Salesforce Integration Patterns and The Way of Connecting Apps

I sincerely hope nobody expects me to go over and outline several specific Salesforce integration patterns for connecting apps, because not only is that extremely redundant (they are documented in white papers by Force.com), but it’s not what we do on this specific blog. However, given so many people are curious as to how integration works between different SaaS applications, especially in such a famous scenario as Salesforce, this does merit a little discussion.

See, in programming, there are standard components that work for different things written together. All developers agree to these standard protocols, libraries, architectures and APIs or the like. This is basically the same ideology behind Salesforce integration patterns for connecting apps.

Well, Mostly

In truth, this is just one definition of the concept, but it’s the most common. These patterns represent different calls, queries, field values and other such things. When apps for Salesforce are written, or another service is given functionality to integrate, these patterns dictate what needs to connect to where and what data passed or requested from where, for them to be unified.

In some cases, these patterns are guidelines for people to follow in designing the queries and calls and other aspects of coding and mapping. Other times, they are components used directly by one or the other, so it knows what to do.

Why We Should Study These Salesforce Integration Patterns

Well, even if we’re not designing any apps, or designing the integration of services ourselves, understanding the conflicting interests of the internal designs of Salesforce and any other given system is very helpful. We know what is or isn’t feasible, and as a result, we don’t expect things that cannot be done, nor attempt things like that and waste our time.

Along with this, we make better decisions for what SaaS services we use for different needs, because we understand what can and cannot work together, regardless of how precarious your definition of “working” may actually be in this instance.

Finally, sometimes these patterns mean guidelines for the synchronization of these tools oneself. Manual mappings, imports and exports of things so that the two can talk, and know where to be and what to do in order to accomplish it.

Since this is sometimes manual (as this makes it more open for wider ranges of integration), we should know what we are doing. That is why I say that everyone should read Force.com’s white paper on these patterns, because it provides the technical overview of the various kinds of these which I alluded to before.

It’s also right from the horse’s mouth as it were. If anyone were qualified to explain and illustrate those on a technical sense, it would in fact be them. Their support and documentation care has always been part of their good name and exemplary reputation, so you know this documentation would be good.

What I wanted to do here, I have accomplished. I have demystified what these more or less are in simple terms, and explained why they are so important. So, if you want to learn more about Salesforce integration patterns for connecting apps, just take a look at that white paper, and you’ll be good to go.

Amanda McDonnald
Amanda is the Lead Author & Editor of Rainforce Blog. Amanda established the Rainforce blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Salesforce usage.
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