Integration in Salesforce: Architectures, Capabilities, and More

 Any company with a sizable client base (and the desire to maintain them) uses customer relationship management (CRM) software or system.

Integration in Salesforce

And for the majority of organizations, a CRM is most helpful for maintaining a record of your clients and prospects, as well as your interactions with them throughout the years (both positive and negative), in a centralized location that your customer support and sales teams can readily access.

A CRM system alone, however, is frequently insufficient. And since Salesforce is among the most widely used cloud-based CRMs available, the options for combining it with other technologies to optimize your reps' processes are much more abundant if you choose Salesforce as your CRM.

In this article, we will cover the basics of integration in Salesforce including the type of architectures and capabilities. So, let’s get right into it.

Fundamentals of Salesforce Integration

Salesforce integration Services or integration in Salesforce is the process of connecting two or more systems, enabling you to automate distinct tasks.

Consider instances where information is stored in one system but needed in another in your own technological stack. You can simply manage all of the information through various business activities that take place across several platforms by integrating them.

It is becoming increasingly unusual for a system to operate independently in the digital age. Instead, we must continually seek to increase our effectiveness and our customers' experiences in order to stay competitive. To integrate our systems more quickly and effectively, we must continually improve this skill.

What are APIs?

Application Programming Interface is referred to as API. It is the mechanism that enables communication between two apps.

For instance, when an app is used on a phone, the program establishes a connection to the internet, downloads data from a server, and then displays it to you in a readable way. This entire procedure ought to go off without a hitch given the appropriate API.

There are several types of APIs which we will cover in the capabilities section.

Salesforce Integration Architectures

Every integration architecture type has advantages and disadvantages that are worth addressing. We will be covering the three types as follows:

  •       ESB Integration (Enterprise Service Bus)
  •       Point-to-point integration
  •        Hub-and-spoke integration

ESB Integration (Enterprise Service Bus)

The hub-and-spoke integration architectural approach has evolved with the introduction of Enterprise Service Bus (ESB). The integration engine utilized to establish links across linked software systems and applications makes a difference.

ESB can be used if you wish to perform the any of tasks listed below with ‘messages’:

  • Security: It can offer authentication and authorisation to better fulfill security requirements.
  • Orchestration: The sequence of events for the transactions. For instance, you could want a sequence of events to occur in a particular order. Consider a situation in which one system must change something and respond before a different system may use that answer.
  • Routing: In case a ‘message’ is to be sent between two or more systems, such as system A and system B.
  • Transformation: If a "message" needs to be sent from one system (System A) to another system (System B), but System B does not communicate in the same way as System A, the bus must first translate the message into System B's language.

As your integration needs vary over time, an ESB gives each of the systems in the integration an adapter that can be plugged into and out of the "bus." This makes the integration more scalable.

Point-to-Point Integration

A point-to-point system integration, sometimes referred to as one-to-one integration, communicates with another system one-to-one. Consider a sales application that transmits information about new orders to a shipping application, a billing system, and a tracking system – each as a distinct tiny integration. There has to be another integration set up in case the tracking and the shipment need to interact.

With this integration style, there are many drawbacks. It costs a lot of money to design and maintain. Moreover, several new integrations need to be created to connect to the same systems once more in case one of the systems gets replaced.

Hub-and-Spoke Integration

With hub-and-spoke integration, there is a centralized hub that makes it easier for the systems to communicate. This is a significant improvement over point-to-point integration because the hub is in charge of routing all traffic and you only need to create one connection for each additional system.

Salesforce Integration Capabilities

How to discuss APIs without making it monotonous? The purpose of keeping this section ‘to the point’ and crisp is to hopefully pique your interest in APIs and inspire you to learn more about them.

You want a highly functional API that enables communication between any two apps. Understanding the time and course of integrations is crucial when discussing them. Timing falls under the following two categories:

  •       Synchronous: You place a call to a different system, but a response is required in return. Unless the response is received, the processing will not go further.
  •    Asynchronous: When you call another integrated system, processing can move forward without having to wait for a response. For instance, in case a background job takes some time to process, you don't want to wait for that response to be created (as there is a risk of timeout).

The integration's direction – which may be outbound or inbound – is another factor to take into account. Ask which system is initiating the call; if Salesforce is the response, the call is outbound; if another system is, it is inbound.

Salesforce provides us with integration capabilities so we can create these integrations.

These are eight things you need to be aware of:

1.    Bulk API

Up to hundred million records each rolling 24-hour time frame can be processed using Salesforce's Bulk API, which can handle large volumes of communications. These APIs improve reliability, let you keep an eye on your jobs, and let you manage message loads.

Due to its speedy data loading capabilities into Salesforce, it is most suitable for initial data migration. It has the smarts to do intelligent file batching and allows you to control process jobs one after the other (serial mode) or many batches at once (parallel mode).

It is asynchronous, which you probably already guessed. Once your load has been uploaded, check the results later.

2.    REST API

This emphasizes on data-based operations:

  •       GET for querying a database
  •            POST for creating a record
  •        PUT for updating
  •        PATCH
  •        DELETE

For online or mobile apps, REST API is ideal. It uses JSON or XML for data formats. JSON is ideal for mobile or web applications because it works better with data. This implies that REST doesn’t need much bandwidth and is ingested easily by web browsers.

REST is synchronous when it comes to timing. For instance, if a POST request is sent to Salesforce to create a record, you will get a response indicating whether the request was successful or not.

3.    Streaming API

‘Event Driven’ and ‘Request and Response’ are two communication models. The publish/subscribe model can be thought of as the foundation for the Streaming API. Also, it is the foundation of event-driven architecture and a very effective mechanism to transmit notifications.

The four types of Streaming APIs are:

  • Generic
  • PushTopic
  •  Platform Events
  •  Change Data Capture

All of them were created utilizing CometD technology. As a result, any Event Consumer (subscribed to it) can receive the broadcast since there is an Enterprise Messaging Bus that enables an Event Producer to broadcast a Message to a channel. Platform Events make it easier to communicate data changes and enable us to integrate Salesforce with external systems in almost real-time.

4.    SOAP API

Older systems were more likely to employ SOAP API, although you may still run into it. It’s excellent for back-end system communication, system-to-system integrations, and for applications that require contracts (formal hand-off) between the consumer and  the API (thanks to WSDL).

Although it is dependable and well-established, it typically uses more bandwidth and operates at a slower pace than REST. It is asynchronous, which means it doesn't have to wait for a response and can carry out other processing without causing delays. Also for very structured payloads, it uses XML.

5.    Outbound Message

Those who are well-versed with Salesforce and have created an approval process or workflow rule must have noticed an option for adding ‘outbound message’. This option essentially allows sending a notification to another system as and when an event occurs. Also, it can be configured declaratively.

Any server endpoint based out of SOAP API with a customized listener service is capable of receiving messages. The message is sent to a user defined endpoint URL and contains the fields chosen during setup. While this is an asynchronous integration, an acknowledgement message is still sent back by the integrated system. Salesforce will keep retrying for 24 hours if it doesn't get the acknowledgement before informing the System Admin user(s) that the message wasn't properly sent.

The Key Takeaway

As described above, integration in salesforce professional services or Salesforce Integration may be split down into numerous sections. The very first step is to have a basic understanding of integration and its importance.

The aforementioned topics cover the fundamentals of integration in Salesforce. However, exploring these concepts in depth will help you determine which Salesforce integration services are necessary for your particular business and org users.

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