Salesforce Connect is an exciting new App Cloud integration service that empowers Salesforce users to access and manage data in external apps, whether on-premise or cloud, directly from Salesforce. With Salesforce Connect, your business can be more productive and agile, and deliver new levels of customer success.

We live in an API economy. APIs connect the apps that we use in our personal lives and deliver real-time access to data and services from any device. When you open Google Maps and search for a restaurant, you can also reserve a table via OpenTable’s API and book an Uber car with the Uber API, without ever leaving the Google Maps app. The growth and popularity of API standards like REST and OData have made it easier than ever for developers to create and connect apps. APIs have transformed our app experiences as consumers, and we now have similar expectations for the apps we use at work.

Salesforce and the API Imperative

Salesforce has been focused on simplifying integration and connecting apps in the enterprise since its earliest days. In 2000, we released version one of the Salesforce API, an early web-based API, and we have adopted an “API-first” approach across all our products ever since. Over 50 percent of the more than four billion transactions that we process every day are through the Salesforce API. And hundreds of pre-built connectors on the AppExchange and a thriving ecosystem of integration partners like Jitterbit, Mulesoft and Informatica help our customers connect Salesforce with traditional on-premise apps such as SAP and Oracle as well as cloud apps like Workday and Netsuite.  At Salesforce, we don’t think integration should be a pain, but rather an opportunity to implement innovative business processes that connect people to company-wide data, anytime, anywhere, so they can be more responsive to customer needs.  We live in the age of the customer.  We should be able to run our business from our phone. It’s all part of the digital transformation every company is making. 

Introducing Salesforce Connect

We took another dramatic leap forward last year when we unveiled Lightning Connect, a service that allows developers and business admins to build real-time integrations with external data sources fast, without writing any code. Today, we’re delivering the next generation of Lightning Connect that will enable businesses to do much more. Today we’re announcing Salesforce Connect, which allows your workforce to not only access customer data sitting in the back office, but to proactively manage it, empowering people to connect and collaborate in an agile way, and be even more responsive to customers. Salesforce Connect capabilities include:

  • Read/Write - With Salesforce Connect, Salesforce users can now create, read, update and delete records in various external sources--such as order management, receivables, or inventory management systems--in real-time, directly from Salesforce.  Salesforce Connect is all about delivering a connected app experience and empowering people with the most up-to-date information, whenever and wherever they want it.

    • Zenefits used Salesforce Connect to integrate its data warehouse with the Sales Cloud, giving sales reps a 360-degree, real-time view of customer policy and benefits information.  Sales reps no longer need to switch between seven applications, and the company has seen a dramatic reduction in data discrepancy. The integration took only two days.  

    • The service reps at O.C. Tanner, a human resources consulting company, needed a way to bring down call resolution times.  Being able to search, access and edit order data without leaving Salesforce was key.  The company used Salesforce Connect to build and deploy real-time integration from Service Cloud to SAP in just hours, and was able to reduce call resolution time by 50 percent.  

  • Custom Adapters - With Salesforce Connect, you can also write simple Apex adapters that allow you to connect to API’s that aren’t in the OData format. This allows developers to easily connect Salesforce to any web API, as well as connect to the more than 10,000 public API’s available on the Internet. You can find additional information on how to use the Adapters here

  • Salesforce Connector - If you have multiple Salesforce “orgs,” or instances, in your company--whether across regions, subsidiaries, or functions--you can now easily connect them without writing a single line of code. Company mergers, for example, often brought with them the challenge of integrating disparate instances of Salesforce.  No longer.

When you integrate your apps with Salesforce Connect, you empower your employees to gain real-time visibility into customer data, enabling them to be more productive and to serve customers more proactively.  

It’s hard to find a part of our digital lives that APIs don’t touch. Without them, our Fitbits couldn’t talk to our phones; our Google Calendars wouldn’t sync. The impact on our work lives is no different, and arguably more profound. If CIOs are up all night, it shouldn’t be because they can’t deliver connected apps. It should be because they are excited about the opportunity to innovate and deliver business value. It should be because they are thinking about connecting their employees, about empowering them to collaborate as one team to help their customers succeed.

To learn how to empower your employees with connected apps, try out Salesforce Connect on Trailhead today.