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My company wants to integrate its application with Salesforce. Our product will need to publish lead information into the accounts of hundreds or possibly thousands of companies each with their own salesforce accounts.

As a complete newb with salesforce, I am not sure where to begin. I've signed up for a free developer account, and wandered around the docs a for several days. The size and scope of the platform is a bit overwhelming when I just want to know roughly what steps I need to take to publish information.

I have all sorts of questions that I am sure I could answer for myself if I knew where to look. I am not even sure of the right terms to use to ask good questions here.

For example:

I need to build a back-end system (like a cron job or daemon) that will extract leads generated on our platform and create them in Salesforce.

I think I want to create a "connected app", and use the Bulk API to create records. I assume that I authenticate as myself using the SOAP api to get a session ID. I think I can then create a job and bulk create lead objects. But I don't know for sure if I can create leads in multiple customer accounts at once.

Maybe I should be looking at the REST API and using OAUTH to connect and stream new leads to SF. But we could be talking about hundreds or thousands of records a minute.

Either way I could easily run up against API limits - which I can't seem to find any but the most vague discussion of.

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Most any kind of developer documentation you're looking for will be found on this page: https://developer.salesforce.com/docs. Anything else you might want to search for on a topic that's related to SF will usually be found most easily using http://findsf.info/ which is Google based search engine specific to SF. API limits should be found in the APEX Code Developer's Guide.

  • Thanks. The APEX guide description leads me to believe that APEX is a scripting language that is not of any use to me for my (current needs). I found the Bulk API docs useful, if slightly inconsistent and obfuscatory (e.g, they list conflicting URLs for most of the interactions, such as creating a job), however they only hint at the restrictions existing and give no numbers. My core difficulty lies in taking a requirement "put this data into salesforce" and then relating that to the panoply of products and services that make up Salesforce. The search URL is quite helpful. Thanks again. – daotoad Jan 9 '15 at 7:43
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    APEX is actually a java-like object oriented database language originally created by Oracle for managing database server systems. VF pages use some APEX code that appears similar to HTML as part of the MVC. SF is entirely metadata driven at it's core. Most anything you do will need to run as an Apex class on the SF end. See the Apex Workbook to get started with it. Be aware that the PE edition and lower cannot access the API except through a managed package. API limits are also normally on a per seat/license basis. – crmprogdev Jan 9 '15 at 13:49
  • Do you know of a salesforce from 10000 feet doc? Something that can tell me about the different editions, core products etc. I am still struggling to understand the difference between Salesforce, Salesforce1 and Force.com. I am stumbling around and reading all sorts of stuff, but I lack even a basic familiarity with SF and its eco-system. I appreciate your time and effort helping to clear things up for me. – daotoad Jan 10 '15 at 0:04
  • The difference between the versions is that SF now includes mobile pages and has been rebranded as SF1. Force.com doesn't include any of the CRM features of SF like Opportunities. I'd suggest this page salesforce.com/products to learn more about the different editions, features and add-ons. I'd recommend you visit this page: developer.salesforce.com/page/Architect_Core_Resources and take a look at the docs under Force.com Fundamentals and Force.com Integration Design to get the under the hood 1000 ft view. SF is both SAAS & PAAS. – crmprogdev Jan 10 '15 at 15:00
  • The best place to get started as a newbie for reading/writing SFDC data: developer.salesforce.com/docs/atlas.en-us.api_rest.meta/… And if you need to build UI experiences to be rendered inside SFDC: developer.salesforce.com/docs/atlas.en-us.fundamentals.meta/… – stefann Oct 8 '17 at 4:53
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So here are some of the things I have found:

The difference is between Salesforce, Salesforce1 and Force.com:

  1. Salesforce.com - The CRM/cloud computing company and their primary product Salesforce https://success.salesforce.com/answers?id=90630000000gtomAAA
  2. Force.com - A cloud application platform that can host privately developed applications
  3. Salesforce1 - a platform for building and selling integrations to salesforce.com. It focuses on providing mobile support and allowing ISVs to provide value added tools for the core salesforce.com application. What is Salesforce1 and why/when would I use it?
  • Best not to ask a question in an answer. This probably should have been an edit to your original question. – crmprogdev Jan 10 '15 at 15:01
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Api limits that salesforce enforces on incoming calls are what a big letdown in designing the architecture which allows the realtime processing. What salesforce allows is unlimited outbound calls to external systems. So instead of making external system call SFDC ,you yourself call external system after some limited interval(Using schedulers) and get all the unprocessed data onto salesforce. Yeah its bit like the polling mechanism, but yeah, unlimited outbound calls. Thats how we handled a requirement that need 10lacs plus calls a days, and had budget constraints. Yeah by polling mechanism, and doing callout from SFDC. enter image description here

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