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The State of API Integration 2018: Get Cloud Elements’ report for the most comprehensive breakdown of the API integration industry’s past, present, and future.
CRM Integration With Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, and SugarCRM
You might be saying, “Each of those services already has documentation on how to write integrations, why can’t I just use those?” Though you’re right, as we can’t get away from their documentation and how they define abstract concepts, you’ve probably never seen their docs. Most of the links are to external articles, as well as explaining basic ideas, like how to create JSON objects, which is far too remedial for most developers. You'll be blocked from delivering a useful integration in any reasonable time. The best resource is to go off the beaten path. The key lies in open source.
Integrating With Salesforce
Let's take a look at using JSForce.
JSForce is a well documented open source library for integrating with the vast SalesForce API. The SalesForce API is an enormous spectrum, including Analytics, Reporting, Clients, and complex pipelines. For those of you well versed in the nouns that make up SalesForce, you can find methods on each to get info. For more advanced use cases you can even query the data directly.
Example of JSForce - Logging in and performing a SQL query against your CRM:
Integrating With Microsoft Dynamics
Let's look at using DynamicsWebAPI.
DynamicsWebAPI, created by Microsoft Certified Professional Aleksandr Rogov, provides a way to integrate with Dynamics 365 (online), Dynamics 365 (on-premises), Dynamics CRM 2016, and Dynamics CRM Online. Though you can’t perform raw SQL, there are plenty of ways to select data, run functions, and perform actions on this CRM. You have access to all the functions you can call by name. Once authenticated with your token, it’s trivial to get helpful information.
Example of DynamicsWebAPI - Logging a TimeZone Code by calling the associated function,
Integrating With SugarCRM
In this section, we'll be discussing a library named Ventana.
SugarCRM is no stranger to open source. On GitHub, they have a strong presence with tools like Thorn, and BuildingBlocks. Their API client Ventana (Spanish for Window), allows you to interact with your SugarCRM REST API.
Example of Ventana - Logging in and fetching Accounts records:
Open source libraries allow you to take hours of research and turn it into hours of product refinement. With only a few lines of code, we can tie into a great CRM and start working with the data. A great kudos is owed to each of these libraries and their maintainers.
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