Out of all the features provided by the platform of Salesforce CRM, one of the most beneficial is that of carrying out successful third party integrations. This is the activity in which Salesforce partners with another application or service in order to allow the users to use services from both the platforms. As a user, this would help you in getting the best of both the worlds as you will be able to access multiple programs on a centralised platform.
Salesforce integration services not only only help the users, but also help Salesforce in expanding their services. It ultimately helps the platform in increasing its consistency and operational functionality, which may also expand their base of customers. Also, Salesforce takes considerable care in choosing the platforms to integrate with. It would only integrate with entities that provide services that would be complimentary to the services provided by Salesforce. For example, integrating with a chat service provider would help Salesforce users in getting prompt assistance, integrating with a financial account managing platform would help Salesforce in using the customer database and manage financial accounts better and so on.
What Are Integration Patterns?
As the name rightfully suggests, integration patterns are set patterns that a developer or user can following order to address and solve issues arising out of the process of third party integrations. A developer needs to be extremely careful and precise while undertaking integration as there may be sharing of sensitive data involved. Also, the services to be availed of the collaborator should also be clearly defined with a definite course of action to be followed in order to build and deploy the integrated platform.
The process of Salesforce integration is therefore not an easy one and you need to follow appropriate Salesforce integration patterns to make sure you are doing it right.
The integration pattern you use for Salesforce CRM should consist of a valid combination of at least two of the following elements:
- Criteria determining the scope of relevant data that is being moved, replicated or copied
- The source system that stores the data before it is executed
- The destination system where the data is to be moved
- The results that compare the original state of data with the state desired by the user
- The transformation your data will go through
Common Salesforce Integration Patterns
Here are five of the most important and commonly incorporated Salesforce integration patterns that you can use in order to facilitate smooth integration with third party entities:
Data migration is the process in which a set of data is transferred from one platform or system to another. The migration pattern of integration is the pattern that helps Salesforce developers in building services relating to automate migration that help relevant functionality to be shared across teams within a business organisation.
Developers can choose the option of setting configuration parameters in order to have an access to API calls. This will help the migration of Salesforce data in or out of the platform, either on command basis or on an as-needed basis through API. Developers can also create services that are reusable in order to facilitate periodic data migration, saving considerable time of the users in carrying out the process of data migration.
The pattern of migration can be used for various Salesforce integrations, such as data migration into Salesforce from a legacy system, undertaking consolidation of CRM systems, creating a back up for customer master dataset and other similar integrations. This pattern can be used if you are dealing with large volumes of business data and process large volumes of records in suitable batches.
As the name suggests, the broadcast pattern of integration is the pattern that helps the user in moving data from a single source location to multiple systems in a continuous manner on real-time basis. It is an efficient process of one-way synchronisation that essentially implies a 1:many relationships as compared to a traditional 1:1 relationship.
Unlike the pattern of migration, broadcast pattern functions on a transactional basis and is built to facilitate faster processing of records. This pattern helps in keeping the data highly secure and up-to-date across the multiple platforms it is transferred to. However, it is important to make sure that the broadcast pattern you have opted for is reliable in order to prevent any loss of sensitive data in transmission. It is also important to ascertain the reliability of the pattern because it generally has lesser human supervision and majority of the processes are initiated within a system through push-notifications and are pre-scheduled by the developers.
As opposed to the broadcast pattern, the aggregation pattern of Salesforce integration moves data from multiple source systems to a single destination system. This pattern helps the users in getting rid of running several integrations on a regular basis. This pattern also provides more reliability and ensures greater security of data as it is being transferred to a single centralised platform.
Users can use the Salesforce integration template which is created on the aggregation pattern in order to query relevant systems on demand and merge multiple data sets for creating and/or storing required reports in .csv or other formats required by the users. Some of the most important uses of broadcast pattern of integration include:
- Creation of a suitable dashboard that pulls in the required data from multiple instances of Salesforce
- Ensuring the consistency of data being moved
- Moving data from ERPs and issue tracking systems to Salesforce in order to update the platform
- Building APIs in order to gather an return relevant data from multiple systems
Bi-directional Sync Pattern
This pattern of Salesforce integration helps moving the important data sets across multiple systems in a to and fro basis, making these systems act as a single system, while letting them acknowledge the presence of unique sets of data being transmitted. This is an ideal pattern to follow when multiple systems, which are required in the integration for their individual purposes, are to be used for different purposes for dealing with the same set of data.
The use of Bi-directional pattern allows you to use multiple systems to be used simultaneously and having a constant real-time view of the concerned data being transmitted across these systems.
The correlation pattern is fairly similar to bi-directional sync pattern, except for the fact that correlation patterns would single out the intersection of multiple data sets being transmitted and carries out a bi-directional sync of the data set that is scoped, provided that data occurs naturally in the systems involved in the transmission.
This pattern would automatically create new records in a system if they are found in the other systems and not in the concerned one. Also, this pattern does not separate the origin of the data sets involved and would simply synchronise objects without any hassles as far as they are present in all the systems naturally. The correlation pattern is most useful in situations when two systems want to share relevant data with each other, provided both the systems have records that represent the same objects or contacts naturally stored in them.
“Chitiz Agarwal also known as “Kumar” is a Salesforce.com evangelist and architect who has more than 13 yrs of IT experience. He has worked with big MNCs like Accenture and IBM and now running Techila Global Services from last 7 yrs and grown the company to size of 150+. He has delivered more than 700 projects on Salesforce.com till date and participated from initial requirement understanding to final delivery. His twitter handle is @ChitizAgarwal”