Salesforce Integration with Office 365, SharePoint and 100+

 

Salesforce data can be integrated and synchronized codeless with various other data sources, on-premises or in the cloud, using the Layer2 Cloud Connector via 3rd party providers. Please take a look here for supported systems and applications.​​​​

 

Office 365 and SharePoint INtegration with Salesforce

 

 

To connect to Salesforce data the data source entity must be configured as follows in the Layer2 Cloud Connector Connection Manager:

 

Example: Configuration Settings for Salesforce connection

Fig. Example connection configuration to connect to Salesforce account data.

Salesforce Integration and Synchronization Specific Settings

 

​Please note the following specific settings.

 

  • You will need 3rd party data providers to connect to Salesforce via Layer2 Cloud Connector.
  • Progress offers an ADO.NET data provider for Salesforce that works with the Cloud Connector bi-directionally. See this blog entry about how to connect via Progress DataDirect Driver for Salesforce and ODBC.
  • DevArt also offers an ADO.NET data provider for Salesforce that works with the Cloud Connector (originally read-only, now supports read/write).
  • Select the locally installed data provider to connect.
  • The connection string depends on data provider. Please find documentation there or ask the vendor.
  • Retrieve a security token from Salesforce.
  • No installation or modification is required on the Salesforce side.
  • The data query depends on data provider. typically SQL-like select statements are supported to query Salesforce data entities. 
  • You can map the resulting data fields to specific external fields in the Layer2 Cloud Connector. Please take care about data types (simple type conversions are supported).
  • Please enter an appropriate primary key (column with unique values), depending on query (see data preview for this).
  • You can use the connection for uni- or bi-directional synchronization. In case of inserts (full CRUD) via external systems please take care of the primary key. Salesforce-side IDs will not work in his case.
  • No installation or changes are required at the Salesforce data source or data destination.
  • Data synchronization can be started manually in the Connection Manager, per command line or scheduled in background by the Layer2 Cloud Connector Windows Service. Only data changes are processed (no delete / bulk import).
  • No programming required for setup a connection and sync.
  • No need to open your local network for access from outside.

Saleforce Integration - Known Issues and Workarounds

  • In case of any issues with the dotConnect .NET data provider you can also go the ODBC way to connect to SalesForce. See this blog entry about how to connect via Progress DataDirect Driver for Salesforce and ODBC. You will find a more general step-by-step intro about Cloud Connector and ODBC here.
  • The Data Direct provider from Progress caches the schema for the Saleforce fields. After adding a new field, you may not be able to find it with the select statement (error [42S22] Column Not Found in Statement) as the cache is stale. To update it, go to the ODBC driver settings on the host machine, click on the Advanced tab, and check the box for the option "Refresh Schema". Save the DSN and try to access the data again. The schema should refresh and the column will be available.
  • The DevArt Dotconnect provider caches schema for the Salesforce fields. After adding a new field you do not see it in the data preview or the mapping, you may need to clear the cache. The caching functionality is explained here and you will need to delete the cache files, usually located here: C:\Users\{user name}\AppData\Roaming
  • The Data Direct provider from Progress has some odd behavior regarding using "Select *" for the select statement in a connection that writes TO SalesForce. It will throw an error "[HY000]...Unable to create/update fields", unless you specifically select which fields you want to pull in the table.
  • Not all versions of Salesforce have the API functionality available. If you are using a version that doesn't have it available, then you will get an error "API_DISABLED_FOR_ORG". Please see Salesforce Help's document Enabling API for more information on which versions have the API functionality and what to do if you need it enabled.
  • All data providers support just structured data, no blobs, files or other documents for sync. You can workaround by providing the documents on a local file share for sync to SharePoint or OneDrive fo Business.
  • There's an additional provider from Simba, but we have found this has issues with writing to SalesForce when used with Cloud Connector. So with Simba, SalesForce is supported as read-only. If you need to write to SalesForce, please try the Progress Data Direct provider mentioned in the Specific Settings above as we have confirmed that it works.
  • The DevArt ODBC driver has been confirmed to support read and write. It has the same issue the Data Direct provider has though, where you must define the fields in the select statement to get writing to work. You cannot use "Select *".
  • The Chatter functionality is not fully supported by the known providers - you may be able to acces some parts of it as read-only, but you cannot write to Chatter objects.

Step-by-Step Intros For Salesforce Data Integration and Synchronization

 

Just some interesting scenarios to sync Salesforce data with almost any other system or application:

 

  • Sync with local SQL or SQL Azure for better reporting.
  • Sync with Microsoft Exchange (on-premises or online) for notifications, tasks, calendar events, mobile access and offline availability on any device.
  • Sync with 3rd party tools based on SQL databases like Oracle, mySQL or Microsoft SQL Server.
  • Sync with Microsoft SharePoint or Office 365 for better collaboration (for example with customers or partners) or for intranet publishing.

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