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Posted in Dreamforce, How-To, Salesforce

Scalable Salesforce Integrations on a Shoestring Budget – Step-by-Step Guide

Welcome to this step-by-step guide on how to implement scalable, low-code and low-budget near real-time Salesforce integrations with third-party systems.
In this post, I will describe how to reproduce the live demo I did during my first Dreamforce session .

EDIT: watch the slides on SlideShare or download the PDF

The reason behind the presented architecture is that I didn’t have any on-premise infrastructure and I had a very limited IT budget so I couldn’t afford a complete ESB.

You will learn how to combine Salesforce Outbound Messages, AWS services, as well as Talend Open Studio for Data Integration.

I promise you it will be very cheap (totally free up to a few thousand records and few hundred thousand transactions), but it takes some time to configure especially if you’re not familiar with some of the tools involved, so please be patient.

Here’s a quick index of the topics:


Context

I needed to integrate, in near real-time, a single Salesforce org with a growing number of ERP systems used by acquired subsidiaries of the Acrotec group.
Given the limited amount of IT budget and no on-premise servers to run my integration jobs, after some research, I found a reasonable solution which I summarize below.

Architecture Schema

You can find below a schematic view of what we’re going to realize in this post:

Prerequisites

In order to follow the steps in this post, you’ll need:

  • A Salesforce org (a free developer org is enough to try this demo)
  • An account on AWS (you can register here)
  • An account on Heroku (you can register here)
    • This one is actually optional, if you didn’t have an account on AWS you are probably eligible for a free RDS database on AWS so you don’t need to create a free database on Heroku.
  • Set up your Eclipse IDE (or IntelliJ) with AWS Toolkit (instructions here)
  • Talend Open Studio for Data Integration (or its commercial version) installed
  • Have some basic knowledge of PostgreSQL, the SQL language and a PostgreSQL compatible client like pgAdmin or DBeaver

Setting up a PostgreSQL database on Heroku

If you already have a PostgreSQL database reachable from Internet, you can skip this section and go to table creation.


Once you’ve logged in on Heroku, all you need to do to obtain a free Heroku Postgres database is to create a new app: https://dashboard.heroku.com/new-app

Choose an appropriate name (Heroku will make sure it is not already taken by someone else) and select a region close to you. I’ll go with Europe.

By default, after creating the app you’ll see the “Deploy” page, but we’re not going to upload any code from a git repository, so please switch to the “Resources” tab:

Under “Add-ons“, search for “Postgres” and select “Heroku Postgres“:

Now you can provision a free “Hobby Dev” tier PostgreSQL DB to your application (which will be limited to 10’000 records and 20 concurrent connections).

If you need additional space for your proof of concept you can consider different plans from Heroku or look at the pricing from AWS or Azure.

After clicking “Provision“, a new resource will be attached as DATABASE on your app and, if you switch to the “Overview” tab, you will also see it there in the list of Installed add-ons:

Click on “Heroku Postgres” under the Installed add-ons to be redirected to https://data.heroku.com where you can monitor all databases you have on Heroku.

On the Overview tab you can monitor some key health information like the amount of open connections and the total amount of records currently stored in your database.

Click on “Settings” tab and on the “View Credentials…” button to take note of your credentials to connect to the database.

Follow the link to the next page to create the tables that will receive your data and continue the configuration.


Posted in Journey To CTA, Salesforce

An Insider View of the Salesforce Architecture – YouTube

I saw this video for the first time a couple of years ago but I like to re-watch it from time to time because it’s so full of useful information about how Salesforce works under the hood.

In my humble opinion, it’s a must-see for any Salesforce Architect on the #JourneyToCTA.

An Insider View of the Salesforce Architecture – Ian Varley

Ian Varley’s blog series on Medium is also a great source of information: http://tiny.cc/salesforce-arch-files

Posted in Dreamforce, Events, Journey To CTA, Salesforce

My first Dreamforce session: Scalable Salesforce Integrations on a Shoestring Budget

This year I will attend my second Dreamforce, in San Francisco, and it will be my first time as a speaker.


Not sure how to describe my current feelings about that… it is a mix of excitement, honor and scare.
I usually lead the Lausanne, Switzerland user group so it’s not my first presentation but talking in a huge conference like Dreamforce is quite a big step.


The reasons behind my session

For the first time this year there will be an Architect Track with dedicated presentations. Since I am on my #JourneyToCTA, I thought it would be good to share a real-life scenario. It might not be the most elegant and orthodox solution but it works, it scales automatically, it’s cheap and low-code…
Not every company can afford a full-fledged ESB, so I propose an alternative solution that other architects can adapt to their needs.


Some detail about the session

The session name is “Scalable Salesforce Integrations on a Shoestring Budget” and, as the name suggests, it’s about low-cost integrations.
I will show how to combine Salesforce features, AWS server-less products and some free open source tool to implement them.
You can find the abstract, bookmark the session and send your comments here.

There will be a live demo but not enough time to go through all details, so I will publish on this blog the slides and a step-by-step guide to reproduce the demo scenario.


Dry Run in Geneva, Switzerland – November, 12th 2019

If you live near Geneva and cannot attend at Dreamforce, there will be a dry run of this session on November 12th.
RSVP on the Geneva Developers group page.

Step-by-step guide

At last, I finished my step-by-step tutorial on how to implement the integration that I showed during my live demo! Time to prepare my luggage for Dreamforce ’19!