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We are going To plugin the Salesforce CRM system into our applications environment. This installation will require different integration processes between existing systems - some of them are legacy - and the salesforce.

Can you suggest me different and possible integration tools, techniques or best practices to link between AS400 ERP system and Salesforce? in order to send/receive data between both of them.

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  • Marina Martin, are you willing to share your process steps for this integration? Apr 29 '14 at 19:06
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I've done quite a few AS/400 integrations with Salesforce. The easiest way I've found is to have the As/400 publish a CSV to a password-protected FTP site, then run a PHP script via cron job that parses that CSV and upserts Salesforce.

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I would suggest starting at the Integration page on developer.force.com.

There are a huge number of options, but that will give you an idea of how to begin planning.

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There are several best practices when integrating the legacy AS400 based ERPs with CRMs and channels:

  1. Avoid direct connections to AS400 database or programs from the external systems. It might seem easy for POC but quickly becomes brittle, non-reusable and a potential security threat. Instead consider implementing an AS400 - facing API layer with the tools such as Mulesoft then leverage these APIs and integration components within Salesforce or other systems
  2. Consider near real time integration unless this is not feasible. Do not automatically fall into batch / file / once a day ETL process that refreshes the data. Use AS400 Data Queues for streaming the back-end changes to external systems in near real time, and leverage AS400 connectors or similar tools to execute the back-end programs in near real time to post the transactions.
  3. Avoid introducing and operating the new middleware tools directly on the AS400. The AS400 hardware and software stack is very modern sophisticated platform that is optimized for predictably running very diverse workloads. However the teams that operate the systems and support legacy applications tend to be stretched thin and may not have the capacity or skills to quickly adopt and efficiently operate the specialized integration tools offered on the platform. Instead I'd recommend leveraging mainstream stacks such as Mulesoft that are designed to do exactly this type of integration work and there's a large and growing development community

Here is a link that walks through more technical details and a sample application code for near real time Salesforce and AS400 integration: https://www.infoviewsystems.com/connect-ibm-i-as400-to-salesforce-with-mulesoft/

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