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Andy Kallio 7Andy Kallio 7 

OData Connection build or buy?

Hi Everyone,
We are interested in using salesforce connect to connect to postgres db hosted on AWS. I understand my options to be the following:

  • implement OData on AWS (build it)
  • use a tool to help with OData on AWS (buy it). The 2 I have played are Skyvia and DataDirect Cloud
  • use the Apex Connector Framework (build it)

I'm writing this post in the hope that someone else out here has already wrestled with these options and would be willing to share some advice. I have only had a quick play with Skyvia and DataDirect Cloud, and both seem to have issues...if results are not as expected, it is difficult to debug. Are these tools worth spending anymore time...can they be made to work with a little more persistence? Are there any similar products that are better?

As far as the 2 build options go....you're talking to a salesforce admin that can hack a bit of Apex, and psql, but that's about it....I have read the docs on apex connector framework and it seems feasible, but I have no idea how this would compare to building on AWS. So, it would be great if someone could provide a quick comparison on the differences to these 2 approaches. 

 

Thanks!!!

Ashish DevAshish Dev
Well, I have only used out of the box OData supported data source, But below are my opinions.
1) If budget is not constraint then go for cloud hosted services like you mentioned, they can provide you good support and can help you implement your requirements if not already met.
2) If you have some java guys you can deploy and configure some existing odata java middleware for protocol conversion. Additionally it cost cloud resources.
3) Your best bet would be salesforce connector custom adapter as you mentioned. It would be cost effective if you already have some salesforce developers.

Let me know if you want to discuss in more detail.
Andy Kallio 7Andy Kallio 7

Hey Ashish. Thanks for this!

My account manager put me in touch with an engineer at salesforce. He actually recommended the apex connector framework as the last option. He said it's not a 'first class citizen of the platoform' and will have limits that won't come with the others. So, right now we are investigating the different tools. I've learned since this post that there are a lot beyond what I mentoned above that will turn a psql into an odata provider. A lot of the etl tools seem to have this capability. So we are playing with Jitterbit now, and others that we have found are boomi and informatica. Unfortunately, none of them support OData4, which is the only version that will allow read/write from salesforce. 

 

We do have some java guys and we're going to put them on the case too... begining next week. 

 

Ashish DevAshish Dev
Your last post if very informative.
Good luck 👍
debikendebiken
@Andy Kallio 7 Hi Andy, we are faced with a similar dillema, sold SF Connect, now have to figure out the best way to expose our on-prem SQL Server data in an oData format for connecting to external data source with Connect.  Curious as to what direction you ended up with?
Andy Kallio 7Andy Kallio 7

@debiken   Sorry to say but we gave up on it. Our develepor and I worked in parallel. After exploring a few of the etl tools I settled on jitterbit. I made good progress and if I remember correctly it did everything required of it.

We just started to run into issues with connected objects in salesforce and what could be done with them.

I'm not sure where the developer got with his project...I think he was almost done, but then other priorities took over....in other words I don't think it's that big of a job for an experienced developer. My suspicion of going custom was that although it would be cheaper, it wouldn't have the flexibility of jitterbit, but never got a chance to confirm that with actual usage. 

Ultimately, we didn't like salesforce connect. When i was working on it, I remember thinking that it was really good at the one use case that it is presented with in the documentation and marketing, which is using the connected objects as related lists from existing objects, but when it came to reports with connected objects and relationships between connected objects we were having issues.

That said, this knowledge is at least a year old now....I haven't paid attention to the tool since then....hopefully you have a better experience. Good Luck!