Abacus Media custom Salesforce API

This project needed Custom Salesforce API to integrate Abacus Media’s ADvance system with their client’s Salesforce CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system.

What they wanted

Abacus developed a platform for delivering content and membership/subscription management called ADvance. They asked us to help develop a way of integrating the ADvance system with Salesforce, as many of their clients were using Salesforce as their CRM system.

One client, Cogora, needed to implement two-way communication between these two systems, so they can have consistent data across each and reduce manual data input.

Cogora owns several brands (PULSE, Nursing in Practice, The Commissioning Review, Management in Practice and Hospital Healthcare Europe), and use Salesforce within their business to provide a single view of customer interactions. Their PULSE website runs on the abacus ADvance, and the data from this site needed to synchronise with Salesforce.

But whenever integrating any two disparate systems, data consistency is always the main consideration. This is to make sure records aren’t overwritten or duplications are created. Both systems should be able to create and amend records in real-time and send the information to each other, making sure data on both systems is the same.

How we helped

oe:gen's role was to write APEX triggers on the standard Salesforce objects Account and Contact, as well as Custom objects that stored event registrations and preferences.

So, whenever an update or new record was created, APEX methods were called to push all relevant data to the Advance API (application programming interface).

We then supported the Abacus IT team in developing their code to call the Salesforce Bulk API methods, and writing any relevant APEX triggers when data came in from the ADvance system.

Here's what we delivered:

  • Two-way feed from ADvance to Salesforce/Salesforce to ADvance. Companies created/updated in ADvance will be synchronised to Salesforce as ‘account’ objects.

  • Record matching/merging criteria is determined at the specification stage.

  • ADvance ‘party ID’ (unique identifier) is stored with the record within Salesforce.

  • Salesforce API response now includes a Salesforce record ID (unique identifier) which will be stored within the ADvance party (company) record.

  • Individuals created/updated in ADvance are synchronised to Salesforce as ‘contact’ objects.

  • Record matching/merging criteria are determined at the specification stage.

  • ADvance ‘party ID’ (unique identifier) is stored with the record within Salesforce.

  • Salesforce API response includes a Salesforce record ID (unique identifier) which is stored within the ADvance party (company) record. This will be used for record matching on any subsequent data transfers between systems.

  • Company association handling: if the user is associated with a company within ADvance, this association will be maintained with an ‘account’ and ‘contact’ relationship for the record being added to Salesforce.

The result?

Because of the integration work, Cogora saved time and money from having to manually keep two systems up-to-date, and significantly reduced discrepancies between the systems. Data collected in the ADvance system was then automatically added to Salesforce and vice versa.

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