While Salesforce Chatter API and Connect API help integrate Salesforce with other systems, they serve different purposes.

Salesforce Chatter API is for integrating Chatter’s communication and social collaboration features into your application. On the other hand, Salesforce Connect API integrates Salesforce with other data sources or systems so you can access and use real-time data from those systems within Salesforce.

Keep reading to dive deeper into the differences between Salesforce Chatter API and Connect API so you’ll know when to use which solution.

First, here are the key differences between Salesforce Chatter API and Connect API:

  • Connect API allows you to access external data within the Salesforce platform, while Chatter API enables you to use Salesforce Chatter to communicate with other apps.
  • Unlike the Chatter API, the Connect API lets you view unified data gathered from external sources within Salesforce.
  • Unlike the Connect API, the Chatter API facilitates team communication and collaboration outside of the Salesforce platform.
  • The Connect API provides real-time access to external data within Salesforce, while the Chatter API provides real-time Chatter notifications in connected apps.
  • The Connect API doesn’t store sourced external data within Salesforce, while the Chatter API stores user data within the Salesforce database.

Table of Contents

What Is Salesforce Chatter API?

The Salesforce Chatter API provides the tools for integrating Salesforce Chatter’s collaboration features seamlessly into other applications. These collaboration features include:

  • Chatter feeds
  • Chatter comments
  • Chatter groups
  • Chatter files
  • Chatter mentions and notifications
  • Chatter likes

The integration allows you to use the collaboration features within your application instead of just within the Salesforce application. For example, you and your team can access and interact with Chatter data, post updates, engage in discussions, share files, receive notifications, and like posts within any application integrated with the Salesforce Chatter API.

In summary, leveraging the API frees your team to collaborate and communicate more effectively with Salesforce Chatter outside the Salesforce platform.

How Does Salesforce Chatter API Work?

The Salesforce Chatter API provides endpoints for integrating Salesforce Chatter into your application. You can interact with Chatter data and collaboration features via the connection.

For example, you can view Chatter feeds, query Chatter data, access Chatter groups, manage likes, handle files, and get real-time notifications within the integrated application.

However, accessing integrated Salesforce Chatter within your app requires authenticating requests with Salesforce API credentials, such as OAuth or username-password.

Benefits of Salesforce Chatter API

  • RESTful integration: Since Salesforce Chatter API is a REST API, it can easily integrate and interact with various programming languages and platforms.
  • Seamless collaboration: Salesforce Chatter API simplifies having Chatter's social collaboration features within your applications. It eliminates the need to juggle apps, boosting productivity and ensuring seamless communication and collaboration among your team.
  • Real-time updates: No more missing important updates because you’ll receive real-time Chatter updates and notifications, such as new posts and comments within the integrated app.
  • Customized Chatter feeds: You can tailor Chatter feeds within the integrated applications to see only the Chatter information you want.

What Is Salesforce Connect API?

The Salesforce Connect API turns your Salesforce app into a single source of truth. It does this by seamlessly integrating Salesforce with other data sources so you can view and access data from those sources within your Salesforce app.

You can interact with the integrated data in real-time, similar to the data within your original Salesforce database. The tool is excellent for streamlining workflows, enhancing data visibility, and leveraging external data sources alongside native Salesforce data.

How Does Salesforce Connect API Work?

Salesforce Connect API enables you to integrate data from external sources directly into Salesforce without replicating the data. Eliminating data replication means data from external sources won’t be stored physically in Salesforce.

Instead of replicating data, you can create external objects within Salesforce to represent data from external sources. The external objects provide unified data viewing by mapping the external data fields to Salesforce fields.

The API securely connects to selected external data sources with your authentication credentials and access settings. You can then query, search, and view the external data on Salesforce.

Benefits of Salesforce Connected API

  • No data storage: Unlike data replication, which requires retrieving and storing copied data on Salesforce, external objects merely reference the data from external sources. Requiring less data storage makes using the Salesforce Connect API system more affordable, easier to maintain, and less likely to have data redundancy issues.
  • Real-time data access: Connect API provides real-time access to data from external sources. Such data is vital for making well-informed decisions.
  • Unified data view: You can view relevant data from external sources alongside native Salesforce data in the same place. The unified view removes data siloes and simplifies finding the information you need.

Salesforce Chatter API vs. Connected API: Key Similarities

Here are the key similarities between Salesforce Chatter API and Connect API.

  • Salesforce Chatter API and Connect API are REST APIs that use standard HTTP methods to interact with external data sources.
  • Both APIs rely on secure authentication measures to protect data and enable access control.
  • Salesforce Chatter API and Connect API facilitate collaboration within Salesforce and custom applications.
  • The two APIs provide real-time access to data and events.
  • Both APIs help streamline workflows and improve productivity by simplifying accessing relevant data in another application.

Salesforce Chatter API vs. Connected API: Key Differences

Below are differences that distinguish Salesforce Chatter API from Connect API.

  • While the Chatter API allows you to use and view Chatter features within other applications, the Connect API turns Salesforce into a single source of truth where you can view data from external sources.
  • The Chatter API is primarily for facilitating team communication and collaboration with Chatter, while the Connect API lets you leverage data from other applications within Salesforce.
  • The Chatter API pulls data from Salesforce Chatter, while the Connect API pulls data from external data sources, such as databases, web services, and cloud applications.
  • The Connect API provides real-time access to external data within Salesforce, while the Chatter API provides real-time Chatter notifications and updates within integrated apps.
  • The Connect API doesn’t store sourced external data within Salesforce, while the Chatter API stores user data within the Salesforce database.

Chatter API

Connect API

Primary Purpose

Facilitates team communication and collaboration with Chatter

Turns Salesforce into a single source of truth for viewing external data

Data Source

Pulls data from Salesforce Chatter

Pulls data from external sources (databases, web services, cloud apps)

Data Access

Provides real-time Chatter notifications and updates in integrated apps

Provides real-time access to external data within Salesforce

Data Storage

Stores user data within the Salesforce database

Does not store sourced external data within Salesforce

Application Usage

Allows you to use and view Chatter features within other apps

Lets you leverage data from other applications within Salesforce

Ensuring Security in API Access: A Deeper Dive

Ensuring secure API access is paramount. Compromised API security can result in data breaches, leading to significant reputational damage and potential financial losses.

Authentication & Authorization

Authentication plays a vital role in verifying the identity of an API caller. Salesforce APIs, like many contemporary systems, use various authentication methods such as OAuth and username-password combinations to ensure that access is granted only to legitimate users. Once authenticated, authorization comes into play, determining what actions the authenticated user can, and cannot, perform within the system.


Encrypting data is crucial to protect sensitive information. Encryption works in two primary realms: in transit (when data moves between systems) and at rest (when data is stored). Salesforce APIs employ SSL/TLS protocols to ensure secure data transmission, safeguarding data from potential interceptions. Additionally, Salesforce adopts high standards for encryption practices to protect stored data from unauthorized access.

Rate Limiting and Throttling

To ensure system stability and prevent unintentional overloads or DDoS attacks, rate limiting and throttling are implemented. These measures regulate the number of API calls a user or system can make within a specified timeframe, ensuring that resources are equitably distributed and that one user or system doesn’t unintentionally (or maliciously) overload the system.

Monitoring & Logging

Continuous monitoring of API calls is essential for identifying and mitigating any suspicious activities. In addition to real-time monitoring, logging plays a crucial role. By maintaining a comprehensive record of all API access, logging ensures transparency, accountability and also provides a valuable resource for troubleshooting and audits.

Best Practices for Secure API Integration

  • Ensure you always use updated SSL certificates to maintain a secure connection.
  • Rotate API keys and tokens regularly to minimize the risk of unauthorized access.
  • Avoid hardcoding credentials directly into the codebase.
  • Whenever possible, implement multi-factor authentication, adding an additional layer of security.

Salesforce has always prioritized security. The company employs a robust security infrastructure and strict protocols to safeguard data. Regular security audits, certifications, and compliance measures further attest to Salesforce's dedication to ensuring user data's security and privacy.

Examples of How the Chatter API and the Connect API Can Be Used

  • Example 1: You can build a custom application and use the Chatter API to add collaboration and communication features. Team members can use the collaboration feature to have real-time discussions, partner on projects, and share updates.
  • Example 2: Use the Connect API to integrate your email marketing system with Salesforce. The integration will give you real-time access to marketing insights within Salesforce. Viewing the data alongside native Salesforce data, such as leads and opportunities, can provide valuable insights into your marketing campaign’s effectiveness and how to improve sales.
  • Example 3: A customer support portal with Chatter and Connect API integration can use Chatter feeds to communicate with customers and provide real-time customer support. The Connect API integration, on the other hand, can connect the support ticketing system to Salesforce. This will allow support agents to view and manage support tickets alongside Chatter communications.

Salesforce Chatter API or Connect API: Which Is Best?

Salesforce Chatter API is useful for integrating Chatter's collaboration features into your own applications. And Salesforce Connect API makes integrating Salesforce with other data sources or systems simple.

Both APIs offer a wide range of benefits, based on your needs. For example, Salesforce Chatter API enables seamless collaboration and real-time updates, while Connect API provides a unified view of your data across systems.

It's important to select an API based on your specific use cases. For instance, the Chatter API is the way to go if you want to add a communication or collaboration feature to your app.

On the other hand, the Connect API is ideal if you want Salesforce to become your single source of truth. With a single source of truth, you can have a unified view of data from Salesforce and your external systems in one place.

However, these API solutions have limits, such as no support for ETL and CDC processes. If you want a Salesforce data integration that does it all, consider a third-party solution like Integrate.io.

Integrate Your Salesforce Data with Integrate.io

Integrate.io offers a simple, effective, and safe way to extract data from or load data into Salesforce. With it, you can integrate Salesforce with other systems to turn it into your single source of truth or leverage its features in other apps.

Even better, onboarding Integrate.io is easy. We provide all the Salesforce integrations you need to create a fully interconnected tech ecosystem—no coding required. Request a demo with one of Integrate.io's experts today, to get started.