S4S and Sitecore 9

Sitecore 9 introduces a number of new features. With this milestone for Sitecore, we are also taking the opportunity to introduce significant changes to S4S. Some of these are service related, like the new escrow service to customers who need the added security this offers, but others revolve around the new features Sitecore is making available.

Sitecore Web Forms

Sitecore web forms can be used to create or update the records of any Salesforce object. S4S achieves this with Save Actions and a wizard to map the form to Salesforce without requiring a developer.

New releases of the S4S Mapping Wizard will be built with several new features: 

  • Ability to choose which Salesforce instance the web form should be mapped to. Allow the user select the required connection string.
  • Let the user choose the "Assigned To" person if the mapping is to a Salesforce lead or contact.
  • Ability to unmap a mapping field without requiring the user to edit the Sitecore item tree.
  • Let the user select multiple keys to ensure that updates occur in Salesforce when the parameters match, rather than creating duplicate records.

Changes to the WFFM Save Actions include: 

  • When adding or updating a Salesforce record, read the response and insert the orgId/sObjectId in the xDB contact record. This makes it easier to update Salesforce from Sitecore e.g. data migration and sync tasks.

Data Exchange Framework 

The DEF provides another way to use S4S. This middleware is designed to allow flexible mapping between endpoints, in this case, Sitecore and Salesforce. Typically it is used for synching data items between one system and another, with one nominated as the source, or master.

The S4S DEF package will allow selected Salesforce fields to be mapped to either the Sitecore content tree items or to Sitecore contact facets in xDB. Mapping in the opposite direction is also possible.

In general, data is copied by a scheduled task at regular intervals as often as the Salesforce API count allows. The DEF provides features such as:

  • Map Salesforce lead and contact fields to xDB facets
  • Use Sitecore rules to personalize Sitecore controls
  • Filter and map Salesforce records to Sitecore items
  • Add Sitecore items to Salesforce records

Once DEF is installed, there is value in being able to configure the mapped endpoints on the fly, without needing to involve developers or restart the Sitecore production web server.

Marketing Cloud Support

To support Sitecore web forms we are releasing a Save Action and Mapping wizard that will enable the forms to be mapped to Marketing Cloud (aka ExactTarget or ET). The mapping wizard can target different instances of ET, one or more subscriber lists, and has full support for data extensions. 

The wizard allows multiple keys to be selected to ensure that updates occur in Marketing Cloud when the parameters match, rather than creating duplicate subscribers.

The new Marketing Cloud Save Action uses the Identify method to help Sitecore recognize a visitor returning to the website from another device. 

EXM Support

S4S List Builder pulls report and campaign members from Salesforce and adds them to a Sitecore contact list. Once the list has been created, it can then be added to a Sitecore email campaign and dispatched.

The S4S List Builder and the EXM module will be extended to allow the selection of multiple Salesforce instances. We are seeing a growing number of companies that have more that one Salesforce Org they need to communicate with.

We are adding Salesforce lead and contact field data to Sitecore contact facets in xDB. This will allow Sitecore users to better filter lists that originate from Salesforce.

Persistent Caching

When using Salesforce APIs some things we need to consider are:

  • Number of API calls to Salesforce
  • End-to-end response to the Salesforce cloud
  • Data recency requirements

M4S is an advanced caching engine and data store created to mitigate these constraints. M4S equates to a super cache of Salesforce data on, or adjacent to, your Sitecore servers:

  • Significantly reduces the number of API calls to Salesforce
  • Improves performance as the data is local
  • Configurable for real time synchronization
  • Provides offline storage for Salesforce
  • Transparently handles custom objects and fields
  • Works with, or without, S4S

Expert Help - Advanced Support

The number of integration and architecture options have rapidly increased over the last few years. This is particularly true in the Sitecore and Salesforce space where the systems have very different technologies and schemas. Another interesting observation is how varied requirements are from company to company - we rarely see two alike! 

With this increased complexity in mind, FuseIT offers advanced help and support options to companies and partners using or considering an integration.

We can:

  • Identify integration options based on needs, performance and budget
  • Help companies struggling with an existing integration
  • Assist companies installing S4S or one of its ancillaries
  • Help with advanced needs like authentication models
  • Provide Salesforce development service in this space 

 

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