TIMs Tip: Need to get data in & out of Salesforce?

TIM here again with another tip – don’t tell the boss, he thinks I’m working.

Need to sync or integrate Salesforce data with your other systems?

Maybe you want to sync:

  • Accounts/Contacts, Invoice/Sales Order data, payment information, Products and inventory.

 

So, what are your options?

It depends on what type of  data sync or integration you need and the applications involved, ie:

  1. Do you need real-time or near real-time sync of your data?
  2. Does the data go one way in or out of Salesforce or are you wanting bi-directional updates?
  3. Do you want the whole process automated or are you ok with some manual data loading?
  4. Do you have the budget to integrate?
  5. Does your Salesforce license allow access to the force.com Web Services API?
  6. Is there an existing integration tool that has Connectors/Adapters to your other applications?
  7. How customised are your applications?
  8. Are there any pre-built integration solutions that solve your problems?

Whew, I’m tired just thinking about it.

Let’s take a look at a couple of scenarios:

 

Some manual work is ok

A good option here is to use one of the Data Loader tools:

  1. https://wiki.developerforce.com/index.php/Apex_Data_Loader
  2. https://sites.force.com/appexchange/listingDetail?listingId=a0330000005kRLFAA2
  • Export your data from your application and use the Data Loader to map this data and upload it into Salesforce.
  • You can also use the tool to export from Salesforce objects into a database or CSV files, you can then manipulate the data and upload into your target applications.

 

You need the whole process automated

This is where you will need to plan a bit further before you invest in automating the solution.

Do you know your use-cases?

  • You will need to be clear on the process or processes involved and what should be done in the event of failure.  An example of this would be:
  • You want Closed/Won Salesforce Opportunities to generate Invoices in your Accounting system automatically.

You also need to consider any limitations of your Accounting system and if your Products are inventoried

  • ie what will happen if there is no inventory
  • how should the integration process handle such a failure

A good first step here is to take a look at our integration planning guide.

Ok, so you’ve gone through the planning stage and now you want to automate your solution, what tool to choose?

You have a lot of options and the Appexchange is a good place to start.

Some of the key vendors represented include Boomi, Informatica, Pervasive, Cast Iron, Jitterbit and the list goes on.  If you’ve read any of our WeDid you’ll know we are big fans of Boomi and Talend to migrate, manipulate and integrate data.

I’ll cover some of these tools in another blog, but for now, I need a Pina Colada.