Talking about data and how to operate on this data in the best possible way, leads us into one of my absolute favorite parts of Salesforce - its integration capabilities and the API-first approach. I have been involved in (and often responsible for) the Integration Architecture in many projects and it is probably the area I enjoy the most.
Everything can be accessed through an API
Salesforce offers a variety of different APIs for different purposes, basically (with some exceptions) everything existing in Salesforce can be accessed through an API, whether it being data, metadata, or business logic. Standard APIs are automatically created for any Custom Object you introduce to your Data Model. You can also build Custom APIs with Apex code, and these are exposed and accessible instantly within your organization.
Data in the most efficient
A typical Salesforce Platform integrates with different internal and external systems with outbound integrations, while at the same time providing possibilities for internal or external systems to access Salesforce in a controlled manner. Throughout your business processes there are most likely a variety of systems involved: data warehouse(s) or similar for data master or archiving, core banking systems, portals and homepages, customer registries, monitoring systems, and a whole bunch of additional systems all dependent on what you need to achieve. You need a way to obtain and provide this data in the most efficient way, so you need to integrate Salesforce with your different systems.
Integrating a system with Salesforce is typically not the hard part, you can always get someone to write some code and call an endpoint here or there and you can happily report that you now have a connection between Salesforce and System X. The challenge comes when you are to integrate in the right way, this is challenging because there will most likely not be just one integration pattern you can apply throughout. This is where the interesting and “fun” part starts!
- How can you tie it all together with the proper level of security and reliability throughout your Eco-system?
- Which integration can go in batches and what integrations do you need executed in real-time with instant re-try capabilities?
- How do you determine next actions based on responses and how do you chain integrations to increase automation across multiple steps of your processes?
There are excellent articles and a whole bunch of information from Salesforce on these topics, but it all boils down to your ability to fit Salesforce into your Enterprise Architecture in the best possible way, and to achieve this takes time and collaboration between your different stakeholders.
Move away from point-to-point
Googling “Salesforce Integrations” shows the width of this area, the “simplicity” of integrating with an API-first platform provides a ton of “tools” that you can use. These tools stretch from full blown integration platforms, API gateways, other PaaS Platforms, SDKs, web hooks, and more. My main recommendation within this area is to move as far away from point-to-point integrations as possible and streamline your Integration Architecture with a proper Integration Platform providing a flexibility and maintainable way of handling your current and future needs around this area. The only thing I know for sure when I go into a new project is that requirement and integration needs will change, in one way or another and you need to be prepared for this in order to look back at it with a happy face.
Modern connectivity to support innovation
The Mulesoft Anypoint Platform is a great addition to your eco-system for these topics. It provides a scalable and trusted platform that can grow with you and provides the methodology, tooling, and capabilities you require to support a true API first integration strategy. The MuleSoft Composer can get you started with the basic Salesforce integrations and from there you can build on the Anypoint Platform to become your platform for modern connectivity to support innovation. More on this is available here : https://www.redpill-linpro.com/solutions/api
For more information
Please join the conversation and share your thoughts with me.
In the next blog post we will dig deeper into:
- Trust and security enforcement at all layers