SALESFORCE – MICROSOFT DYNAMICS DATA INTEGRATION FAQ

By Henning Lund - May 30, 2022

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Many companies have embarked or will embark on a journey to connect their Salesforce CRM with a Microsoft Dynamics ERP. One of the most important preliminary jobs is to do a thorough research about their data integration options. 

Many will review the full list of data integration solution providers. During that process, they will have to decide whether they would like a cloud-based or a local solution or a hybrid version. They will have to decide if they wish to buy a standard data integration platform or a custom-made system integration solution.

At this point, they might realize that there are more options than they had anticipated. All of them might even be able to cover most companies' data integration needs and requirements. At this point, making a decision becomes tricky. 

Often, if they are confused at this point, it is because they have not precisely defined what they really wish to achieve. This “data integration QA” gathers some of the questions that business and IT decision makers should ask themselves before starting their detailed investigations. 

The list is by no means comprehensive and we invite you to get in touch with us, should you feel that some of your data integration questions remain unanswered.



HOW DO SECURE DATA TRANSFERS IN A DATA INTEGRATION PROJECT?

Today, ransomware, cyberattacks, and breaches in data security are becoming increasingly common. This is a huge risk and potential cost for companies worldwide. A report from IBM shows that cyber incidents cost US companies 7.1 Billion USD on average.

Data security should always be taken seriously. Especially when data is being exposed in a data transfer process. This is why Rapidi has made data security a priority and developed RapidiOnline with a smart and simple way to keep your data safe. 

There are many data integration tools out on the market. RapidiOnline is one that is especially secure. Data transferred with RapidiOnline is SSL encrypted and transferred in binary format, packed and compressed by the RapidiConnector. The Rapidi Connector is a unique technology that ensures that data communication between RapidiOnline and your on-site systems is secure.

The deployment of RapidiOnline and our RapidiConnector is straightforward and simple. Besides opening one outbound port, you don’t need to change anything in your network or firewalls to deploy RapidiOnline and the RapidiConnector. No inbound ports need to open in your firewall. This ensures the highest level of security and also makes it very easy to get started.

RapidiOnline provides a system integration solution that is not only secure, but also allows fast data communication. Our encryption follows the newest TLS standard, and all data is processed end-point to end-point in memory directly, with no intermediate storage. 

No customer data is stored on any Rapidi server. Any sensitive configuration data is only stored on an encrypted-basis.

data transfers simplified with RapidiOnline

 

HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO TRANSFER DATA?

There are many different data integration challenges. Deciding how often you wish to transfer data can be one of them. This is a decision that can be more difficult than meets the eye. This is because what you wish might not always be what you need. 

This is one decision you have to think carefully about. It is likely that the more often you need to transfer data, the more expensive your solution will be. At the same time - almost all decision-makers wish to have real-time integration. But in fact a very small fraction of them will actually need it. 

Most companies are well-served with an hourly update - sometimes even with a daily update. It is therefore important to define your exact needs so that you do not end up paying more than you need.

The frequency of data transfers depends very much on your business profile and processes, as well as how often you update data in your systems. 

With RapidiOnline, you can set transfers according to your subscription. The intervals can be daily, hourly, every 10 minutes, 1 minute, or triggered to match your company’s specific needs. The Rapidi consultants can help you define which frequency is best for you based on your business requirements and processes. 

 

HOW DO I MAKE MY DATA INTEGRATION SOLUTION FUTURE PROOF?

In the era of big data, data integration has become quite the hype. Companies collect huge amounts of data coming from an increasing number of data sources. Data lakes, cloud data warehouses or data pools have become a common thing for medium and large size companies.

From that point on, data has become a most valuable asset. Nowadays, there is rarely a company strategy that does not include plans for data management, often including system integration strategies. 

During these considerations, it is important that you focus on the future and not only your needs at this point in time. Will the solution of your choice live up to your testing strategy? Data integration testing is important and you should make sure that the solution you select can handle your expectations.

Integrating data is something you will most likely need for decades to come. Above all, when you want to make sure that your solution will accompany you through your upcoming growth and developments.

A future-proof data integration solution can:

  1. Ensure scalability
  2. Prepare for future updates and upgrades
  3. Support your future growth

Data integration QAs

SHOULD YOU CHOOSE A DATA INTEGRATION PLATFORM VS CUSTOM API INTEGRATION

There are many reasons why you might be considering having your Salesforce or Dynamics partner develop a tailor-made data migration or integration solution. The solution will be tailored to your exact needs and requirements. 

Custom API integrations are usually a good idea in the beginning. It is not so hard to find ETL developers (Extract, Transform, Load) or experts that will develop a solution for you - even at a reasonable price. 

However, custom-made integration usually have a hard time 

Data integration platforms can facilitate these processes: 

  1. Set up the integration quickly using out-of-the-box templates .
  2. Data mapping.
  3. Schedule and sequence data transfers.
  4. Error-handling.
  5. System synchronization.
  6. Integration updates and upgrades.
  7. Scalability, supporting the growth of your business.

 

WHAT IF A FIELD GETS UPDATED SIMULTANEOUSLY IN SALESFORCE AND IN MICROSOFT DYNAMICS?

In reality, the likelihood of two people updating simultaneously the same field in both Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics is small. For example someone updating the address or phone number of a specific customer, with conflicting information. This does not happen very often, but it is not impossible. 

If you are using RapidiOnline, you do not need to fear this kind of conflict. You can decide which system is the master of the record, and there will not be any conflict.

 

WHAT IF I AM NOT SURE WHAT DATA TRANSFERS MY COMPANY NEEDS?

With today’s technologies, setting up Salesforce – Microsoft Dynamics integration projects is a seamless experience. If you are using RapidiOnline, it is a task that can be done without changing a single line of code in your programs. 

You do not need to fear that your company will lack bandwidth to implement the integration thoroughly. For example, in most cases, a Salesforce – Microsoft Dynamics integration project can be done within 3-8 man days in total depending on the scope. 

This means that it is a lot easier to implement than most people think. Often, the difficult part is deciding what data you should transfer from one system to the other.

This is a handy list of the most common Salesforce – Microsoft Dynamics integrations:

  1. Account-customer
  2. Contact-contact
  3. Product-item
  4. Item price-product price
  5. Quote-order
  6. Sales order-sales order
  7. Sales history (invoices and credit memos)
  8. Payments

 

You can read more about these integrations here.

With RapidiOnline you get all of the integrations from 1-7 as out-of-the-box standard, customizable integrations. The implementation effort of typically 4-8 man days depending on scope and the potential need for additional transfers or customizations.

 

HOW DO I BUILD THE BEST DATA INTEGRATION ARCHITECTURE?

A company can easily have a need for up to 10-20 integrations between different systems. It is important to define the most logical way to make these systems synchronize. It can be tempting to integrate pretty much all components with each other. It is, however, not really manageable in the longer run.

To help companies decide what data to transfer, it is a good idea to separate primary systems from secondary systems. Primary systems are operational systems which carry business processes. Secondary systems are feeding information into the primary systems. 

You can read more about the full approach in this article where I have collected advice and best practices. It is a good starting point for defining your data integration strategy

 

 


About the author

Henning Lund

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With over 25 years’ experience in strategically propelling businesses forward, Henning is considered a business development entrepreneur with a passion for transforming businesses, sales and marketing operations through out-of-the-box thinking, concepts building and process automation to improve overall performance and scalability.
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