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Which vendors have provided integration product for Salesforce.com?

Hi, all

 

Can someone tell me which vendors provided integration product for salesforce.com? Does Oracle or IBM have? We are searching a integration vendor for our business.

 

thanks

Best Answer chosen by Admin (Salesforce Developers) 
Rick.BanisterRick.Banister

Great question.  First of all, understand the competitive landscape. Also understand a key concept -- data replication vs. ETL. Data replication is used to create a relational database on your server that looks like Salesforce.com's data, making it easier to do sophisticated reporting, provide an audit trail in some cases, and provie an integration data source that is easy to work with. ETL is Extract Transform Load processes between two data sources. ETL products are ill suited to data replication because they don't adapt to Salesforce.com schema changes.

 

Oracle has its own CRM product. The founder of Oracle, Larry Ellison, was an early investor in Salesforce.com, was at one time Marc Benioff's boss at Oracle, but is now a competitor with Salesforce. So naturally Oracle does not have a product for Salesforce.com integration.

 

IBM does not invent products, they buy companies. Their latest acquisition is CastIron, which invented an integration "appliance" that added a Salesforce adaptor in 2005. CastIron is ETL, meaning that it is designed for point-to-point integration, in either appliance, cloud, or "virtual appliance" mode. "Virtual appliance" is a new marketing term that means "software that you install on your own server." There is a "wizard" that can help you create a database schema that looks like your Saleforce data, but it doesn't adapt to changes in the Salesforce schema, so is not true replication.

 

Pervasive has one of the oldest integration (ETL) products, the result of acquiring a company that had a product called Data Junction. It uses a fat client with drop-and-drag development. They are one of the oldest players in Salesforce.com integration, but not the most innovative. There is a "wizard" that can help you create a database schema that looks like your Saleforce data, but it doesn't adapt to changes in the Salesforce schema, so is not true replication.

 

BlueWolf is a consulting firm that has both a uni-directional (Salesforce to a database) data replication product and an ETL product.  They use this product in their consulting engagements. Despite having a web-based interface for data mapping, you still have to code SQL stored procedures to develop your integrations. Certain Salesforce schema changes require the data replication product to drop tables, which is disruptive to using the tables for reporting.

 

Scribe has a Windows-only ETL product that works with Salesforce and a lot of other data sources. It's very flexible, but requires a bit of training. It's also not the fastest product on the market, and won't do data replication.

 

Sesame Software (my company) has a bi-directional replication product and a database-to-database ETL product that allows integration developers to write native SQL select, insert, and update statements, or stored procedures, using a web-based interface. Advantages of this approach are that SQL developers are readily available, you don't have to spend weeks in training, and you can write integrations in the native language of the database. Relational Junction's data replication product is the most scaleable because it has a patent-pending technique to segment the data into bite-sized date ranges. Meaning, it can handle millions of records at a time without having to start from scratch when the inevitable hiccup happens in the middle of the job. Everything is restartable at the point of failure, so it's super reliable. The prodduct has been used by customers both huge and small since 2004.

 

Informatica has many products that work with Salesforce. Therefore, you'll have to buy a lot of products to do the complete set of tasks that you probably need to accomplish. PowerCenter is a locally installed ETL product with a desktop client that has a Salesforce adapter. This product is super expensive and requires weeks of training. They also have web-based products that use PowerCenter as the engine. This gives the appearance of not having to maintain the product on your sever, but in fact the only part of the solution that sits on Informatica's servers is the configuration applet. The run-time engine sits on your server. Informatica's replication engine is an all-or-nothing process; if it fails, you have to start the replication over from the beginning, making it impossible to get around Salesforce.com's API limitation of about one million records in a single query.

 

Boomi is a new company that was recently acquired by Dell. They have a cloud-based ETL tool, but no data replication. They offer "Atoms", which are really "computer programs" that do point-to-point integration.

 

Avankia is a fairly new company that has inexpensive data replication products (dbSync) for Salesforce.com and QuickBooks. Integration is done by consultants in India. We have several customers who were previously Avankia customers, and they were not happy with the off-shore model. Your mileage may vary.

 

I've ommitted a few new companies who may want to chime in, but these are the key players in Salesforce integration. You'll have to decide

  • whether you want ETL and/or replication
  • whether it's important that your integration solution is cloud-based or if that's just marketing hype (think -- why would you care where the software sits?)
  •  how important customer service is, and whether you get better customer service from a U.S.-based company or an off-shore company, a large company where you deal with a new person every time you have an issue or a small company where you build a relationship with the same people
  • what you're willing to pay for the solution
  • whether to purchase from an experienced vendor or an upstart. How many years of experience does the vendor have with Salesforce.com. Newer products aren't going to be as robust or reliable as products that have been around awhile. Do they support the current Salesforce API?
  • whether to purchase a solution that fits the skill set of your existing staff or you intend to rely on outside consultants or the vendor itself. Drop-and-drag interfaces are amazing to look at in a demo, but what's the learning curve? If the vendor offers a PhD-level series of course offerings, it's probably because you can't use the product without that extensive training.

There are many companies in this space offering a wide and sometimes intentionally confusing variety of technology. I hope this was helpful and not too self-serving.

All Answers

Rick.BanisterRick.Banister

Great question.  First of all, understand the competitive landscape. Also understand a key concept -- data replication vs. ETL. Data replication is used to create a relational database on your server that looks like Salesforce.com's data, making it easier to do sophisticated reporting, provide an audit trail in some cases, and provie an integration data source that is easy to work with. ETL is Extract Transform Load processes between two data sources. ETL products are ill suited to data replication because they don't adapt to Salesforce.com schema changes.

 

Oracle has its own CRM product. The founder of Oracle, Larry Ellison, was an early investor in Salesforce.com, was at one time Marc Benioff's boss at Oracle, but is now a competitor with Salesforce. So naturally Oracle does not have a product for Salesforce.com integration.

 

IBM does not invent products, they buy companies. Their latest acquisition is CastIron, which invented an integration "appliance" that added a Salesforce adaptor in 2005. CastIron is ETL, meaning that it is designed for point-to-point integration, in either appliance, cloud, or "virtual appliance" mode. "Virtual appliance" is a new marketing term that means "software that you install on your own server." There is a "wizard" that can help you create a database schema that looks like your Saleforce data, but it doesn't adapt to changes in the Salesforce schema, so is not true replication.

 

Pervasive has one of the oldest integration (ETL) products, the result of acquiring a company that had a product called Data Junction. It uses a fat client with drop-and-drag development. They are one of the oldest players in Salesforce.com integration, but not the most innovative. There is a "wizard" that can help you create a database schema that looks like your Saleforce data, but it doesn't adapt to changes in the Salesforce schema, so is not true replication.

 

BlueWolf is a consulting firm that has both a uni-directional (Salesforce to a database) data replication product and an ETL product.  They use this product in their consulting engagements. Despite having a web-based interface for data mapping, you still have to code SQL stored procedures to develop your integrations. Certain Salesforce schema changes require the data replication product to drop tables, which is disruptive to using the tables for reporting.

 

Scribe has a Windows-only ETL product that works with Salesforce and a lot of other data sources. It's very flexible, but requires a bit of training. It's also not the fastest product on the market, and won't do data replication.

 

Sesame Software (my company) has a bi-directional replication product and a database-to-database ETL product that allows integration developers to write native SQL select, insert, and update statements, or stored procedures, using a web-based interface. Advantages of this approach are that SQL developers are readily available, you don't have to spend weeks in training, and you can write integrations in the native language of the database. Relational Junction's data replication product is the most scaleable because it has a patent-pending technique to segment the data into bite-sized date ranges. Meaning, it can handle millions of records at a time without having to start from scratch when the inevitable hiccup happens in the middle of the job. Everything is restartable at the point of failure, so it's super reliable. The prodduct has been used by customers both huge and small since 2004.

 

Informatica has many products that work with Salesforce. Therefore, you'll have to buy a lot of products to do the complete set of tasks that you probably need to accomplish. PowerCenter is a locally installed ETL product with a desktop client that has a Salesforce adapter. This product is super expensive and requires weeks of training. They also have web-based products that use PowerCenter as the engine. This gives the appearance of not having to maintain the product on your sever, but in fact the only part of the solution that sits on Informatica's servers is the configuration applet. The run-time engine sits on your server. Informatica's replication engine is an all-or-nothing process; if it fails, you have to start the replication over from the beginning, making it impossible to get around Salesforce.com's API limitation of about one million records in a single query.

 

Boomi is a new company that was recently acquired by Dell. They have a cloud-based ETL tool, but no data replication. They offer "Atoms", which are really "computer programs" that do point-to-point integration.

 

Avankia is a fairly new company that has inexpensive data replication products (dbSync) for Salesforce.com and QuickBooks. Integration is done by consultants in India. We have several customers who were previously Avankia customers, and they were not happy with the off-shore model. Your mileage may vary.

 

I've ommitted a few new companies who may want to chime in, but these are the key players in Salesforce integration. You'll have to decide

  • whether you want ETL and/or replication
  • whether it's important that your integration solution is cloud-based or if that's just marketing hype (think -- why would you care where the software sits?)
  •  how important customer service is, and whether you get better customer service from a U.S.-based company or an off-shore company, a large company where you deal with a new person every time you have an issue or a small company where you build a relationship with the same people
  • what you're willing to pay for the solution
  • whether to purchase from an experienced vendor or an upstart. How many years of experience does the vendor have with Salesforce.com. Newer products aren't going to be as robust or reliable as products that have been around awhile. Do they support the current Salesforce API?
  • whether to purchase a solution that fits the skill set of your existing staff or you intend to rely on outside consultants or the vendor itself. Drop-and-drag interfaces are amazing to look at in a demo, but what's the learning curve? If the vendor offers a PhD-level series of course offerings, it's probably because you can't use the product without that extensive training.

There are many companies in this space offering a wide and sometimes intentionally confusing variety of technology. I hope this was helpful and not too self-serving.

This was selected as the best answer
LosStevensLosStevens

You can also checkout www.informaticacloud.com these guys are the biggest user of the SFDC api for integration. You can be up and running in minutes with your integration from any database, csv, excel, odbc etc.

 

The focus of the cloud product is on usability and ease. Think the Apple of data integration :-)

SwivelScripterSwivelScripter

At super::tec we have released a Salesforce integration product allowing the integration of Salesforce with any  web and desktop application. Have a look at the demos here : http://www.swivelscript.com/salesforce

Nabamita DeNabamita De

For Data integration, DBSync has a host of connectors with pre-buit solutions to integrate the workflows seamlessly between Salesforce and other software - like Accounting, eCommerce, Inventory, FTP/s and Database. https://www.mydbsync.com/product/ipaas#3423  (https://www.mydbsync.com/product/ipaas#3423 

For Data replication, DBSync provides replication, backup and archiving solution between Salesforce instance and database or another Salesforce instance. Read more about key functions (https://www.mydbsync.com/blogs/dbsync-replication-tool-key-functions/) of the data replication tool.