Having completed lots of integration projects between Salesforce and other platforms such as Amazon, Big Commerce, EDI in addition to many CRM/ ERP systems, I decided to write this article to present how quick and simple it is to use Magic xpi integration platform, to build integration flows that can read or write data into Salesforce standard and custom objects. All of this is without deep knowledge and expertise with salesforce scripting or programming.
Let me start with a high-level definition of important terminologies, even though some might look like repetition from previous articles, but it serves as an important refresher.
What is salesforce?
Salesforce is a cloud CRM solution, designed to manage customer relationships, sales, and marketing. The company was founded in 1999 in San Francisco. At that time, the existing CRM systems were quite complicated to configure and expensive to operate, therefore, only large companies could afford a CRM system. The initial idea of Salesforce was to offer CRM in the “cloud” and sell the software through an annual subscription or lease model, computed per user of the software.
An object in salesforce, is the equivalent to a “table” in a database. A table in SQL database for example, has columns and stores data based on rows. The same thing in Salesforce Object, whereas the difference is only in terminologies:
- A “table” in SQL server, is equivalent to “object” in salesforce.
- A “column” in SQL server, is equivalent to “field” in salesforce term.
- A “row” in a SQL table, is equivalent to “record” in salesforce term.
As a conclusion, an “object” in Salesforce is a container of the information created by the end-user, using the Salesforce user interface.
Standard vs. Custom Salesforce Object
Salesforce “objects” are of two types:
a) “Standard Objects”: These are the objects that are available by default with every instance or subscription of Salesforce. For example, the “Account” is one of many standard objects in Salesforce.
b) “Custom Objects”: unlike standard objects in Salesforce, Custom Objects are the objects created by the Administrator of the Salesforce instance, to hold very specific information just for his organization, that is why we call it “Custom Object”. NOT every instance of salesforce will have the Custom objects defined by one administrator.
Suggested Readings: Salesforce integration and Magic xpi: Things you should know
What is Magic xpi?
Magic xpi is in integration platform to allow the integration from any system to any system, be it cloud or on premises. Magic xpi includes built-in connectors to:
- The most commonly used Databases in the marketplace (i.e. Oracle, IBM DB2, MSSQL server, Pervasive, ODBC, JDBC…)
- The most used file formats in the marketplace (i.e. XML, CSV, TXT, JSON)
- REST and SOAP API
Moreover the manufacturer of Magic xpi, has built and certified a connector for Salesforce, among other branded CRM/ERP systems in the marketplace (i.e. Oracle JDE, SAP…)
Suggested Readings: Magic xpi Integration Platform: The Best Fit for Enterprise Data Integration
Magic xpi “certified connector” for Salesforce
Let me explain first what is “salesforce connector” before getting into the “Certified” portion.
In simple terms, a Magic xpi “Salesforce connector” is a software module offered part of Magic xpi, that can automatically perform the following:
- Connect to a specific Salesforce instance.
- Read and discover the Schema of Salesforce instance. Meaning, discovering ALL objects (Standard and Custom), including their fields.
- Read from any custom or standard salesforce object.
- Write to any custom or standard salesforce object.
All the above with a click of a button, without any coding or development whatsoever; It is all done automatically.
Now, what about the “certified” portion?
Magic software, the manufacturer of Magic xpi and the connector to salesforce, they took the extra step, and went to Salesforce, and presented the Connector. The team at salesforce, took the time to review the way the connector works, and approved it as functioning as per Salesforce best practices and recommendations. Hence why there is an additional licensing fee when using Magic xpi salesforce connector.
Ease of use of Magic xpi
Magic xpi is in integration platform to allow the integration from any system to any system. It has so many advantages over similar competing products in the marketplace, especially when it comes to its ease of use and deployment. Here are some of those advantages:
- Deployable on premises, in a public or private cloud
- Licensed based on a subscription basis.
- Connect and synchronize: Cloud to On-Premises, Cloud to Cloud
- Connect and synchronize a Cloud based to On-Premises system.
- Visual Mapping, Drag and drop with NO coding.
- Ideal for systems analysts with little experience in coding
Why Integration with Salesforce
There are many business cases where companies need to integrate their disparate systems and processes, into their Salesforce instance. I will list few of those cases:
- Integration of sales orders received from customers via Electronic Document Interchange (EDI / X12 / EDIFACT)
- Integration of sales orders received from customers in xslx, csv, xml or json format.
- Integration of eCommerce orders created by the consumer in Shopify or Big Commerce as an example and populating it automatically into the company’s salesforce instance.
- Updating the inventory status in eCommerce platform by reading the Salesforce instance Standard or Custom objects, extracting the necessary information, and populating it into Shopify or Big Commerce for example, using their REST API.
The above use cases are for information and example purposes, but there are many challenging business cases that a company can face daily, especially during this difficult times of COVID-19 where business owners and executives are becoming creative to adapt to the situation and stay the course in a profitable manner.
Steps to build integration to Salesforce with Magic xpi
There are about  steps to build a simple flow to integrate with Salesforce.
1. Create the Connection to Salesforce
As the above illustration, there are 3 steps to create the connectivity to Salesforce, once. Enter the url, click on the “OAuth2” button, where the Salesforce OAuth screen will popup and ask the developer to enter the Salesforce credentials. Once entered and validated, it will ask to Authorize the access. Once authorized, it will close the screen and go back to the above.
To validate the connection is active, click “Validate” and a message will appear to indicate it is Successful.
2. Create the connection to the Database or to any other CRM/ERP/API (if needed):
Depending on whether there is a need to use different resources, they need to be defined once.
3. Define the logic of the integration flow.
This step is to define the logic and steps of the flow on paper, before starting to draw the logic in Magic xpi. A systems analyst should have a clear vision where he is heading, prior to starting the project. This step can be the most difficult one.
4. Start Mapping from source to destination.
First step is to select the Object to map from / to in salesforce (screenshot # 1), and then start mapping (screenshot # 2).
Screenshot # 1
Screenshot # 2
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