Lightning Connect Webinar Questions Answered

Lightning Connect Webinar Questions Answered

March 20, 2015 0 Comments

Salesforce Lightning Connect and the DataDirect Cloud

Progress DataDirect Cloud provides real-time connectivity to Salesforce applications.

Questions about DataDirect Cloud connectivity to Salesforce answered.

Since its launch, Salesforce Lightning Connect has been the hot topic around the Progress  office. With the help of Progress® DataDirect Cloud™, Lightning Connect enables quick and easy integration of external data into Salesforce applications. What does that mean for you? Imagine being able to access any back-office data—whether in the cloud, on premise or even behind a firewall—right within your Salesforce user interface (your system of engagement). You could, for example, include a full invoice record alongside account information from Salesforce, even though the data is stored securely in a different location (your system of record).

To demonstrate the power of this connectivity, we recently held a webinar to show what is possible with the dynamic duo of DataDirect Cloud and Lightning Connect and how easy it is to leverage that combination to its fullest potential. At the end of the webinar, we held a question and answer session that highlighted several great insights, which we would like to share with you.

FAQ: DataDirect Cloud Connectivity to Lightning Connect

Q: How secure is this solution?

A: During the installation process of the DataDirect Cloud On-Premise Connector (OPC), you will be asked to authenticate your DataDirect Cloud credentials. The system will then register your hardware and network information to create a unique Connector ID. After it produces your unique Connector ID, DataDirect Cloud uses two-step authentication, applying both your DataDirect Cloud credentials and the Connector ID, which verifies that the connector is secure and can only be used with your DataDirect Cloud account. The OPC can be installed anywhere on the secure side of your firewall; it does not have to be on the same machine as the data source.

The same guidelines apply if you have your data source in a public cloud. Just install the OPC in a network segment where it can access the data source. The Connector will use the firewall’s default rules to securely connect out to the DataDirect Cloud.

Q: Since data is transferred from DataDirect Cloud to Salesforce, what concerns do customers have with regard to data privacy?

A: Security is of primary concern to DataDirect Cloud. By providing real-time connectivity, no data resides in DataDirect Cloud. Additionally, data in transit is encrypted. Many of our current customers have reviewed our security practices and have been satisfied with the extensive precautions we take to protect their data.

Q: Where is DataDirect Cloud physically located?

A: We currently host DataDirect Cloud in an Amazon Web Services (AWS) datacenter on the US East Coast. As a SOC3 compliant hosting facility, AWS has extensive security measures in place, and they have been a very reliable and trustworthy provider for us.

Q: What if my data source is not OData compatible?

A: No problem. DataDirect Cloud provides the OData end point. When you create a new data source, whether it’s Oracle, DB2, Hadoop, Eloqua or any of our other supported data sources, you choose which tables or objects you want to expose through OData. DataDirect Cloud “translates” that native database connection into OData. This service works “out of the box” and you don't have to write a single line of code. DataDirect Cloud handles all aspects of the OData endpoint, including network security.

Q: What are the limits to the frequency and volume of data? In batch uploads we’ve seen some workarounds for limits in the Salesforce APIs?

A: Replacing Salesforce integration batch processes has been a very common use case and is a key part of the design of Lightning Connect. However, there are some 24-hour rolling limits as part of the Lightning Connect service, as is the case with most things you do in Salesforce. Be sure to check your Salesforce licensing for the integration batch feature to see what your limits might be. DataDirect Cloud does not restrict the number of API or OData calls you make.

Q: Can users update external object records in Salesforce and then write back to data source?

A: Yes, as of September 2016, Lightning Connect has full read/write capability.

Q: How do you relate external objects to other data within Salesforce?

A: There are new relationship options available with Lightning Connect. Prior to Lightning Connect, you were mostly limited to defining one-to-one relationships. It is now possible to set up one-to-many relationships. For more information, please refer to the Salesforce Winter ’15 release notes.

Q: Can you use DataDirect Cloud to migrate data into Salesforce native objects?

A: Yes, you can use DataDirect Cloud to migrate data into your existing Salesforce objects. In addition to offering an OData endpoint, we also provide ODBC and JDBC clients. To connect your application to Salesforce data as if it were a database, you can use the DataDirect Cloud ODBC or JDBC driver as a SQL92-standard frontend. Your application then accesses the data just as it would from a relational database. DataDirect Cloud also supports bulk load, so if you have tools that you want to integrate with Salesforce, you can do that using the ODBC and JDBC clients.

Q: Has DataDirect Cloud been FedRamped?

A: DataDirect Cloud is hosted in the Amazon US East Region. We have plans to expand into additional regions in the near future. Based upon the level of interest from our customers, this may include the GovCloud region, which is a FedRAMP Compliant Cloud Service Provider.

Find out more

For more information about OData, Lightning Connect and DataDirect Cloud, watch the webinar or leave us a comment below. Principal Engineer Sumit Sarkar is very easy to find on LinkedIn or Twitter at @SASInSumit.

Of course you could just roll up your sleeves and try it out for yourself. We have a free trial of DataDirect Cloud available on our website today!

Matthew Monahan

View all posts from Matthew Monahan on the Progress blog. Connect with us about all things application development and deployment, data integration and digital business.

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