Cloud Data Integration : 2013 : September Skip navigation
2013

Our TechTuesdays session on September 24th focused on what happens during large deployments of Salesforce or Oracle database clusters. Typically, before any such deployment takes place, stringent testing of the integration environment needs to happen to ensure that the production environment functions as smoothly as possible.

 

The only way to do this is to create a copy of the production data in the testing environment, and test out all the integration mappings there before pushing into production. At present, when using Salesforce, developers have two options:

  1. Use developer or configuration-only sandboxes
  2. Use full sandbox copies

 

Either approach carries with it a lot of time, cost, and/or risk. With developer-only sandboxes, test data sets are not representative of their final production datasets and as a result, can omit a lot of crucial integration scenarios. With full sandbox copies, costs skyrocket tremendously, and can lower the ROI of a Salesforce deployment.

 

An alternative solution instead, is to copy over only a subset of the main production data, and mask any personally identifiable or confidential information (such as credit cards, social security numbers, or dates of birth). The main demo component of TechTuesdays focused on this aspect.

 

Here are the slides for this session, as well as the recording. Tomorrow's TechTuesdays session focuses on building integration templates from scratch.

On our seventh Informatica Cloud #TechTuesdays session on September 17th, "Cloud Migration: Sandbox Best Practices", we talked about the importance of testing out your integration workflows before deploying them into production. Using an Informatica Cloud sandbox has three primary benefits, especially for companies focused on improving the productivity of their integration projects without compromising on security:

 

  • Security: The Informatica Cloud Secure Agent can be deployed into separate virtual LANs, each one demarcated away from any sensitive corporate IT resources
  • Streamlined Integration Lifecycle: With all the different stages in an integration lifecycle (development, testing, and production), having Informatica Cloud sandboxes, makes it easy to move approved and tested integrations from the testing phase, directly into production
  • Debugging: If any bugs have been encountered in a production environment, it is very easy to to isolate, trace, and resolve these bugs in the testing environment within sandboxes

 

Krupa Natarajan from our cloud product management team ran through a demo showing how to move objects from a sandbox environment to production, and ran through the following demo scenarios:

  • Having the 'Migrate Objects' functionality enabled by your Informatica Cloud Administrator
  • Credentialing, and access between sandbox and production accounts
  • Ensuring that users have the correct privileges to either read/write/update objects and tasks via Fine Grained Access Controls
  • The types of "objects" that would be migrated, be it an application's object, a connection name, a plugin, etc.
  • Keeping migration privileges separate from task-related privileges
  • Editing connections to point to a different connection, especially when having separate test accounts for your SaaS applications as well

 

You can download the recording to view the replay, as well as the slides. Tomorrow's TechTuesday session on 9/24 at 830am PDT will go one step further, and focus on Data Masking - this is a very useful feature to have when you want to copy a subset of your production data into a testing environment in order to mimic real-life scenarios, but wish to keep confidential information private and secure.

During our sixth Informatica Cloud #TechTuesdays session, "Reusable Integration: The Power of Integration Templates" on September 10, we had a customer, Intralinks show us their use case of integrating Zuora with Great Plains using Informatica Cloud's templates. The main integration scenario revolved around the need to access multiple invoice objects from Zuora and integrate them with the main financial and accounting components within Great Plains.

 

However, there was also the issue of certain legacy stored procedures from SQL Server that needed to be combined with the Zuora data before being integrated with Great Plains. Intralinks was able to use several joiner and filter conditions to make this happen via their template, as you can see below:

 

Intralinks Zuora GP.bmp

 

Amol Dongre from our Engineering team also covered how to import templates from the shared master org using object migration. These templates are being made available to all current Informatica Cloud customers so contact me at aviswanath@informatica.com if you'd like the password to this repository.

 

Here are the slides and the entire recording. Tomorrow's  session  on September 17 will focus on using sandboxes within Informatica Cloud and best practices for separating out your development, test, and production environments.

Guest Blog Written by Richard Seroter:

CRM growth – especially in the cloud – shows no signs of slowing down. Salesforce.com continues to register 20%+ annual growth and Microsoft Dynamics CRM recently crossed $1 billion dollars in annual revenue. Now more than ever, integration of cloud systems is critical to business success. You simply cannot afford to have mission-critical, isolated systems that don’t share data with the rest of the enterprise environment.

 

This topic is the focus of an upcoming event held at the Microsoft office in London. The Hybrid Organization is a one day event for architects and developers who want to learn about the best techniques for integrating systems through the cloud. While this is a Microsoft-oriented event, Informatica Cloud will be part of the showcase demonstrations. My first talk is focused on integrating cloud CRM platforms and I’ll show the audience how to use the Informatica Cloud to easily connect Salesforce.com and Dynamics CRM Online to on-premises systems. And for fun, I’ll also show off how easy it is for Salesforce.com and Dynamics CRM Online to communicate with each other! In my second talk, I’ll walk through the patterns, technologies and trends in cloud integration and cover how products like Informatica Cloud are a critical part of the cloud architect’s toolbelt. Microsoft has a fantastic set of cloud integration tools, but nothing quite like what Informatica has to offer. The pragmatic architect must look at technologies across the vendor landscape and make sure to use the best tool for the given situation.

 

If you are in the UK on September 11th and interested in hearing about the most exciting technologies in cloud integration, join me at the Hybrid Organization event!

 

Richard Seroter is a senior product manager for cloud software company Tier 3, a trainer for Pluralsight, Microsoft MVP, InfoQ.com editor, blogger,, author, and speaker. You can find Richard on Twitter as@rseroter.

During our fifth Informatica Cloud #TechTuesdays session, "SOAP Web Services Made Simple" on August 20, we focused on the fact that there are several legacy on-premise systems that need to communicate with modern SaaS applications such as Salesforce. The easiest way to establish such a communication path is to put a SOAP web service wrapper around the legacy system, along with a WSDL that appropriately describes all the desired methods and operations.

 

We also discussed the fact that SOAP web services can be of two different kinds - procedural, or document style. A document-style web service is a bit more complicated than a procedural web service because they are not self-describing through the WSDL alone – you would need the WSDL as well as the XSD schema to use the service.

 

During the demo component we showcased the following aspects of using Informatica Cloud for SOAP web services:

  • Connecting to the main WSDL URL
  • Looking through the WSDL URL's binding information to put the appropriate service into the endpoint URL
  • Using the 5-step wizard to map each web service to the appropriate fields within a Salesforce object
  • Applying filters to a web service to extract only relevant information
  • Using task flows to execute consecutive web service calls

 

Here are the slides and entire recording featuring Bryan Plaster from our Cloud Labs team. Next week's  session on September 10 will focus on using integration templates, and will feature an actual customer taking us through a template use case.