Handling back-end data with Salesforce and MuleSoft
Here at Rackspace Technology, we always look for creative ways to solve technical challenges, such as how to make data available across applications.
For example, how can we make data from back-end systems visible to sales or customer-service users in Salesforce®? The simplest way to do this is to sync the data between the systems by using a scheduled batch process to extract, transform, and then load the data from the external systems into Salesforce.
However, this approach often proves troublesome, particularly if you need to sync large volumes of reference data in Salesforce, which is inefficient. Similarly, if the data in question contains sensitive information, this might bring up compliance issues. So, what alternatives are there to that simple approach?
For scenarios like these, we recommend that you use Salesforce Connect and MuleSoft®.
Salesforce Connect takes data residing in external applications and makes that data available to users in Salesforce similar to normal objects, like opportunities or cases. That way, the data visibility is seamless for users, and Connect handles field visibility and page layouts in the same way that Salesforce does.
The advantage is that data from these external data sources does not reside on the Salesforce platform. Instead, Connect retrieves the data in real-time when a user needs it, such as invoice records for a given account. Connect uses an application programmer interface (API) for the external system that uses the Open Data Protocol (OData) standard. If the external system already provides an API endpoint, setting up the rest is easy.
But what happens if you have multiple back-end applications you want to expose in Salesforce, or if your applications don't provide OData endpoints? That's where a tool like MuleSoft comes in.
MuleSoft is a leading API and integration platform that allows organizations to build, deploy, publish, and share APIs and data integrations by using various integration patterns. In this scenario, we recommend using MuleSoft to build an OData-compliant API layer on top of the back-end systems so that you can easily access data in Salesforce. For example, Salesforce Connect makes an API call to the OData endpoint built on MuleSoft. Then you configure MuleSoft to query the back-end systems and format the response to send back to Salesforce. MuleSoft has a variety of pre-built application and technology connectors for Oracle®, SAP®, Amazon S3, and databases using a Java® Database Connectivity (JDBC) connection, as shown in the following image:
The solution, then, is to perform the following tasks:
Use Salesforce Connect to surface external data.
Use Salesforce Connect to connect to an OData-compliant API endpoint provided by MuleSoft.
Configure MuleSoft to handle the integration with the back-end systems and return the data to the MuleSoft API. This step makes the data available to users in Salesforce.
Rackspace and Salesforce
If your organization uses back-end data with Salesforce similar to the preceding scenario, we can help. Get in touch with the Rackspace experts.
Rackspace as your integration partner
Rackspace Integration and API Management Services, based on MuleSoft, offer you a route to easy and significant improvement in your enterprise application processes by using the adoption of APIs. We provide an established framework to manage APIs easily, speeding up workflows, and reducing human intervention and errors. The Rackspace team does this through a combination of expert professional services with MuleSoft software solutions. Rackspace is a MuleSoft Select Partner.
Our long history of hosting, integrating, and managing legacy enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) systems for thousands of customers worldwide makes us a leader in application integration. Our partnership with MuleSoft, the world's leading vendor of iPaaS and API management tools, further strengthens our ability to serve you.
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