In today’s fast-paced world with seemingly infinite data sources, data integration is more important than ever. This is particularly true in the Salesforce ecosystem. However, organizations are quickly realizing that traditional ETL data integration tools are outdated and inefficient. In the following article, we argue that App4API – a native Salesforce integration application – is the best alternative to traditional ETL tools like Talend Salesforce integration. 

ETL Tools: History and Complications

ETL (extract, transform, load) tools were first developed as a method for data storage and analysis. What’s more, they work exactly like they sound – extracting, transforming and loading data into warehouses. As data accumulates over time, organizations can perform analysis to better understand trends and improve efficiency. ETL tools such as Talend can also perform a basic kind of data integration between applications like Salesforce and repository data warehouses. However, ETL tools are ultimately outdated and inefficient compared to native solutions on the Salesforce platform such as App4API.

Cons to ETL Tools

  • With the rise of mobile applications and social media, data sources are increasing rapidly. Though ETL tools are able to handle large amounts of complex data, this involves  a high level of complexity. What’s more, it can be very challenging to keep pace with fast-moving trends in agile development.  
  • If no connectors exist, it is necessary to build a connection between a database and an application. This process requires a high level of expertise and coding knowledge. Consequently, utilizing ETL tools to perform data integration can be time intensive and complex.
  • While ETL tools do have the potential to connect to a large variety of systems and standards , REST API is not their primary strength.
  • Because ETL connectivity often requires custom integrations, there is increased potential for complications and negative impacts after any small change. 
  • ETL tools mostly use batch processing which makes it impossible to deliver real-time integrations. For example, any updates to existing orders must again be communicated to the ERP. As a result, the ERP is always out of sync, leading to unavoidable lag, inaccurate analyses and overall inefficiency. 

APIs make it easier to perform data integration quickly and efficiently. This is where App4API comes into play – our product performs simple, real-time integrations between Salesforce and your favorite tools and services.

App4API: How it Works

App4API makes it simple to connect your Salesforce org to anything – from services to apps to systems. Our tool offers an API based connection that makes it possible to perform real-time data synchronization. Most importantly, App4API has a myriad of benefits that are simply not possible with an ETL tool. 

Pros to App4API

  • App4API is easy to set up and configure. Furthermore, it is easy to make changes and adjustments quickly without risk that it will affect other applications or systems. 
  • In contrast with many instances when working with ETL tools, App4API is a no-code solution. By reducing coding needs, organizations can cut development costs and free up resources. 
  • Unlike ETL tools, App4API can connect to any REST API or REST web service whether inbound or outbound. 
  • In contrast to ETL tools, App4API enables two-way, real-time integration. As a result, administrators are able to perform seamless integration in Salesforce Flows with Integration Events. For example, if anything changes in the ERP system – such as an update to an existing order – it will be communicated back to Salesforce in real time. As a result, team members always have the most accurate and up to date picture of org-wide data. 

Use Case Example: ETL Tools vs. App4API

Performing a Salesforce integration with an ETL tool is more complicated, less efficient and takes many more steps. In the Salesforce platform, we first have to get the order records without the ERP order ID. Next, the ETL tool extracts non-synced orders, transforms orders into ERP orders and loads them to the ERP System. From there, the ERP system upserts orders by Salesforce record ID. Then, a success response occurs from the ERP which is again transformed. Next, the ERP Order ID is added to the original Salesforce orders. Finally, the order records are updated. 

As you can see, this process is very tedious and drawn out. What’s more, it is not bidirectional and results in ongoing lag leading to inaccuracies and complications. We can confidently say that App4API is much more efficient. Our tool quickly and efficiently establishes a REST Callout or a REST Endpoint on the fly. As a result, App4API can perform two-way real-time integration that covers REST, SOAP, Webservice and Webhook. 

Use Case: Multiple ERPs Integration with Salesforce App4API as Native Middleware - Configuration Only