The key to running a successful business is getting to know your customers better and understanding what they like and do not like. You need to examine their behavioral data to get to know your customers better. The use of such expertise will strengthen your marketing efforts.
In the world of CRM, there is one popular name that can be used to accomplish this, i.e., Salesforce. Salesforce is a well-liked CRM platform that is useful for researching customer-related data. However, you will not often have such data available in Salesforce; instead, it will be kept in other data sources. This implies that you will require a method of importing the data into Salesforce.
This is possible with the idea of “Salesforce Connect.” Without copying the data to Salesforce, you can see, edit, and search for data that is already there on the external system in real-time.
Salesforce offers “External Data Sources” and “External Objects,” which provide real-time access to external data. Salesforce Connect can be used to retrieve data from both cloud-based and on-premises sources. Microsoft SQL Server, Heroku Connect External Objects, Dynamics CRM/NAV, and other external systems are all supported by Salesforce Connect.
What is Salesforce Connect?
Salesforce Connect is an app cloud integration service with which the users of Salesforce applications can easily access and manage data saved in external sources without any need to leave the Salesforce native environment.
It functions as an integration tool that accesses and displays information from your external CRM or ERP system. You can use external objects to access the data in real-time through web service callouts rather than duplicate it inside your organization.
With less work on integrations and code than API (Application Programming Interface) integrations, this enables you to create a truly integrated system within your business. You also have the option of allowing each user in your Salesforce org to have their own login account or allowing all users to connect to an external data source using the same login account.
Also, read: What are Salesforce Governor Limits?
How Does Salesforce Connect Work?
Salesforce Connect operates on the same fundamental principle as custom objects in Salesforce; the only distinction is that external objects use data that is present in another system. The external object creates a connection between itself and the system holding the object’s data.
To access external objects, Salesforce Connect requires a variety of authentication settings. With the help of the following adaptors mentioned below, Salesforce Connect offers a variety of choices for connecting an external data source to itself:
1) Cross-Org Adapter
With almost no coding and only the configuration of this adapter, you can connect multiple Salesforce orgs that can be used by different business units to connect and share data.
With the help of point-and-click tools, this adapter makes use of the Lightning Platform’s REST API to retrieve data from another Salesforce org.
2) OData 2.0 or 4.0 Adapter
OData (Open Data Protocol) is a REST API for data interchange that can connect your Salesforce org to any external system that supports the OData 2.0 or 4.0 protocol.
It helps in producing insightful data for firms from outside sources. Users can transform data into OData queries with a variety of parameters for filtered outputs.
Numerous organizations have already incorporated OData support, including SAP and Microsoft.
3) Apex Custom Adapter
OData and cross-org adapters may not always be sufficient to meet your requirements. In these circumstances, Salesforce Connect gives you the tools and freedom to create your adapter using the Apex Connector Framework.
It is created with Apex Language, which loads data from data sources using the Apex Connector Framework. Although some code may be required, a unique connector can be made to meet your integration requirements.
How and when to use Salesforce Connect?
Salesforce Connect helps in defining the order of detailed objects in the system and the external objects that are mapped in that order. Users have access to both real-time data and customer history data.
The following Data Integration tasks described below can be carried out by using Salesforce Connect:
- Users can access data using SF Connect that needs a real-time connection.
- Large datasets that users do not want to copy into their organization can be integrated more easily with the help of Salesforce Connect.
- It helps in the integration of small datasets. Users need to be present.
Salesforce Connect can be used, when:
- Display, find, and modify data kept in an external system.
- When you do not want Salesforce to store duplicate data.
- A small amount of real-time data.
- Access to the most recent data.
- Access such as Salesforce object.
What are the benefits of Salesforce Connect?
Salesforce Connect enables you to accomplish so much more with external sources, like enabling users to access data, delivering seamless integrations, and more. A few more benefits of Salesforce Connect are listed below:
1) Read/write from any location
Users can instantly create, update, read, and delete records that are present in external sources using Salesforce Connect.
2) Custom Adapters for web API
Developers can easily connect to any Web API for seamless integration with the help of Salesforce Connect.
Users can connect to multiple organizations located throughout the business with the help of Salesforce Connect.
Some of the more advantages it provides are listed below:
- Salesforce does not need to make room for this solution’s data.
- Use of external objects to access external data.
- Within a short amount of time, you can achieve a declarative setup.
- It eliminates the requirement for ongoing data synchronization between Salesforce and the external system.
- Use global search to quickly do a federated search in the connected external system.
Salesforce Connect Limitations
Using Salesforce Connect can help you connect to and access a variety of data sources and pulling data. However, there are a few limitations and challenges to keep in mind when using it:
- 100 external objects are the maximum limit that can be produced by an organization.
- The OAuth token issued by an external system can be as long as 4,000 characters.
- The highest number of joins per query between external objects and other kinds of objects is four.
- 2,000 rows are the maximum page size for server-driven paging.
- It requires a lot of your time to set up and it has complicated configurations. Poor setups prevent the data from loading correctly.
- It is expensive, hence not a good option for small businesses and startups. The most affordable plan is $65 per month per user, but it places a cap on how many potential customers you can provide per month.
Users in the native Salesforce environment can easily access and manage data from external sources because of this integration solution known as Salesforce Connect.
In situations where, real-time data is required in small volumes or from a backup storage system, this integration strategy has already established itself as a viable substitute for ETL tools.
By eliminating the need to transition between several systems, you can further increase your users’ productivity. You can also have data that is ready for analysis in your selected location since it gives you a consistent and dependable method for handling data in real-time.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Salesforce Connect utilizes a feature known as external objects, which are like custom objects on Salesforce.
An external object specification includes the external link to the system where the object data is stored. To access remote objects, Salesforce Connect uses several authentication settings.
Salesforce Connect utilizes a protocol-specific adapter to connect to and access data from an external system. Three different types of adaptors exist:
> Cross-org allows access to data in another Salesforce org through the Salesforce API.
> OData connects with any system that accepts the OData 2.0 or 4.0 protocol.
> The Apex Custom Adapter is a piece of code that retrieves data from data sources utilizing the Apex Connector Framework and Salesforce’s Apex language.
Additional Files Connect adapters that are available include:
> OneDrive for Business
> Google Drive
> SharePoint Online
Salesforce Connect can be used when:
> It integrates with substantial amounts of data, and you do not want to copy that into your org.
> Integrations that require the presentation of tiny amounts of data.
> data for which you require a real-time connection.
Lightning Connect is the feature of Salesforce Connect that enables you to access data from external sources and compare it side by side with data from Salesforce.
And Salesforce Connect is an app cloud integration service with which the users of Salesforce applications can easily access and manage data saved in external sources.