Data synchronization is perhaps the biggest issue in integration, especially when an integration solution involves data on cloud and on premises, and more so when some data resides with partners outside the enterprise.

For example, a business needs to keep its Sales, Marketing, and other teams in sync; to do this it needs to sync its Salesforce data with its Marketo data, with inventory and product data in its fulfillment system, and with other customer data, sales data, supply-chain data, logistics data, and so on, wherever that data resides.

Business users, partners, and customers can all be changing data in real time; for example, through SaaS and cloud applications. For such real-time changes to data, data synchronization also needs to happen in real time – automatically.

For some proprietary applications and on-premises systems, data might be changed by other processes and data synchronization occurs on a scheduled basis. For example, to push account, order, inventory, and product information to Saas and cloud applications from the e-commerce and fulfilment systems, ensuring that Sales and customer service staff have the most current information.

Cloud data sync with IBM App Connect (Click image to see full size.)

With IBM App Connect, you can create your own integration solutions that provide real-time and scheduled data synchronization:

  • With IBM App Connect Designer, business users can create real-time data synchronization between the SaaS and cloud applications that they depend on, by themselves, in minutes. This data synchronization can include on-premises apps and enterprise systems like SAP.
  • With the extra capabilities of IBM App Connect Professional, integration developers can create more-sophisticated data synchronization between applications on cloud and on premises. To create your own cloud data synchronization solution, you can use IBM App Connect Professional’s configuration-not-coding approach and exploit pre-built connectivity to hundreds of proprietary applications.

    Such integration solutions can include workflow, transformation, and other features that enhance data synchronization; for example, to combine data from multiple different sources and remove duplicate values, or enrich the data by performing lookups with third-party providers and applying cognitive cognitive-based enhancement to the data.

  • If you have IBM Integration Bus (IIB), integration developers can create integration solutions that add data synchronization through IIB.

    Integration developers can present IIB message flows as custom apps in IBM App Connect Designer, so that business users can use its simple click-and-configure techniques to extend data synchronization with SaaS and cloud applications through IIB to other proprietary applications and back-end systems.

    Integration developers can also connect IIB to IBM App Connect Professional for data synchronization between the many proprietary applications supported by App Connect and with other proprietary applications and back-end systems connected through IIB.

For example, a company has an SAP ERP system and has Salesforce.com as their CRM system in the cloud. Data in the CRM system is used by the call center and the sales teams to communicate with their customers, and to organize their projects and track their tasks, through SaaS applications like Mailchimp and Trello. Account data is available in SAP but has to be synchronized with the data in Salesforce.com and the other SaaS applications.

Example: IBM App Connect Professional 2-way data synchronization between SAP and Salesforce.com (Click image to view full size.)

IBM App Connect Professional is used to keep the data of the two systems synchronized:

  • Synchronizing new and updated customer data from SAP into Salesforce.com
  • Synchronizing updated account data from Salesforce.com into SAP
  • Synchronizing changes to account data in Salesforce.com with data in other SaaS applications

An integration developer can use IBM App Connect Professional’s configuration-not-coding approach and pre-built templates to enable data synchronization between SAP and Salesforce.com. Business users in the call center and sales teams can use IBM App Connect Designer themselves to easily connect their SaaS applications in minutes, to enable real-time data synchronization between the SaaS applications including Salesforce.com.

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