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Access outside database from within salesforce

can i access one of my server databases from within salesforce?.
Brendan LallyBrendan Lally
u can easily link to an external website via S-Control, URL links, VF pages etc..
so that is a seperate pop-up window or inline via iframe

if u are programatically trying to access your external db then thats a bit hard and u need 2 know how your db is 'exposted' (rest, soap etc..)
U can access that data and pull back into SF via HTTP access, SOAP call etc.. but need more info on how your ext db is setup

so i can run a python cgi script from salesforce?. How would i do this in visualforce?.
Brendan LallyBrendan Lally
You cannot run a cgi script in SF but you can run Apex/S-Control code within SF (via triggers, workflow, called from VF/S-Controls etc.) that "calls out" to an external web service.

This ext web service (running Python cgi code on your/hosted server) can then 'service' that call coming in from SF (from your org), process it, read your db (reading params passed etc.) and send results back up.
Your SF appl then 'reads' in the results from that call and saves 2 your objects, executes other code (Apex classes) etc..

If you want VisualForce (VF) (which is just a front-end replacment giving you more control) then it has access to data and methods on back-end Apex code which can do whatever u need.

Here's an example of calling ext web services and passing parms - https://na5.salesforce.com/help/doc/user_ed.jsp?section=help&target=useful_advanced_formulas.htm&loc=help&hash=AppAPILink

Mashup examples - http://wiki.apexdevnet.com/index.php/Mashups:_The_What_and_Why

Calling via a button - http://community.salesforce.com/sforce/board/message?board.id=general_development&message.id=21705

Calling via Apex to .Net - http://community.salesforce.com/sforce/board/message?board.id=NET_development&thread.id=6098

Calling into SF via API - http://wiki.apexdevnet.com/index.php/API

Python dev is in here - http://community.salesforce.com/sforce/board?board.id=PerlDevelopment