Salesforce integration is a highly in-demand service provided by Salesforce professionals across the world. It allows users to expand the overall functionality of Salesforce by integrating its data with a third-party platform. The customizable nature of Salesforce facilitates seamless and effective integration with a range of different software applications based on your needs and preferences.
With Salesforce integration, you can provide your team with a single unified platform for carrying out specific business processes. For example, integrating Salesforce with PayPal helps Salesforce users use the CRM database for keeping a track of payments made/received via PayPal. Similarly, integrating Salesforce with DocuSign helps Salesforce users share important documents and get them signed electronically using a centralized platform.
This way, Salesforce integration prevents users from switching between different platforms and synchronizing data between them manually. It also facilitates seamless process automation to reduce the time and efforts put in by your team members in undertaking specific business processes.
In order to be well-versed with Salesforce integration, it is important to have a thorough understanding of different integration patterns. Choosing the right integration helps you attain the desired objectives and optimize the CRM platform for best results.
What Are Salesforce Integration Patterns?
Salesforce integration patterns are the design patterns that help users integrate data between Salesforce and suitable API interfaces. They help businesses automate the process of synchronizing data between different platforms, preventing users from spending time and effort in carrying out manual processes.
Using the right integration pattern helps you increase the flexibility, scalability, and reliability of your Salesforce integration processes. It also reduces the time taken to develop personalized solutions based on your specific requirements.
Salesforce offers the following three Salesforce integration categories that help developers integrate Salesforce data with an external API interface:
Data Integration Patterns
These are the Salesforce integration patterns that provide users with real-time or near real-time processing of data. Here, the data can be integrated from Salesforce to an external API or vice versa.
Process Integration Patterns
These integration patterns can be used when users have multiple external systems that need to be integrated and there is a need to send and receive data from Salesforce API. These integration patterns allow users to sync their data on a real-time and near real-time basis.
Virtual Integration Patterns
These Salesforce integration patterns are used when the required data is present in an external system and it needs to be displayed in Salesforce. With these integration patterns, you can sync your datasets only on an asynchronous (real-time) basis.
Types Of Salesforce Integration Patterns
On the basis of their approach to data integration and synchronization, developers can choose from different Salesforce integration patterns. Each of these patterns belongs to one of the categories mentioned above.
Here are the different types of Salesforce integration patterns you should be aware of while integrating the CRM platform with a suitable third-party application:
Remote Process Invocation – Request And Reply
This Salesforce integration pattern should be an ideal choice if you are willing to allow your data to be sent out to an external system for performing a specific operation and sent back to Salesforce to update the same. It helps you ensure that your data has been successfully retrieved on the other end and get an adequate response for further processing within Salesforce.
Remote Process Invocation – Request and Reply allows Salesforce to contact a remote system for creating orders and waits for successful completion of the concerned action. When confirmation has been communicated between Salesforce and the external system, you obtain an order number and an order status for the same.
Here, the flow takes place at the same time as Salesforce automatically updates the order status and number. Then, the order number becomes a foreign key for updates between Salesforce and the concerned remote system. This key allows you to link data from one table to another.
Remote Process Invocation – Fire And Forget
This Salesforce integration pattern is used when the sent request does not need to wait for a response. Here, the user makes Salesforce call remote system for creating an order without waiting for the confirmation of success. The remote system will now have the option to update Salesforce with fresh order information in a separate transaction.
Batch Data Synchronization (BDS)
Batch Data Synchronization (BDS) is the integration pattern that allows organizations to integrate their existing CRM platform with Salesforce. It is essentially used by non-Salesforce users to integrate with the cloud-based CRM platform. This process is called initial data import and helps users in the extraction and transformation of their datasets.
Batch Data Synchronization is also ideal for managing customer payment details from an external CRM platform on an ongoing basis. Moreover, the integration pattern is used by users who are willing to extract data from Salesforce on a regular basis and move it to an on-premise data warehouse that contains hardware and software to be bought and maintained by the owner for storing datasets.
Remote call-in is used when there is a remote system making updates on your Salesforce org. This integration pattern allows a remote API to connect to Salesforce for making changes to the datasets that have been changed and notify Salesforce about the external events.
Here, a remote system keeps executing actions regarding the data stored within your Salesforce org. These actions can range from the creation to the deletion of Salesforce data. Integration patterns like Remote Call-in are important for implementing a CRM platform for tracking leads, managing the sales pipeline, and undertaking other relevant processes. The integration patterns automatically update the status of an order as it moves through the sales pipeline.
UI Update Based On Data Changes
UI Update Based On Data Changes is a Salesforce integration pattern that is used for informing a user that the concerned data has arrived. This allows the user to receive updates taking place within the other system and have the Salesforce data updated automatically.
This integration pattern allows Salesforce users to obtain real-time updates on customer details. Let’s say one of your customer support executives is talking to a disgruntled customer who claims that they did not receive the service that they paid for. In this situation, the integration pattern allows your employee to confirm whether the concerned customer made the payment as per their claim.
This is a Salesforce integration pattern commonly used when an external system performs operations that are not handled by Salesforce or contain data that is not present in Salesforce. Data Virtualization allows users to use the platform of Salesforce CRM for accessing such datasets without the need for learning the external system.
This Salesforce integration pattern facilitates real-time access to the most updated version of the data stored within an external platform without storing the same in Salesforce.
The best API solution for using this integration pattern is to use Salesforce Connect. Salesforce Connect would help you enable real-time data integration between your Salesforce org and the external system. It also allows you to map external data with the help of an external Salesforce object that displays the retrieved data to the user without storing the same in the Salesforce org.
Avoid These Mistakes During Salesforce Integration
When it comes to Salesforce integration, choosing the right integration pattern is never enough to ensure a smooth integration process. Once you have selected an ideal pattern, it is important to ensure that you and your team members do not commit mistakes during the process.
Here are a few common mistakes that you should avoid while integrating Salesforce with an external application:
Lack Of A Clear Scope
Never go ahead with Salesforce integration without having a clear scope in mind. Always make sure that your team is well-versed with where you are and where you are willing to go. It is advisable to get a skilled Salesforce Integration Consultant on board and discuss the scope of your integration project to ensure effective execution.
Failing To Disable Active Workflows
Before you start with Salesforce integration, it is advisable to be well-versed with all active workflows and triggers within the system. Also, make sure that you disable specific workflows that can hamper the integration process.
Avoiding Data Cleanup
If you are migrating data from external platforms to Salesforce, you are likely to encounter data duplication. This makes it important to undertake a thorough cleanup of your data before starting the integration process. This would help you get rid of duplicate and outdated records that are not needed for integrating the CRM platform.
Lack Of Documentation
Finally, never make the mistake of skipping documentation. Always ensure that you and/or your Salesforce Integration Partner maintain digital documents of all integration tasks.
The Final Word
These were some of the most important areas to be well-versed with before going ahead with Salesforce integration. Right from choosing the right integration patterns to avoiding the common mistakes, make sure you take all important aspects into consideration while integrating Salesforce with a suitable platform.