This year I had the privilege to present at Dreamforce ’15 on how we’re tackling enterprise data and integrations at Salesforce.com. This is a business operations topic where many companies are struggling to make sense in an ever-shifting and growing landscape of data, technologies and software architectures. Each organization is different in how they try to solve this complex problem. This presentation showcases how we at Salesforce.com approached data integration in a high growth, fast paced technology company.
Salesforce has been growing at 30% year over year. In order to grow at this rate while supporting the business, IT has had to make compromises. Many of these compromises have been to defer infrastructure and architectural investments to a later date. Unfortunately, over time, IT will become the bottleneck or worse, the blocker for the company to deliver services to our customers. The diagram below depicts a representation of the current state of the P2P integrations within Salesforce. Unfortunately, at the time of the post, this is the internal infrastructure that the company relies on to run a multi-billion dollar a year business.
The purpose of this document is to help guide and inform IT project teams to the correct integration platform for projects. Note that this is only a guide, as there can be multiple options based on the integration activities. Use the matrix in this document in conjunction with input from the Enterprise Architecture Review Board (EARB) to select the appropriate technology.
Not long ago I presented at the MuleSoft TopMule Meetup ’14 in San Diego, CA, on an initiative I’m running at salesforce.com called Free The Data: Transforming The Way The Business Connects To Data. With approximately 400 MuleSoft employees in attendance, MuleSoft has doubled its size in just one year. It’s a testament to the industry demand for their integration and API solutions. My talk centered around how we are aggregating, exposing and simplifying access to internal enterprise data.
Today many IT departments have a hybrid of legacy on-premise applications and newer, more innovative Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business applications that they need to manage. Salesforce.com is no different; we have a lot of SaaS and on-premise applications that we use to run our daily operations. Our Enterprise Application Integration program has a number of use cases that we support, but can be consolidated into two main concentration areas: 1) System-to-System Data Exchange, and 2) API Data Access.
A dashboard is a collection of components that graphically displays your custom report data and gives you a snapshot of key metrics and performance indicators. Dashboards allow users to consume large amounts of information in a simple, easy to understand, graphical view. Research has shown that our brain can interpret graphical representations of data, such as graphs and charts, much more easily than large rows and columns of data.