Salesforce is the world’s leading CRM (customer relationship management) platform: More than 100,000 organizations use it worldwide. Thanks to its vast array of powerful features, it’s no surprise that Salesforce has become the most popular software as a service (SaaS) CRM, with an estimated 23 percent market share.
Despite this functionality, Salesforce can’t do everything alone. If you're interested in leveraging the power of Salesforce to its fullest potential, chances are you'll need to integrate it with another platform at some point. For example, integrating Salesforce with other data sources can help enhance the “customer 360” view of your audience and open up new marketing opportunities.
Related Reading: Salesforce Data Enrichment: What You Need to Know
Salesforce integrations are an excellent way to make the most of your existing data and ensure that everyone is on the same page across the organization. But while you’re probably convinced that integrating your Salesforce data is a smart move, you might not be aware of all the different ways to integrate Salesforce with other platforms.
Here are the five key integration strategies covered in this article:
- Integrate.io: Integrate.io is a powerful cloud-native ETL and data integration solution that simplifies building secure pipelines from data sources to cloud data warehouses or data lakes. It offers a no-code, drag-and-drop interface and comes with pre-built connectors, including a unique two-way Salesforce-to-Salesforce connector.
- Third-Party ETL Tools: Besides Integrate.io, there are other ETL tools available with Salesforce integrations, such as Talend, Fivetran, Stitch, and Matillion. Each tool has its own specialized functions and use cases.
- Salesforce AppExchange: Salesforce AppExchange is a software marketplace where Salesforce users can find integrations with popular software tools like Mailchimp, Zapier, Asana, and Slack. It is suitable for quick, single integrations but may not handle complex use cases as well as a dedicated ETL tool.
- MuleSoft: MuleSoft is a data integration and API platform acquired by Salesforce. While it offers extensive features like an ESB and iPaaS, it has a steep learning curve and may be costly for smaller businesses.
- Salesforce Connect: Salesforce Connect is an integration tool that displays information from external CRMs or ERPs as if it were stored in Salesforce. It brings external data into Salesforce and has certain technical limitations. Complementing Salesforce Connect with a purpose-built ETL tool can help overcome these limitations.
By exploring these five integration strategies, you'll gain valuable insights into how to maximize the potential of Salesforce and leverage its data in conjunction with other platforms.
Table of Contents
- Third-Party ETL Tools
- Salesforce AppExchange
- Salesforce Connect
- How Integrate.io Can Help With Salesforce Integration
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that Integrate.io is one of the best ways to integrate Salesforce with other platforms. Integrate.io is a powerful, feature-rich, cloud-native ETL and data integration solution with a single goal: making it easier for anyone to build secure, enterprise-grade pipelines from your data sources to your cloud data warehouse or data lake.
Integrate.io prioritizes ease of use, with a straightforward no-code, drag-and-drop interface that lets users define complex integrations and pipelines, regardless of technical skill level. What’s more, the Integrate.io platform comes with more than 100 pre-built connectors to popular databases and SaaS applications — including Salesforce.
One feature in particular that makes Integrate.io unique is our two-way Salesforce-to-Salesforce connector. This enables you to pull data from your Salesforce deployment, transform it, and then move it back into Salesforce.
Related Reading: How to Share Records Using Salesforce to Salesforce Integration
2. Third-Party ETL Tools
Of course, Integrate.io isn’t the only ETL tool on the market. There are a number of ETL tools available with Salesforce integrations, many of them with their own specialized functions and use cases.
We believe that Integrate.io is the best ETL tool out there, especially for integrating Salesforce data. If you’d like to investigate other solutions, however, we encourage you to check out our ETL tools comparison article that will help break down all the differences. We’ll also discuss one of these alternatives, MuleSoft, in greater detail below.
Related Reading: 10 Best Salesforce ETL Tools
Some of these third-party Salesforce ETL tools include:
- Talend (Talend vs. Integrate.io article)
- Fivetran (Fivetran vs. Integrate.io article)
- Stitch (Stitch vs. Integrate.io article)
- Matillion (Matillion vs. Integrate.io article)
3. Salesforce AppExchange
Salesforce AppExchange is a software marketplace that lists the applications, platforms, and solutions that play well with the Salesforce CRM. Here, Salesforce users can find integrations with many popular software tools in your workflow: Mailchimp, Zapier, Asana, Slack, and many more.
The Salesforce AppExchange is a good place to look if you just need a single quick integration. For a more robust solution that can handle a wide variety of use cases, however, we recommend using a Salesforce ETL tool like Integrate.io.
MuleSoft is a data integration and API platform that was acquired by Salesforce in 2018. So why would you prefer a third-party ETL platform like Integrate.io to Salesforce’s own integration tool?
- MuleSoft has a steep learning curve that requires extensive training via the MuleSoft.U certification program.
- The MuleSoft platform includes additional features such as an ESB (enterprise service bus) and an iPaaS (integration platform as a service), which may be overkill for users who just want to integrate Salesforce data. What’s more, these features come at a price, which puts MuleSoft out of reach for smaller businesses with limited budgets.
For more details, check out our MuleSoft vs. Integrate.io comparison article.
5. Salesforce Connect
Last but not least, Salesforce Connect is an integration tool that can display information from an external CRM or ERP (enterprise resource planning) solution as if this data were stored in Salesforce itself.
This approach is a little different from the other Salesforce integration options we’ve discussed: Salesforce Connect brings external data into Salesforce, rather than pushing Salesforce data out. In addition, the Salesforce Connect tool comes with certain technical limitations that can present challenges in practice. We recommend enhancing your usage of Salesforce Connect with a robust, purpose-built ETL tool to help fill in these gaps.
How Integrate.io Can Help With Salesforce Integration
Integrate.io is the leading ETL tool for integrating your Salesforce data with other software and platforms — but you don’t have to take our word for it. Want to see for yourself how Integrate.io can help with Salesforce integrations? Get in touch with our team of ETL experts today for a chat about your business needs and objectives, or to start your 7-day pilot of the Integrate.io platform.