As technology advances, companies are taking advantage of the numerous enterprise-level software services that are built to improve efficiency by automating processes.
In the past, integrating external sources of data into Salesforce involved hours of custom coding and duplicating the data to link the new system. There was no true way of communicating with backend systems without bogging developers down.
For example, a company has an on-premise ERP system where they track orders and a CRM system such as Salesforce where they track their opportunities. Many times an organization will want to visualize the data without leaving the CRM system to view the ERP system.
Previously developers would build a process that would push the data into Salesforce, or they would build web services that allowed for custom webpages to be built within Salesforce. However, both processes proved to be difficult, time consuming and expensive.
With the Winter ’15 Release, Salesforce introduced Salesforce1 Lightning, a new platform designed to give easy access to the development framework for administrators. Now, administrators can complete point and click development, and build apps faster.
With these new Lightning components, Salesforce introduced Lightning Connect, a data integration package designed to give real-time access to external data with point-and-click simplicity. Data is formatted into Salesforce objects through an open-standard data access protocol known as OData. OData is a standardized protocol for creating and consuming data APIs, and builds on core protocols such as HTTP; resulting in full-featured data APIs.
Lightning Connect allows external data to appear like internal objects do inside of Salesforce. That means an admin can relate external data objects to other external or internal objects to build data relationships. Then admins can create tabs to access that data or add those external objects as related lists to standard page layouts. In our example above, your backend ERP system might have an Order Header and an Order Detail table. Once a connection is made to that ERP system in Salesforce, the admin can use declarative (point-and-click) design to decide which tables from the backend system to access.
Relate that Order Detail external object to the Order Header external object.
Relate that Order Header to the standard Account Object.
Now from the standard page layout, the administrator can drag the Order Header related to the list screen.
Users can instantly dive from an Account into the orders and their detail lines. That backend data is not stored in Salesforce. Every time the user needs to see that data, Salesforce looks it up real-time from the ERP system.
With real-time integration of external sources, Lightning Connect gives administrators the power to create real-time visualizations and connect with customers in new ways.
For more information on how Revolution Group can help you implement Lightning Connect, call us at 614-212-1111 or fill out the form below.