we will always try to reduce the access requested as much as possible, and it will always be read-only.

Once you click yes, you will be redirected back to Ansearch.

3 - The handshake

loading screen

This is now the last part of the process; in this very quick loading screen, a lot is happening behind the scenes in order to make sure Ansearch has access to your data in a secure manner.

This is a simplified schema of the said handshake to provide visual help on the handshake process:

This handshake process is made of three parties giving the green light on data being shared.

  • The first is your agreement from the previous step.

  • The second party is Ansearch, where we provide our identification to the 3rd party app before and after redirecting you (to say, "Hey there, we are Ansearch, and we re-confirm this is us").

  • Finally, the third party, with those two confirmations, is now able to create an access token. This access token is just like a key for a door but better, as this token is unique, tied to you and tied to Ansearch.

4 - We got the key!

Tool is connected

Success! Now we have the key, which means the app has been successfully connected.

But why is this key so important? Well, thanks to its properties, Ansearch is able to access your data on your behalf. This means that when we sync data, we will send this key over to the third party, and this key will say what can, or cannot be synced: your key can open your door, but not the door of someone else.

Tool sync

This whole process is a secure industry standard called OAuth 2.0 and is widely used to sync data between multiple apps.

Hopefully, this sheds some light on how we process data and why you will never see results from a colleague or another user, but if you still have some questions, don't hesitate to contact us

- Mael