Integration Choices?

I thought I’d check out what has to say about integration and came across the “Proven real-time integration” page buried in the Cloud Infrastructure section of their website. The page outlines “5 paths to integration success,” which are:

  1. Choose your integration middleware (which points you to the Integration and Data Management section of the AppExchange)
  2. Build it yourself
  3. Find it on the AppExchange (which also points you to the AppExchange, but this time it’s the homepage)
  4. Connect the clouds (which points you to Amazon Web Services, Facebook, and Google AppEngine)
  5. Use our native connectors (which is about desktop integration)

So clearly the primary option is the AppExchange. But when you check out the Integration Category, you’ll find the following:

  • 45 Application Integration apps
  • 37 Data Cleansing apps
  • 51 Data Integration apps
  • 17 ERP Integration apps (wait, isn’t ERP an application?)
  • 19 Google Integration apps
  • 11 Mashups
  • 10 Other

So where do you begin? I then found this article called, Integration – Inside Out or Outside In? It breaks the integration options into two categories:

An inside out integration solution, also known as an on premise solution is one that is installed inside a company’s firewall on a server (or a vendor provided appliance) and maintained by IT. Whereas an outside in integration solution, also known as an On Demand or Cloud-based solution is installed in the cloud and maintained by the integration vendor.”

There’s definitely a lot to consider here. The irony to me is that the promise of data integration as a service is that it will simplify the experience and empower non-technical people to do what has always been a very technical task. Instead, if you’re a customer, you’re presented with a complex set of options and vendors to choose from.

So what do you look for in a Salesforce integration solution? Ease of use? Scalability? Multitenancy? Sources? Customer success? Vendor viability? 

I’ll be writing more on this topic, but as I dig in I’d love to hear from you about your experiences and even advice for others.


1 Response to “ Integration Choices?”

  1. 1 Susan 2009/08/12 at 5:25 am

    I would agree with your assessment here… Integration from Salesforce to other vendors, including Google Apps, is either convoluted, incomplete or both. As the Technical Lead for a small business, I’m extremely disappointed with the lack of support for small business, especially those who are putting their minor budgets where their mouths are.

    I am all for cloud computing integration, but I have not the solutions nor the support to implement on budget.

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