Improving Salesforce with Enterprise Integration

Jamie Peers

Salesforce has become a major force in enterprise software. It is the de facto CRM (Customer Relationship Management) standard and is used by a large majority of financial services companies.  While many organizations use it, they also use other systems. These systems are important for specific functions but only have a narrow view of operations or customer information. To provide good customer service, to have a more complete view of the customer, and to improve data availability internally for analysis, data needs to be synced and integrated between Salesforce and other systems. It used to be sufficient for this data to be updated periodically (ie, daily), however in many cases now it is needed as near to real-time as possible.

The Salesforce platform is complex. It's not just a database with functional areas, but also includes other aspects. The image below depicts Salesforce’s multiplex structure. There is the Lightning Platform (aka Force.com), a metadata layer, and an application component that allows developers to execute calls to the Salesforce API (the Apex programming language).

Salesforce Architecture c/o Trailhead

The Traditional Approach to Salesforce Integration

The standard response to an inquiry about Salesforce integration used to be that it required intricate coding. The major hurdle as it pertains to hand-coding integration is that they are typically written to meet an immediate need without long-term goals such as reliability, sustainability or scalability. Hand-coding also needs skilled developers, which means it can be expensive. Further, developers will come and go resulting in knowledge and skill gaps that will have a detrimental effect on the long-term supportability and updates to these integrations.

To avoid the pitfalls of hand-coding, a more efficient and simplified solution is an integration platform. Modern integration platforms are designed to make enterprise integration and automation easier, enabling rapid and more efficient building of data pipelines, without hand-coding. A platform that supports all aspects of Salesforce integration can unify corporate data, and ensure the real-time synchronization that is required.

Ways to Integrate Salesforce

Integrating a Salesforce org with other systems involves two sides of integration - data integration and application integration. Data integration is the process of combining information from different sources to provide a unified, consolidated view of the data. Application integration links different applications at a functional level, enabling disparate applications to communicate quickly and, move dynamically with business requirements

This often uses APIs (Application Programming Interface) to manage the flow of data between applications.

Salesforce Integration Challenges  

The Salesforce database schemas and object relationships are complex and are supported by a sophisticated metadata environment. While this makes customization within Salesforce much easier, it creates problems for integrating data with other systems. A Hybrid Integration Platform enables faster and easier data integration in several ways, for both real-time and batch integration.

  • It provides the ability to connect to a variety of sources, targets, and endpoints without the need for custom code connectivity
  • It simplifies the mapping between source and target data with a graphical drag-and-drop user interface (UI)
  • Allows integrators to use different levels of code to optimize integration - A low-code environment allows for simple complex data manipulations, but complex custom code can still be inserted when needed
  • Using a modern integration platform improves developer productivity and promotes reuse in a consistent manner

In the application integration area, integrating with Salesforce means interfacing with the Apex development environment and creating REST APIs to execute operations within Salesforce. A modern integration platform simplifies the complexities of manual code and allows developers to focus on optimizing the integration.

Benefits of Salesforce Integration

Organizations are realizing the benefits of integrating Salesforce with their other business applications.

360-degree view of customers: Salesforce promotes the concept of an all-around 360-degree view of customer interaction. This helps to improve your businesses customer service by providing relevant and consistent data to customers and creating a single source of truth for every interaction by combining data from different sources. Providing a single source of data truth saves your staff time as they will no longer be required to switch systems to do their work. A Hybrid Integration Platform facilitates getting all information to Salesforce for this 360-degree view.

Better data management: Data only needs to be entered once, and can then be synchronized to other systems. This results in fewer data errors and duplications that are common when manually copying data between different systems. Integration of data sources also speeds up the flow of data which can enable more efficient business processes.

Improved reporting: Integrating information across the enterprise enables more comprehensive reporting and the ability to gain better insights through more relevant and detailed information. With improved reporting reports, better decisions can be made.

How Synatic Improves Salesforce Integration

Synatic's Hybrid Integration Platform performs data and application integration to Salesforce. Pre-built Salesforce, Marketing Cloud and Pardot connectors allow you to rapidly create solutions to your complex data integration issues.

The graphical UI uses drag-and-drop functionality allowing you to make data integration and mapping simple and fast. In addition, Synatic’s unique Super Mapping capabilities uses fuzzy logic to suggest source-target mappings for complex data structures saving you valuable time and resources when mapping data.  

Other data integration functionality with Synatic allows integrators to add SOQL (Salesforce Object Query Language) code to optimize reading and writing to the Salesforce database. Synatic's concept of 'low code, no code, your code' enables you to perform complex data transformations through the use of different Steps within a Synatic Flow. For more intricate requirements, JavaScript can also be embedded in a Flow. This dual functionality provides you with flexibility to work with your data as you see fit.

The Synatic platform combines data integration and API management under one framework so that you can consolidate and manage your Salesforce integrations from one central place.  

By investing in modern data integration and automation systems, like Synatic, businesses can rapidly automate large amounts of data to create a unified system that allows each component of your business to communicate concisely. For effective Salesforce integration with applications, you will need a nimble, simple and powerful integration platform, and Synatic is just that.

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