This is a guest post by Dr Michael Rowley, Chief Technologist for Informatica Cloud Extend
"Excitement here is mounting as we approach the first release of Cloud Extend since Active Endpoints was acquired by Informatica. The promise of the combination of these technologies is clearly moving from idea to reality. Customers of Cloud Extend already know that it provides a better way to work with their Salesforce data than by having their users modify Salesforce objects using the standard UI. Most organizations have so many custom fields and custom objects that their users get lost in the weeds. No training courses can prevent users from forgetting to enter key information at key times. Even if they know what they should do, the drudgery of having to navigate to all the right pages to create or modify the right objects induces forgetfulness in even the most diligent workers.
The result is incomplete and inconsistent data. The people who love Cloud Extend care about the quality of their data, so it fits perfectly with other Informatica offerings. Together, the technologies make it possible to make sure that data is kept in consistent across systems and kept clean within a system. Cloud Extend handles the user’s part of the good data hygiene routine. The synergy of the technologies is apparent even without a product release that allows one two call the other, but there are also times when such integration makes sense. For example, imagine that you want your Salesforce users collect information about new orders, but Salesforce is not the system you use for managing your orders. Rather than having your Salesforce users log in to a separate system, they can just use a guide that collects order information (among other things) and the guide can automatically kicks off the Informatica Cloud task that moves that information into the order management system as soon as the data is done being entered.
There are also other great improvements with the coming release. We are storing information about the execution of guides in Salesforce, so users can create custom reports about the work that has been accomplished using guides. We are making it easy to create guides that are only visible to the right kind of users in the right situations. It will be possible to customize the “themes” that determine the look and feel of guides. We will also be offering a beta version of a new smartphone app for running guides, which will make the use of guides from a phone much faster and more convenient.
As a sneak peak of what is coming in future releases, I can tell you that we are looking forward to being able to leverage Informatica’s broad collection of connectors to make it easy for a non-programmer to create guides that show up in one application (such as Salesforce) but allow the user to create or modify data from multiple systems in real time. Now that is an exciting prospect and one that I will talk more about in future posts.
For more information about the Informatica Cloud Extend features in the Summer 2013 release, visit https://community.informatica.com/community/products/informatica_cloud/blog/2013/05/14/whats-new-in-informatica-cloud-extend-summer-2013