Collaboration between multiple Salesforce Orgs

Overview

While working as a Test Analyst at makepositive, I got a chance to work on their product called Passport. Passport comes into its own when any organisation is using multiple Salesforce orgs or communities to maintain their business processes and also actively using Chatter as a communication tool for sharing information between employees or partners. This was the first time I was going to work on the product which was actually used by the clients and because of the relatively small size of the product development team, I felt a great sense of ownership. I got an opportunity to work closely with different clients, understand their business processes and see how Passport contributed to making their business process better.

While addressing multiple companies using Passport, I got to know why companies opt to use multiple Salesforce orgs to handle their business processes, and how they can share data between their different Salesforce instances once they start using multiple Salesforce orgs. I have tried to summarise my understanding below.

Why companies go for a multi-org strategy

Many organisations opt for using multiple Salesforce orgs to maintain their complex business processes. While there could be various reasons for an organization to go for multi-org strategy, the common ones we’ve encountered are:

Organization Modelling

Business models play a key role in defining the org strategy for a company. From the below diagram, companies with diversification business models can opt for a multi-org strategy since business processes are independent of each other and does not require much coordination between them.

Mergers and Acquisitions

When an organisation with its business process set up on Salesforce acquires another organisation  running on Salesforce, then the organisation as a single entity may want to keep each organisation’s business process independent of each other.

Org Limits

It could be case that limits have been reached in a single Salesforce org and business can no longer add new business processes and operations in a single org any more.

Due to all such reasons and many others such as different legal/tax compliances etc., companies are inclined towards spreading their business processes and production data across multiple instances of Salesforce.

Need to share data between multiple Salesforce orgs

Once your organisation starts using multiple Salesforce orgs to handle their business operations, there is a possibility that you may require data collaboration between your Salesforce orgs which involves sharing selective data between your different Salesforce instances. When we talk about sharing data between 2 or more Salesforce orgs , we generally classify data in the following two ways :

  1. Object records: Sharing object records between orgs. For e.g. sharing global accounts or contacts between business units or any other custom object records.
  2. Chatter feed: Sharing chatter data across orgs to maintain a single view of all organisation feeds.

Reasons to share object records between Salesforce orgs

Global Client Records

One reason to share objects across orgs is for sharing common global object records between orgs, e.g. different teams in different orgs working on same global accounts, hence each team needs to be updated of the latest developments or any activity or action by other teams.

Concept of Hub or Master Org

Companies having master-child strategy between different Salesforce orgs where all customer records are uploaded in the single master org from other child orgs on regular basis. This concept is also useful in reporting where clients may require customer data from all child orgs in a single consolidated org to prepare consolidated reports.

Reasons to share chatter data between Salesforce orgs

  1. Maintain single view of all company feeds through chatter data sharing, i.e users from one org should be able to view chatter updates from other org users.
  2. To improve interaction between users from different orgs, For e.g. use of chatter message or sharing collaboration groups between orgs.
  3. Sharing chatter activity updates on object records shared between orgs, e.g. this will enable teams from different business units to track the progress and updates on any shared global account record.

Different methods of sharing object records between multiple orgs

  • S2S: This is a standard functionality provided by Salesforce to share object records between various orgs. For more details on S2S, please check the following link:

https://developer.salesforce.com/page/An_Introduction_to_Salesforce_to_Salesforce

  • External 3rd party tools:  Any external tool can be used to transfer object records between orgs. For e.g. you can use Data loader or any standard ETL tool as per your requirements.
  • Lightning Connect: Lightning Connect is a feature provided by Salesforce to integrate and import data from external sources such as Oracle DB, SAP or any other Salesforce organisation. For more details you can go to the following link :

https://developer.salesforce.com/events/webinars/Lightning-Connect

Sharing Chatter data between multiple orgs

Sharing Chatter data across orgs requires sharing of all Chatter objects from one org to another such as Users, Collaboration Groups, Entity Subscriptions, Feed posts, Comments and Likes. While object records can be shared via salesforce-to-salesforce (S2S), no standard solution has been provided by Salesforce for sharing Chatter data across multiple orgs. Now I am going to introduce Passport products which are customised solutions to share Chatter data across your Salesforce orgs.

  1. Passport Social Connector for Multi-Org: Passport Hub is a customised solution to share realtime Chatter data across multiple orgs. It allows syncing all Chatter activities such as Chatter groups, feed posts, comments, likes, files from one org to another or vice versa thereby also maintaining single customer view of all the feeds posted.

Passport Hub also provides the ability to share feed posts on object records shared between orgs independent of the mechanism through which object records are shared, e.g. you can customize Passport to support Chatter feed collaboration on object records shared via S2S, Lightning Connect or any other tool simultaneously.

Using Passport Social Connector for object records shared via S2S

Once installed, the Passport Social Connector also enables sharing of chatter feeds posted on object records which are shared via S2S. We can specify the objects (both standard & custom) for which we want facilitate chatter collaboration.

Using Passport Social Connector for object records shared via Lightning Connect (Between salesforce orgs)

Once Lightning Connect has been configured to share object records between multiple Salesforce orgs, Passport Social Connector can be configured and used to share chatter feeds posted on shared object records.

Using Passport Social Connector for object records shared via ETL or any 3rd party tool (Between salesforce orgs)

Using unique mapping id which is used to map the object records shared between multiple orgs, Passport provides an option to facilitate sharing of chatter data on object records shared via any external tool.

For more details, please check out Passport on the AppExchange:

https://appexchange.salesforce.com/listingDetail?listingId=a0N30000009wK2yEAE

  1. P4C (Passport for Communities): P4C is useful for organisations which are using communities in their orgs. P4C is a custom solution to sync all the chatter activities from the internal org to communities and vice versa, thereby saving time to switch between an org & community.

For more details, please check the following link:

https://appexchange.salesforce.com/listingDetail?listingId=a0N30000000pw9HEAQ

 

Passport Social Connector for Multi Org & Passport for communities (P4C) are fully customizable end-to-end solutions to integrate chatter between multiple Salesforce orgs or communities.

For conceptual reference, Please refer to the following link :

http://www.slideshare.net/richardclark3363334/df14-multi-org-collaboration-architecture-v10

Mayur Vats is currently employed by makepositive as a QA Lead and is based at our office in Gurgaon, India. He has extensive experience in automation tools (Provar, Selenium and QTP) and manual testing. Mayur is managing makepositive’s QA team for both product and services.

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