The Complete Guide To Salesforce Integration

Salesforce is an extensive CRM platform that provides users with an array of tools to make the most of their customer database. It helps organizations in utilizing their customer database to provide personalized services to their customers and reach out to them through multiple channels.

However, it often becomes difficult for Salesforce users to carry out processes that are beyond the scope of Salesforce offerings. This results in them making use of third-party applications and systems to manually reconcile their data and perform specific tasks. 

With Salesforce integration, your team members can work on a single unified interface and leverage their business processes to get the desired results.

What Is Salesforce Integration?

Salesforce integration is the process of integrating Salesforce with a suitable third-party platform to extend the overall functionality of the CRM platform. In simpler words, it is the process of combining the functionality of Salesforce with that of another platform to provide a single platform to the users.

Salesforce integration saves your team from switching platforms while performing specific tasks and reconciling data between two platforms manually. The process involves automated data management and migration between two platforms to provide a centralized database to the users.

Organizations across industries integrate Salesforce with a number of platforms to leverage its functionality. For example, the Salesforce DocuSign integration helps you electronically sign documents on Salesforce, Salesforce PayPal integration allows you to use Salesforce as a payment gateway, etc.

Different Ways Of Integrating Salesforce

Here are the different ways in which you can integrate Salesforce with a suitable third-party application:

Business Logic Integration

This is the Salesforce integration where you make use of Apex web services for the purpose of Inbound and Apex Callouts for Outbound in order to handle business logic across different applications and to accomplish the end-to-end business process associated with the same.

User Interface Integration

In this Salesforce integration, the developer permits users for entering different applications using a single unified platform. A good example of user interface integration is Facebook – a single application where content is posted from different application vendors.

Data Integration

This is the Salesforce integration process that involves handling data synchronization needs with the help of REST and SOAP APIs. It allows these APIs to allow a single application in an organization to serve as a pivotal source of the concerned business object. Although there is no need for coding, you cannot implement any custom logic here.

Salesforce Integration Checklist

Here is an extensive checklist every organization should know about various aspects of Salesforce integration:

The Application

The application always plays a major role in any Salesforce implementation project. Here are some of the most important checklist points to keep in mind before using an application for integrating Salesforce:
  • Prepare the data involved in the integration
  • Make sure that both the devices have the same architecture
  • Be well-versed with the dependency of every application involved
  • Make sure that both the applications have APIs enabled
  • Be well-versed with the API limits

Integration Planning And Documentation

It is important for an organization to treat Salesforce integration as an important implementation project and chart out an extensive plan for the same. Here are some important checklist points to keep in mind while planning and documenting your Salesforce integration process:
  • Identify the key business goals to be achieved through Salesforce integration
  • Identify the owner and data involved in Salesforce integration
  • Be well-versed with the integration standards and practices that are best for the concerned project
  • Define the vision and mission behind undertaking the integration project

The Integration Processes

The Salesforce integration processes define the flow of data from one endpoint to another, including staging and modifying the data before integration.

Here are some important checklist points to keep in mind before going ahead with the integration process:
  • Identify the data endpoints
  • Make sure there is a provision for custom integration and third-party integration tool
  • Determine the performance of data delivery for multiple applications
  • Use IP Whitelisting to limit and control the access to the platform to specific users

Types Of Salesforce Integration Processes

The major types of Salesforce integration processes include batch integration, real-time integration, AppExchange integration, and real-time mashups.

Batch Integration

This is the type of integration process that serves as a solution for processing flat files of data. It is the most commonly used integration method and ideal for data that changes less frequently. 

Real-time Integration

As the name suggests, real-time integration involves integrating data between the two platforms in real-time to automate the data reconciling process. Such integration is ideal for integrating data between sales and marketing platforms. It allows Salesforce users to handle errors and control queues in an effective manner.

AppExchange Integration

This is one of the simplest types of Salesforce integration processes. It involves installing a dedicated application from Salesforce AppExchange and using the same to integrate Salesforce with a suitable third-party platform. Users can find numerous industry-specific applications on AppExchange that help them integrate Salesforce effectively. This helps organizations save time and effort in undertaking Salesforce integration.

Real-time Mashups

This is the type of Salesforce integration process that required building up the user interface in Visualforce for creating customized interfaces. Such processes are often used for analyzing data from external platforms with ease, speed, and efficiency.

Salesforce Integration Patterns

Here are some of the most important Salesforce integration patterns that can be followed based on your needs and preferences:
  • Migration Pattern – This is a one-to-one data migration pattern to move data from third-party apps to Salesforce and creating reusable services to save development time.
  • Broadcast Pattern – This is a one-to-many data migration pattern occurring in real-time between a single-source system to multiple destination systems.
  • Aggregation Pattern – This is a many-to-one data integration pattern that allows you to extract and process data from multiple systems and merge the same onto a centralized platform.
  • Bi-directional Sync Pattern – This integration pattern involves merging multiple datasets in different systems and making them behave like a single unified platform.
  • Correlation Pattern – This pattern is similar to the bi-directional sync pattern with one major difference. This pattern singles out two intersecting datasets and undertakes bi-directional sync only if the given item exists naturally within the system.

These were some of the most important aspects to consider if you are new to Salesforce integration and are willing to dive deep into the process.

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