One of Salesforce’s biggest selling points is the fact that it can integrate smoothly with third party services of other base purposes, and making avail of their services to extend its own power. It does this through its exposed API and uses its App Exchange to offer these extensions. This has made Salesforce so much more than it could ever have been otherwise, and has married the power of many revolutionary SaaS solutions to a solid CRM backbone. Salesforce bi directional sync is just one of these major things.
However, what’s unique about Salesforce bi directional sync is that it’s not something that all integrations with other services do through Salesforce. With bi directional sync, the exchange works in both directions. In some cases, this isn’t necessary.
Interop with document creation suites for report compilations, update outputs and some softer email campaigns really only require one way communication to an exterior service, or receiving data from them.
But, sometimes, parallelism is needed, such as with financial software, more advanced mailing campaigns and other database services and the like. That is what bi directional sync is about.
Any software or application for Salesforce which offers this, is actually offering you two way communication with the other service, so that records are synchronized. Writes or changes to either affects both in tandem, and export to and from each others’ retention formats is also standard. You’ll want to choose this as often as possible for a deciding factor in what apps you use, especially when you have many choices for any particular solution.
QuickBooks uses this system, as do some of the email mass marketing tools, and a lot of BI software also has some source of this, to help with leads and campaigns that use abstracts like social outreach and sleek Google ad utilities.
There’s really not a lot to say by way of advice for this sort of thing, because the nature of setting it up depends on the application in question, but it’s usually tremendously simple to do. Usually, dashboards with simple one click procedures to utilize the exchange between and mapping between the two services.
Others, which may be more advanced, require some skill with mapping records, forms and analyses together properly, so that things exchange from and to what they are intended. Messing this up could be calamitous, so if you know you’ll be working with this more advanced scenario, be sure to learn what you are doing before you map anything critical.
Finally, be sure to take advantage of the backup abilities with Salesforce bi directional sync in most apps using it. Your records will be simultaneously backed up, and the links between them preserved, in a lot of cases, meaning that if anything happens, you’re backed up all around, as is any set of records brought on by the sync itself. Backups are valuable, and you need to take that seriously. Precautions like that are a big selling point for a lot of SaaS, so the fact that so many people overlook that particular aspect of this technology is absolutely a crying shame. There’s not much else to say about this, though.