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I'm new to Salesforce, and working on an integration task which involves adding contacts to Salesforce from an existing system and keeping them in sync (one way; contacts updated in existing system should be updated in SF, but contacts updated in SF do not need to be updated in the existing system).

The edition being used is the "Contact Manager" edition.

  1. Is it possible to programatically add contacts? From what I've read, this version does not include API access, but surely there must be a way to do such a basic task without having to resort to the web interface?

  2. Is there a C# client library for the API? (Though this might be redundant anyway if the CM edition does not support API access). Finding .NET specific documentation has been difficult, and there is a lot of mention of accessing the WSDL and generating the proxy, but it seems like a long-winded way of doing things.

  3. When creating a contact via the web interface, I noticed that they have to be assigned to an "Account" as a required field. I'm planning to assign all users synced from the website to a single 'website' account. Is there anything wrong with this approach?

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It is not possible to use the API with Contact Manager edition. There are some data loading tools out there that work with other versions of Salesforce that don't have the API enabled and may with Contact Manager. Look at dataloader.io or Jitterbit Data Loader. You may be able to use them as an intermediary and then batch load your data on some schedule.

  • Thanks Daniel. I thought this might be the case, and am a little disappointed in SalesForce for having this restriction. Wanted to try and avoid having the client upgrade to the Professional edition as there is a significant difference in price. Unfortunately, Jitterbit and DataLoader.IO won't really work in this case, so it may be the only option. – String Compare Jul 8 '13 at 15:46
  • Even with PE edition, API access is an added charge. It isn't until you get to EE that API is included. For your C# question, have you looked at http://www.salesforce.com/us/developer/docs/api/Content/sforce_api_quickstart_steps.htm – Daniel Hoechst Jul 8 '13 at 16:08
  • That seems a little ridiculous, and sounds like they're intentionally trying to alienate small businesses ($125/month per user is expensive). Thanks for the link; once I created a developer account, the WSDL url worked as I was able to generate the service reference in Visual Studio. – String Compare Jul 8 '13 at 20:14

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