Introducing Heroku Connect: Connecting Clouds and Customers
May 13, 2014 by Margaret Francis
Today we are announcing the general availability of Salesforce1 Heroku Connect. This new Heroku product is a synchronization service, conceptually similar to Dropbox or iCloud, that synchronizes data between a Salesforce deployment and a Heroku Postgres database. By bringing together the data layers of the Force.com and Heroku platforms--and thus allowing the same data to be seamlessly reflected in each cloud’s native database--you can use the capabilities of each platform together in a single application, without having to translate or otherwise integrate between them.
Heroku and Force.com are cloud platform ‘cousins’, each with its own semantics and high-level services. And each platform has its own focus: Force.com is for enterprise applications, and Heroku is for customer facing apps built with open source stacks.
Standard SQL can serve as the bridge between these clouds. Virtually every app framework, be it Rails, Django, Symphony or Sinatra, is designed to work with standard SQL. With Heroku Connect, you can work with Salesforce data as a first-class element inside virtually any stack.
Heroku and Salesforce customers are launching ambitious, industry changing projects. These apps require developers to deliver Internet class consumer experiences that also deliver the benefits of deep business process integration with enterprise apps. Heroku Connect provides you with a straightforward, complete architecture to meet these increasingly complex business requirements.
Heroku Connect works by creating a user specified subset of the objects and fields from a Salesforce deployment into corresponding tables in a Postgres database. This mapping is done declaratively, through a point-and-click UI, and populated by an initial read of Salesforce data.
Because the data model for Postgres is taken directly from the Salesforce schema, you can see the data and types exactly as they exist in Salesforce inside the Postgres database.
Heroku Connect features include:
Ability to access Salesforce data via SQL. SQL is the ‘lingua franca’ of developers and data--it’s the common denominator of most application development. By bringing a copy of Salesforce data into Postgres, Heroku Connect lets you use the full power of SQL for all of your development and data management tasks.
Optimized Force.com API interactions. Heroku Connect uses a large set of best practices for interacting with the Force.com API. Depending on the state of the system at any time--how much data has changed or needs to be moved--Heroku Connect automatically picks the most efficient and performant API strategy.
Performance and scale. Because all data is statefully stored in the database, Heroku Connect allows Postgres to act as an API cache, quickly responding to read requests without requiring calls back to Salesforce. All the features of Postgres--including indices, extensions and special data types--is available to scale the real time access of your data.
Set it and forget it simplicity. Once a developer or business user configures the Salesforce data they want to synchronize into Postgres, the Heroku Connect service will run without additional administration. No programming, scheduling, or workflow creation is required. Like Salesforce, Heroku Connect is a multi-tenant service, so there is no software to install or manage.