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      Decoding Salesforce Integration Patterns and Best Practices for Better Efficiency

      Apr 16, 2024

      5 minute read

      Ever wondered why organizations struggle to operate efficiently despite having a plethora of applications at their disposal? Well, here’s a startling fact: on an average organizations use more than 1,061 different applications. Surprisingly, only 29% of these applications are integrated.[i]

      That’s a lot of disconnected tools and data silos holding back productivity.

      But, how can organizations overcome this challenge?

      Integrations serve as the vital link connecting disparate applications and data sources, eliminating manual workarounds and data silos.

      Salesforce boasts an extensive library of over 3,000 integrations, enabling businesses to construct a cohesive and interconnected application ecosystem.

      Within the Salesforce ecosystem, integration patterns chime in. These established approaches provide reusable templates for connecting systems and applications, ensuring consistency in design and implementation.

      In this blog post, let us learn more about Salesforce integration patterns and the best practices to maximize the potential of your tech stack and boost efficiency.

      5 Salesforce Integration Patterns

      Salesforce Integration Patterns

      Salesforce integration patterns operate and facilitate connectivity and collaboration between Salesforce and external systems. Here’s how they work:

      1. Remote Process Invocation:

      So, you’re using Salesforce to keep track of leads, manage your pipeline, create opportunities, and jot down all those crucial order details to turn leads into loyal customers. But here’s the thing: Salesforce doesn’t handle order processing. Once order details are captured within Salesforce, they are forwarded to a remote system dedicated to managing orders through to completion.

      In the Remote Process Invocation (RPI) approach, Salesforce initiates a call to the remote system to generate the order and subsequently awaits confirmation of successful completion.
      RPI allows two separate applications to communicate and execute tasks on each other’s behalf. There are mainly two types of RPI:

      Request and Reply – Through Request and Reply, Salesforce functions as a client by initiating communication with an external system, and awaiting a response. This functionality proves valuable when real-time feedback is essential, such as verifying a payment through a payment gateway before updating corresponding records within Salesforce. While faster for immediate needs compared to asynchronous patterns, it can be slower overall due to waiting times and governor limits on callouts.

      Fire and Forget – The “Fire and Forget” pattern in Salesforce is a straightforward approach to external system integration. Unlike “Request and Reply,” Salesforce simply sends data or a request to another system and moves on without waiting for a response.

      This is ideal for tasks where immediate confirmation is optional, like sending notifications or queuing data.

      2. Batch Data Synchronization

      In data integration, timely data exchange is important, and frequent delays can disrupt critical workflows and lead to inefficiencies. Through batch synchronization, Salesforce ensures that data stored in its platform stays in sync with updates from external systems, and vice versa.

      Batch data synchronization is a process that automatically updates data between Salesforce and other systems at predefined intervals, typically in large batches. This ensures all connected systems have the most current information, minimizing inconsistencies and errors.

      With these periodic updates, Salesforce minimizes the risk of inconsistencies and errors that could arise from disparate data sources.

      3. Remote Call-In

      The remote call-in integration pattern lets external systems take charge, initiating communication through APIs. This allows them to pull data, update records, or even trigger custom logic within Salesforce. It is a flexible way to keep data synchronized and connect Salesforce with various external applications. This real-time integration ensures that Salesforce remains the central hub for customer information, providing a unified view of interactions across all touchpoints.

      4. UI Update Based on Data Changes

      Your Salesforce interface acts like a window into your business operations, constantly evolving to reflect the latest changes in data. Whether it’s a new lead entering the pipeline or a support case being resolved, Salesforce updates its user interface to keep users informed and empowered. This real-time responsiveness notifies users about any events that occur in Salesforce without having to refresh their screen.

      5. Data Virtualization

      Salesforce is used to track and manage customer data. However, this data is not directly stored on Salesforce but is generally stored on a remote system. To ensure that sales reps get access to view and modify all data within Salesforce only, the Data Virtualization integration pattern is classified as the best method.

      Salesforce Data Virtualization lets you work with external data directly within Salesforce using tools like Salesforce Connect. It acts like a bridge, eliminating the physical need to copy the data. This approach saves storage space, keeps information up-to-date, and simplifies maintenance.

      This approach saves storage space, keeps information up-to-date, and simplifies maintenance.

      Salesforce Integration Best Practices – The Critical Ones

      Salesforce Integration Best Practices

      We’ve got some expert-backed Salesforce integration best practices that make sure everything runs like a well-oiled machine, keeping your data safe, your systems strong, and your operations efficient. Here are a few of them:

      Design with a Clear Architecture:

      Establish a well-defined integration architecture that outlines data flow, communication protocols, and system interactions. This clarity ensures that the integration solution is aligned with business objectives and can adapt to future changes and expansions.

      Implement Security Measures:

      Incorporate robust security measures such as encryption, secure authentication (OAuth, JWT), and access controls to safeguard sensitive data during transit and storage. Prioritizing security ensures compliance with regulatory requirements and protects against unauthorized access or data breaches.

      Handle Errors Gracefully:

      Develop comprehensive error-handling mechanisms to capture, log, and manage exceptions effectively. By handling errors gracefully, the integration solution can continue to operate smoothly even in the event of unexpected issues, minimizing disruptions and ensuring data integrity.

      Optimize Performance:

      Optimize integration performance by minimizing the number of API calls, reducing data payloads, and implementing caching mechanisms to improve response times and scalability. Performance optimization ensures that the integration solution can handle increased workloads efficiently without sacrificing reliability or user experience.

      Test Rigorously:

      Conduct thorough testing across various scenarios, including functional, performance, and security. Rigorous testing helps validate the integration solution’s functionality, identify potential issues or vulnerabilities, and ensure that it meets business requirements and performance expectations before deployment.

      Wrapping Up

      Salesforce integration patterns are a toolkit to create a unified ecosystem where data can be utilized to build resilient business environments. As data-backed decision-making is gaining significance, these integration patterns are poised to become a key differentiator for businesses seeking to thrive in competition. However, critical aspects such as data security, scalability, adaptability, and collaboration require constant attention from stakeholders to ensure smoother data flow and minimize errors.

      Remember, a well-integrated Salesforce ecosystem is a powerful tool. By strategically implementing these integration patterns, you can transform your Salesforce platform into a dynamic and connected environment that empowers your teams to deliver exceptional customer experiences.

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      Our team of Salesforce experts can help you connect your systems and empower your teams with unified processes. Simply drop us an email at [email protected] and we will take it up from there.

      Statistical References:

      [i] Deloitte Digital

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