Force.Com – A Force to Reckon With In Web-Aligned Application Integration

Salesforce, as the undisputed leader in the intensely competitive sector of on-demand services, has assisted thousands of customers, big and small, to substantially reduce the risk, project timelines, and cost involved with conventional enterprise software. Salesforce now offers a complete alignment with the web, in keeping with the paradigm shift towards adopting the web as a universal platform, with Connect. This is a continuation of the company’s mission to assist IT departments streamline business application delivery.

Minimizing Application Integration Risks comprises five different integration solutions that allow businesses to fully leverage their investment in the existing InfoTech infrastructure at minimal additional effort and cost to minimize the risks associated with application integration. A multitude of customers integrates Salesforce CRM solutions on a daily basis with a large assortment of endpoints ranging from custom, legacy, and packaged applications from vendors like Oracle, SAP, and Microsoft. The challenge of having data distributed all across the organization in different systems, departments, and individual desktops is among the most problematic issues faced by organizations. Having the data in scattered silos negatively impacts user productivity, an efficiency of processes, customer satisfaction, as well as ultimately, the business profitability.

The Strategic Importance of Application Integration

As per a recent survey of 100 top-management executives by IDC, the No.1 IT goal of businesses remains application integration. Gartner, in a different study, observes that irrespective of the size of the business, approximately 35% of the company’s total budget for application design, development as well as maintenance is gobbled up by application integration. Conventional integration efforts involving proprietary systems are also by and large difficult to execute, and relatively expensive. The resulting solutions of the integration exercises were also extremely difficult or impossible to alter because generally either the point-point connections were very tightly coupled or there was a requirement of intricate middleware solutions.

Web Service Integration Made Easier

Salesforce has launched Connect with an intention to provide easier and better alternatives for web service integration, desktop applications, enterprise applications, and specialized applications like CTI telephony. According to the Beagle Research Group, it is not possible to perform an integration exercise in the absence of either a strategy for integration or the platform. Connect provides users with a set of technologies that are specifically intended to reduce the complexity associated with application integration and the customer’s time to realize value from the exercise. AMR Research echoes the feeling by observing that the real core competency of Salesforce lies in its ability to manage huge data volumes as well as a transaction in a very cost-effective manner. Version control systems like Salesforce Git and Salesforce GitHub allow faster and more accurate integration.

Delivering Multiple Benefits

The multitenant architecture that Salesforce has is unique – a common infrastructure is shared by all its users and applications and the code base is centrally-maintained. This is the key to its immense success because integrations once carried out, simply do not break. The multitenant platform architecture is also common to the Connect platform, which along with the Web Services API and the large integration partner network come together to deliver a number of integration benefits.
Integrations can now be very rapidly executed- this means that the conventional project execution period is cut down from months to often weeks, if not days. The presence of a sole API that is platform-based ensures that support to a number of platforms and their versions are no longer necessary. The API is designed to deliver access to all Salesforce applications as well as metadata and data. Customers are now assured that they are free to choose application vendors that suit them as it is guaranteed that the solutions will work in their existing IT environment. The huge transaction volumes racked up by the multitude of Salesforce customers on the API mean that all customers benefit by the evolution of best practices, and the resultant expertise accumulated by its partners. Connect gets across all the benefits of integration without back-breaking complexity leaving precious IT resources to create additional business value by leveraging their core competencies better.
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