In preparation for a customer visit, Sales Representatives needed to be prepared with current knowledge of any orders, shipment status, or even complaints. This required the latest ERP information to be visible to them via SalesForce. Since SalesForce is cloud based SaaS and their SAP ERP is an on-premise system, an integration interface was required.
The SAP systems are available only on the internal network and not accessible in the field to create cases making it a huge manual task to capture the cases and synchronize it with the SAP systems. This was often a complex slow process with a high probability of capturing erroneous data. That’s where the customer decided to leverage their existing investment in Salesforce and SAP Data Services. Salesforce as a data capture system and Data Services as an integration tool. Salesforce is a cloud application which can be accessed via a browser from anywhere with internet connectivity.
All the complex data capturing tasks were simplified by using the Salesforce application. It is used by the representatives in the field at the customer site to log the cases, opportunities, and other information. When a Salesforce entry is created in the field it should also create an entry in the SAP system and bring back the reference number of the accounts created to the Salesforce system. Data Services is the tool that makes this communication and data exchange in real time between the two systems possible. When the Salesforce entry is created in the field, the data is pushed into Data Services via web services. The Data Services access server on the DMZ can access the Salesforce system in the cloud. This data can further be transformed or business logic applied before loading into the SAP system which Data Services has accesses via IDOCs. After the reference numbers are created in the SAP system, Data Services pulls it from the SAP system and inserts it into Salesforce using the Salesforce Adapter. Data Services serves as a bridge between the Salesforce system and the SAP system and achieves the necessary communication and data exchange between the two systems.
Data Services is the SAP ETL tool used to extract the data from the SAP environment, apply the business rules to the data and insert the data into the Salesforce environment. Data Services Designer is the tool used to create the Data Services jobs. Data store is the data connection that is created in the Data Services Designer to connect to the source systems or Target Systems to extract or load the data.
The figure below shows the different types of built-in connections that can be used to create the data store.
Data Services accesses SAP systems through built-in connectivity to the SAP applications. Data Store for SAP Applications can be created to access the data from the SAP systems.
See figure below.
Data Services access the Salesforce system through adapter. See figure below.
This Adapter Instance is created on the top of the Job Server that is configured to support adapter communication. See figure below.
In the Data Services Management Console, the Adapter Instances are created on the Job server that is configured to support the Adapter communication.
The Configuration for this Salesforce adapter is as follows:
This Adapter can be managed by Starting, Aborting or Shutting down from the Adapter Instance Status Tab.
Using this Adapter instance, data store can be created in data services designer to extract or load the data into the salesforce environment. Security token should be provided with the Salesforce login credentials in order successfully create the data store. Salesforce Certificates should be updated in the data Services server java key store in order for the adapter to communicate with the salesforce environment. Once the SAP and Salesforce data stores are created, necessary data will be extracted from the SAP system through the created data store into the staging area. Business logic will be applied to the extracted data in the staging area.
If the business logic requires salesforce data, then Salesforce data can also be extracted into the staging area through the adapter data store. After the business logic has been applied, necessary data will be inserted into the Salesforce environment. This whole process can be run on demand or can be scheduled to run several times. This process will ensure the customer master data across the SAP and Salesforce environment is the same.