In general, there are several different ways to integrate separate but related application systems at the data layer. For example, any number of apps can access a single shared database and efficiently manage data in real time. In contrast, when each app must maintain its own database, or when you want to import or export large amounts of data, mechanizing the transfer of data among pertinent systems helps preserve the consistency and quality of data across the entire organization.
The following sections briefly introduce various data integration options related to Salesforce platforms.
- Open APIs (SOAP, REST, Streaming, etc.)
- Bulk Data Transfer API
- Cloud-to-Cloud Integration Toolkits (Amazon, Facebook, Google, etc.)
At the core level, all Salesforce platforms have open APIs (based on industry-standards such as REST and SOAP) that you can use to integrate Salesforce endpoints (Force.com, Database.com, etc.) with external endpoints such as apps or enterprise integration hubs.
Here's a guide to the various general- and special-purpose APIs for Salesforce platforms.
General purpose data integration APIs support applications that need to work with the core data managed by Force.com and Database.com.
- Data integrations via SOAP with the SOAP API
- Data integrations via REST with the REST API
- Data streaming with the Streaming API
Special purpose data integration APIs support applications that need to work with peripheral data models in Force.com and Database.com, or data managed by other Salesforce platforms such as Radian6, Do.com, and Desk.com.
- Social integration with the Chatter REST API
- Listen and engage on social media with the Radian6 API
- Work better with the Do API
- Support customers with the Desk API
Bulk Data Transfer API
The Bulk API provides programmatic access that lets you quickly load data into your Salesforce organization. It is a RESTful API that is optimal for loading or deleting large sets of data. You can use it to query, insert, update, upsert, or delete a large number of records asynchronously by submitting batches that Salesforce processes in the background.
Language-Specific Resources and Toolkits
When working with specific programming languages, several toolkits are available that abstract the core SOAP and REST APIs to support native development approaches and simplify integrations.
Cloud-to-Cloud Integration Toolkits
Several toolkits are available to help you integrate Salesforce Platform technologies such as Force.com (and Database.com) with other cloud-based services.
The following toolkits are available:
- Force.com for Amazon Web Services
- Force.com for Facebook
- Force.com for Google App Engine
- Force.com Toolkit for Google Data APIs
- Force.com Toolkit for Microsoft Azure
- PayPal X Toolkit for Force.com
For more information on a specific cloud-to-cloud integration solution, click the links above.