HomeSalesboom Platform: Customization, Integration & New Apps
Salesboom Platform: Customization, Integration & New Apps
This document deals with Customization, Integration and new Application Development for the Salesboom platform using Salesboom Web Services API, and Point-and-click customization and application building tools.
The Salesboom platform includes CRM and ERP functionality, integrated out of the box, but there is generally some customization and sometimes integration with proprietary or third party software required to fully leverage the capabilities of Salesboom. For complex customizations and integrations, the Salesboom platform allows direct, low-level access to Object data stored in Salesboom via a Web Service Application Programming Interface (API). The Salesboom API is a Web Service built on a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) that is used to either extend existing Salesboom functionalities, or to integrated Salesboom with third-party and/or ‘home grown’ applications.
To better understand how the Salesboom platform works, there are a few concepts that may be new to those familiar with traditional, client/server enterprise applications:
What separates the Salesboom platform from other on-demand CRM providers is that Salesboom was built from the ground up as a Multi-Tenant architecture based on a Web Services based SOA.
Multi-Tenant applications differ from traditional installed or client/server enterprise applications in that all applications integrated or built with Salesboom building tools are accessed within the same Salesboom login session. They appear as extra tabs and extra fields and links within the existing Salesboom on-demand CRM and leverage the existing security model, data model and user interface of the Salesboom platform. This leads to rapid development of new applications that run on the Salesboom platform and require little or no programming.
Multi-Tenant applications usually share a common instance of the software rather than a one instance per user. This type of software architecture delivered via the Internet allows for unprecedented speed of deployment at incredibly low costs.
What differentiates the Salesboom Multi-Tenant architecture from it’s competitors is that with Salesboom Platform, not all customers actually share the instances of the Salesboom platform, but further separate user processes on the system by pooling instances in groups known only to Salesboom, and distributed geographically based on user demand and availability. This allows Salesboom to deliver a much more secure environment for our customers while giving us the ultimate in flexibility to manage our SOA.
Service Oriented Architecture
Salesboom was built from the ground up as an SOA based on Web Services. Web Services create a standards based and well defined boundary between applications that eases integration and make for a much more agile development environment.
Salesboom SOA is made up of loosely coupled applications that can be made available from any network, anywhere around the globe and can be easily combined to create new and different applications based on standard methods and software supported by the leading platform providers such as Microsoft, IBM and BEA.
Point-and-click Building tools
Every Salesboom account comes with point-and-click customization tools that allow for customizations like adding fields, creating custom tabs, custom links, etc. No programming is required or any software to install as the tools are provide as part of the Salesboom on-demand CRM application. Rather than having hard coded anything, each page rendered in Salesboom is based on how your organization set it up. With point and click tools Salesboom Platform gives the ability to customize existing tabs, create completely new tabs (Objects) and build custom links to applications not running on the Salesboom Platform.
Your administrator can take advantage of this Meta-data driven method of application development without having to program any code and leveraging the security models, data models and user interface already built into the Salesboom Platform. This method of software development takes most of the burden off of creating new on-demand applications and allows Salesboom customers and partners to concentrate on innovation rather than technical details.
For experienced IT professionals, the combination of point-and-click application development and access to the back end of Salesboom via our Web Services API provides a robust, dynamic and powerful toolset to build and integrate the most complex of applications. Or, Salesboom Professional Services team is available to develop you applications to your exacting requirements, at very low costs and rapid deployment times.
Web Services API
The Salesboom Platform Web Services API is based on a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) based open Internet standards including XML, SOAP and WS-I Basic Profile. As well, the Salesboom API can be accessible via REST requests for less complicated integrations. This means the Salesboom Platform is compatible with your favourite programming language, development environment or integration tool from major (and minor) software vendors, both installed and on-demand. As an open Web Service, the Salesboom API is available to all platforms that support the core Web Services standards including Java, .NET and Perl.
Salesboom’s API is hosted in Salesboom’s data centers and the integration code and the applications that are integrated with Salesboom typically run in the customer’s data center or at a third party data center. Or alternatively, Salesboom API calls can be made from your Salesboom application to the Salesboom API by building a custom link with point-and-click ease.
For integrating existing applications, the API is called over the Internet from applications running on the customer site. This means the customer is responsible for the infrastructure capable of supporting the integration code and the application that is being integrated with Salesboom. The applications integrated with Salesboom range from simple links to web sites to full integrations with back-office ERP systems or legacy applications.
Note that Salesboom Web Service API is reserved for customer and partner use only. Our API is rapidly enhanced and upgraded to keep up with the demand of today’s on-demand applications. Keeping our API private allows for more control over the API and to allow for more frequent updates without breaking existing applications developed using the API. This control, combined with the Salesboom Multi Tenant infrastructure allows for a much more secure application environment than any other on-demand software provider.
The Salesboom platform is customizable, with the ability to create custom forms, fields, layouts, data tables and business rules by using ‘point and click’ or ‘Meta-data-driven’ development tools provided by Salesboom. Tasks such as customizing standard Salesboom Objects by adding fields, layouts, workflow, etc as well as creating custom Salesboom Objects and linking them with standard Salesboom objects require no coding.
With mouse clicks, not custom software, new objects can be created within the Salesboom login area and linked up to existing Saelsboom Objects and custom Salesboom Objects. No programming is required to create custom links from within Salesboom to a web site or web-based application that is running at the client’s site.
Relatively straight-forward customizations of the Salesboom platform are easy with the Meta-data-driven customization tools. This opens up the ability to create custom software by non-IT personnel. The drawback is that they are limited to the level of customization required by the available web-based building tools. For more complex customizations, accessing the Web Services API and some coding is required, but gives developers full reign over what they can create.
Connecting Salesboom to existing enterprise applications is a very common requirement. Integration with Salesboom requires the use of the API and the appropriate permissions set in your account by Salesboom. Integration with Salesboom can be bi-directional, that is data can be sent from Salesboom to another application or from another application into Salesboom. The integrated data can be exchanged in real time, via some sort of trigger, or via batch integrations.
Simple integration can be achieved by creating custom links from within Salesboom to outside Web Services or web accessible applications that are hosted at the customer’s site. In this case the customer is responsible for the appropriate applications and infrastructure to keep up with the scalability and reliability requirements of the application not hosted in Salesboom’s data centers.
Custom integrations may require the use of the Salesboom Web Services API which may also involve custom code running on the customer side that calls the Salesboom API and interacts with the existing application. This custom code can be developed either by the customer or by Salesboom Professional Services Team.
Integrating Off the Shelf Accounting and ERP packages
Salesboom partners such as Interweave offer many pre-built connectors to ERP and back office applications such as Quickbooks, Microsoft Great Plains, Oracle ERP and SAP ERP applications including others. These make integration with off the shelf applications possible out of the box. Custom connectors can also be built to any proprietary or legacy applications and low costs due to the Salesboom Web Services API and SOA.
Extraction, Transformation and Loading (ETL)
This type of integration involves batch migration of data between Salesboom and the target system. ETLs such as Data Junction by Pervasive typically require no programming. They typically provide connections to both Salesboom and the target system and the facility to map and transform data between them. ETLs can are set up to move defined sets of data to and from Salesboom on a scheduled basis.
Point-to-Point Custom Integrations can be created to automate the ETL processes by leveraging the platforms and programming languages of your choice and the Salesboom Web Services API to create custom applications to control these processes yourself, line by line in the code. This allows for unlimited flexibility to built custom integrations to suit the needs of any organization by giving them the tools they need to get the job done.
Enterprise Application Integration (EAI)
For customers with existing message based integration platforms or EAI solutions like TIBCo or WebMethods have a full set of integration capabilities at their fingertips. Build the connectors, monitoring and transformation capabilities required of even the most complex use cases.
Complex enterprise software customization and integration can be the most complicated and time consuming processes in any software system. Although Salesboom is a world leader at easy customization and integration of the Salesboom Platform, often highly trained IT professionals are required. You are not in this alone, however. Salesboom Professional Services team are experts at getting you up and running with a business management system that is exactly what you need, on time and under budget. With the latest advancements in Web Services and SOAs, it has become easier than ever to accomplish complicated customizations and integrations for much less than you would ever imagine, both in terms of cost and time to deployment.