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Integration 101: Buying vs. Building

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Integration 101: Buying vs. Building

Identifying A Need To Integrate

How can you tell if your business needs an integration solution for Salesforce? If you are using multiple systems, chances are that integration between systems could increase productivity and streamline your workflow. With so many different systems, switching back and forth between each one to access data can be a real pain.  And what happens when it’s time to update data in one system? With integration, data and processes can be shared between systems to make life a whole lot easier. With a 360-degree view of your customers, decisions can be made and steps can be taken to improve your business.

When it comes to integrating your systems with Salesforce, you have two main choices: using an existing integration framework or building your own. For most companies, we recommend checking out the existing applications on Salesforce AppExchange as a first step.

Important Note: Salesforce API is only available on the Enterprise and unlimited editions. Most applications require API, and it can be purchased as an addon to the professional edition.

What is Salesforce AppExchange?

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AppExchange is a one-stop shop for applications that extend the abilities of the Salesforce platform. There are thousands of solutions available on AppExchange for immediate installation, and more are added each day. For any add-on functionality, AppExchange is easily searchable. In addition to a search bar, AppExchange also boasts personalized recommendations and collections that group similar applications for easier selection.

Every app on AppExchange is transparent and customized for Salesforce. Some are Salesforce Native (built 100% on the platform), and some are built externally. There are hundreds of department and industry-specific apps that can help any business thrive. If you are having trouble choosing between several different apps, you can read peer reviews to get a more sound idea of your options. It may be better to go with a solution that has a solid community backing it if you are on the fence about moving forward with an integration. Additionally, support and updates are available on a regular basis for many different apps. If you are having trouble, you can easily find an answer to your problems.

If you are looking to add power to your platform, AppExchange also offers mobile solutions. Every app on AppExchange is prescreened by Salesforce, so you can be confident installing and using all solutions. Additionally, around 40% of all apps are free of charge. If you want to browse the free applications, go to the All Apps page and sort by using a filter. While there are thousands of apps available on AppExchange, it is not the only option if you are looking for an integration solution.

Why Might I Want To Develop My Own Solution?

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If you can’t find what you are looking for on AppExchange, it may be time to consider internal development. While it can be more expensive to perform and support, you are guaranteed to get exactly what you want. Any custom changes or code updates are completely under your control. This is especially a viable option if you are using internally custom developed systems instead of out-of-the box solutions for your business.

When it comes to the way your systems are integrated, an in-house solution can be more flexible. For many companies, specifics like housing the data from one system within Salesforce versus referencing it from an external system can make or break the integration’s success. Determining if you want to access, update, or create data through your integration is important to many use cases, and custom solutions can be designed to accommodate these criteria.

If you need help developing a custom integration solution for your business, Ntegro can help with that! Our team of Salesforce architects and developers can work closely with you to design a custom application for your specific needs. Get in touch with us online and your first consultation is free!

Want to learn about some of the most popular apps on AppExchange? Stay tuned for next week’s article about trending apps you should know about! Have a suggestion about an article or a question you need answered? Drop a comment below and we will see what we can do for you!

Brian Wong
walkswithpen@gmail.com