A typical modern enterprise uses a whole set of different applications on the daily basis. While most of them serve different functions, and are not designed to work with one another, they still have a lot in common, like addressing similar business pain points. Therefore, integrating separate but related apps helps companies to increase their operational consistency, efficiency, and quality. At the same time, those software providers, who offer out of the box integrations with complementary tools gain a strategic advantage over their competitors.
Due to the fact that CRMs serve as a centralized location of all customer data, it makes sense for most business apps to enable the connection with at least a few of such platforms.
Salesforce has a well-deserved reputation as one of the most advanced and reliable CRM solutions on the market. It offers a variety of handy features, including multi-channel marketing and support service, customer segmentation, forecasting and collaboration, robust reporting and workflow, etc. Moreover, Salesforce employs state of the art security measures to protect users’ data and applications. Thanks to all this, the platform has gained trust of over 100 000 companies around the world.
Salesforce offers 9 different Application Programming Interfaces, allowing to choose the best one, depending on a purpose.
- REST API is the most convenient and straightforward option. It offers an intuitive and easy to develop integration with Salesforce, perfectly suited for mobile and web services.
- SOAP API is a good fit for the more complex tasks, it allows to create, retrieve, update, delete records and perform searches.
- Chatter REST API provides access to Chatter feeds, users, groups, and followers, as well as files, recommendations, topics and notifications. It allows to filter the responses to contain only what the app needs.
- Bulk API is an optimal solution for processing large sets of data. It is designed to handle thousands or even millions of records with ease.
- Metadata API serves the purpose of enabling to manage customizations and work with metadata model.
- Streaming API is useful for applications that have frequent polling against the Salesforce infrastructure. This type of API allows to reduce the number of requests that return no data.
- Apex REST and SOAP APIs help to expose the Apex classes and methods for external applications to access the code through REST or SOAP.
- Tooling API allows to integrate Salesforce metadata with other systems.
Even though Salesforce APIs are very functional and allow to create reliable integrations, there are still a few roadblocks that you may face during the process of establishing the connection with this platform. Let’s outline the main ones.
1. Data mapping
One of the most obvious issues with integrating Salesforce and various other business applications is the mismatching between data fields and types. The names, locations and even numbers of data fields usually differ greatly from app to app. For example, Salesforce permits a single address field, - Billing Street, while there are solutions that have multiple ones. If such is that case with your app, even manual mapping won’t solve the issue, while custom coding is pretty tedious.
2. Repeated Names in Salesforce
Most of the business apps consider repeated names as duplicates, while Salesforce allows such an option. The problem with this is that it’s unclear, how to treat those repeated names within external applications, when the information is imported into them from Salesforce, and which record to modify if you’re updating Salesforce tables with another app’s data.
3. Preserving Links Between Data Fields
In addition to transferring the content, one needs to keep in mind the connections between different data fields. Preserving referential integrity is one of the toughest parts of integration with any platform, and Salesforce’s complexity makes things even more tricky. Sometimes the connections between different entities in this CRM are far from being obvious, which makes manual Salesforce integration almost unattainable.
4. Automatic ID generation
Another thing to keep in mind is that Salesforce automatically generates its own ID for each entity created or imported into it. This is a problem when the records, imported from external applications already have IDs and are linked to other records via those IDs. Evidently, if the IDs are overwritten by Salesforce during data import, the links won’t be preserved either.
There are two possible ways to deal with these and other Salesforce integration issues - building your own custom solution or using an existing tool for the job.
The main benefits of building your own software for integration are extensive customization options and great flexibility, allowing to satisfy all of your specific demands. However, high cost and considerable time required to develop the tool make this option unreasonable in most cases.
Using an existing service, such as Data2CRM.API is more affordable and faster to deploy. What’s more, a single integration with Data2CRM.API allows to access 13 more CRM systems simultaneously. There is no need to hire developers or write separate integration modules for different platforms. You don’t need to worry about integration maintenance and module updates either. Data2CRM.API takes care of all the cumbersome aspects of the process.
Want to solve all of the Salesforce integration issues and connect with 13 other platforms at once? Schedule a free consultation with our representative and learn more about this opportunity.Schedule a Consultation
Latest posts by ivan (see all)
- API Design Recap: Lessons Worth Remembering [Infographic] - July 7, 2016
- How Lead Generation Can Benefit with CRM Integration - July 5, 2016
- Reasoning for Sales Enablement Integration with CRM Development - June 27, 2016