In short, Salesforce integrations are programs that connect other software platforms with Salesforce so information can be automatically exchanged between them. There are several kinds of integrations:
This type of integration moves a whole “batch” of data at a scheduled time. This can be in a few moments from when the batch is created or even weeks later, depending on the information that needs to be exported from Salesforce.
This type of integration allows data to transfer within a few moments between platforms.
Real-time integrations allow data to transfer instantaneously between platforms.
These certified add-ons connect many popular business applications with Salesforce. They’re supported and managed by a third party, making them great for small businesses or businesses without a dedicated development team.
A mashup is an integration where third-party web pages have been embedded into Salesforce. These integrations are hosted separately from Salesforce, and they’re best for businesses who have a development team to manage them.
Salesforce is a large platform with a lot of functionality for businesses, but it doesn’t do everything for every department. Your business is likely using a variety of software and cloud-based solutions to operate and communicate. However, if data can’t move between these platforms, information (and communication) gets siloed, which can lead to inconsistencies, error, and tension between departments. Integrations with big platforms like Salesforce help break down data silos, facilitate communication, and prevent cross-departmental errors and inconsistencies.
If you’re using other major business apps like HubSpot, PayPal, Quickbooks, Microsoft Office, or G Suite, you can start at the AppExchange to find certified integrations with many popular business apps. Like mentioned above, AppExchange products are certified by Salesforce and supported and managed by a third party, so data hosting and updates are handled for app users. These kinds of integrations aren’t as customizable as other integrations, but they cover many of the basic data properties, and work well for small and large businesses alike.
Custom integrations are helpful if your business needs a data connection between major platforms for a property not included in an AppExchange integration or you have a platform not supported by an AppExchange product. If you need a custom solution but don’t have a development team, there are agencies who can develop a custom integration with Salesforce and other systems you’re using. Custom integrations give your business more versatility, but they require your business or your partner agency to host, manage, and update them. A custom solution can bring a lot of value to your operations, but downtime for maintenance or other issues can impact your business. An experienced development team or partner agency should be able to minimize downtime.