CRM & CMS Integration: Plone and Salesforce.com

Today, I was reading up on what the Plone community has done with integrating their CMS with Salesforce.com. I am thinking that this might be a good model for how we can do it with Drupal, but that's a subject for another post. (from Plone/SF Integration group) There's a good overview of the integration on the developerforce wiki. There are 5 components to the integration:
  • a couple of toolkits that provide the basic back-and-forth between Plone and Salesforce.com (they talk to Python and Zope)
  • an auth plug-in that allows for Salesforce.com objects to be Plone users, credential checking, caching of user data, and syncing of data from Salesforce.com and Plone
  • an integration of PloneFormGen with Salesforce.com for web-to-lead forms, etc.
  • an event management product that connects with Salesforce.com
  • A PayPal integration product
This is a pretty robust set of channels for data to move back and forth from Salesforce.com to Plone. There is a Plone/Salesforce.com Integration group, that keeps working on this, and a number of organization, including ONE/Northwest, have invested huge amounts of time and resources to working on this integration. This is, for sure, one of the most robust open source CMS to CRM integrations out there, and one that seems to be getting pretty close to providing very powerful integration "out-of-the-box" - instead of having to piece things together and do customized code, which is more common than not. I haven't gotten my hands on this to try (not being a Plone person, I doubt I will), but folks might want to talk in comments about how straightforward the integration is, given differences in data for different instances of Salesforce.com. I don't know how much code tweaking is required to really get this going. But in any event, it's great that it exists, and it's a great benchmark for CMS/CRM integration.

Comments

Like everything in Drupal land, there is code for that... though the quality varies widely.

The most recent update of the salesforce module was in late February and looks like Chapter Three is taking the lead on that... it used to be Trellon, but I don't think they ever got their code in a reusable format... just for client sites.

With joshk as the maintainer, the quality should be better than average.

The drupal working group for CRM integrations is here:
http://groups.drupal.org/enterprise-crm-integration

The Salesforce module is here:
http://drupal.org/project/salesforce

And the devil is probably keeping up with the Salesforce API... most of these intergation modules get built for a single client as a point solution and the module is not really maintained robustly over the various drupal version and salesforce api changes. But as long as folks want to fund it/ work on it, there will always be a good solution.

Michelle-

We spent a lot of effort to make the Plone/Salesforce integration products completely agnostic about your Salesforce.com data structures. Simply put: we don't make any assumptions about how you're modeling your data, we just let you grab it as you need to.

Michelle,

Hopefully after the demo at the Plone booth in the NTC Science Fair you got a good taste of the Plone-salesforce.com integration! Also, we posted the slides from our talk on the integration here: http://www.slideshare.net/jonstahl/an-open-civic-engagement-platform-plo...

We're working on some additional documentation and screencasts as well as a distribution of Plone that includes the salesforce.com integration ready to go! Look for that shortly.

Cheers,
Chris

[...] applications. I’ve already talked on this blog about Salesforce integration with Drupal, Plone, and others. Today I’m going to delve into Salesforce-based CMS systems – systems built [...]

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