Salesforce has never remained under the radar in terms of the plethora of features and benefits it has to offer. Keeping this in mind, businesses ranging from big MNCs to Fortune 500 companies are rapidly migrating to Salesforce and integrating it into their sales processes to achieve a new automation level.
Integration helps Salesforce consulting companies better understand and use their data by connecting different data sets into a unified ecosystem that can be used effectively for analysis and communication purposes. However, it is difficult to share code and best practices with other organizations to create an open-source ecosystem around Salesforce. And this is due to barriers to entry that make it challenging to export/import code to Salesforce instances.
And that’s where Salesforce API is required to bridge the gap between Salesforce and third-party apps and software.
To help you understand more about Salesforce API, we’ve listed various APIs and their purpose in Salesforce. Keep on reading!
What is an API?
An application programming interface (API) is an interface that easily connects different applications and allows them to work simultaneously. An API is what connects each request or query to a database containing behind-the-scenes answers, so you’ll find it used by almost any automated system. When a query is made, the API sends the request to the data source, collects the response, and returns the relevant data to the user. APIs are data tools that transfer information between data sources and various access points and user interfaces.
Types Of Salesforce APIs
SOAP and REST APIs:
Each Salesforce API is based on a core SOAP or REST API. While SOAP and REST form the basic structure of each API, Salesforce has several more specific APIs designed to handle specific requests. We can also create Custom APIs to provide unique functionality.
Before choosing your specific API, it’s essential to understand the differences between these two basic frameworks.
Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) API is a standardized messaging protocol that is the basis of most modern APIs. This was the original Salesforce API even before Apex was adopted as the main programming language. The main functions include updating, creating, or deleting records and retrieving search results from external applications.
It is popular among large companies because it can handle large amounts of data as it uses XML and HTTP in the form of WSDL (Web Service Description Language) to send requests.
There are two types of WSDL: enterprise WSDL web services and partner WSDL web services.
Enterprise Web Services WSDL – Customers and ISVs looking to build integrations specific to their Salesforce Org.
Partner Web Services WSDL – Development partners looking to create generic integrations for multiple Salesforce Orgs. It can be used to access data from all organizations connected to it.
Representational State Transfer REST API is a lightweight, less intensive alternative to SOAP API. It is much easier to integrate and develop than SOAP and, therefore, more dynamic and adaptable. REST does not require creating a WSDL file to connect your external application to your Salesforce organization and can return results in JSON format, which is smaller and faster than XML.
Apex, used by Salesforce, considers JSON easier to handle than XML. For this reason, REST is preferred by mobile apps.
SOAP vs. REST Comparison
1. SOAP is more structured than REST.
3. SOAP APIs are preferred by large enterprises and form the basis of many modern applications.
Connect REST API
The Connect API uses REST as its primary purpose is to make certain information visible in mobile applications. The Connect API accesses and displays content from your CMS, notifications, Chatter feed, user information, and more.
Usage Of Connect REST API:
- Creating mobile apps
- Third-party web application integration to notify users of data events and changes
- Displaying a feed on an intranet site
- Automatically post Chat items to Twitter
The metadata API is used to manage customization and build tools in your Salesforce org, rather than data held within the system. This API migrates any new changes from the testing Sandbox environment into the live production environment.
Usage Of MetaData API
- Create custom fields on page layout
- Update Visualforce pages
- Modify security protocols
- Modify existing customizations
- Export customizations as XML files
User Interface API
With this API, you can create your user interface that allows users to work with any part of your data or metadata in Salesforce. Data is constantly in sync with your Salesforce organization, so it stays current for as long as users have access to it. The API itself takes care of security and layout and supports only user interface creation.
Usage Of Interface API
- Build user interfaces to view and manipulate data as needed
- Apex SOAP API
- Use this API to open your Salesforce Apex architecture and master code to external developers via SOAP.
- Using this API means that some Apex classes and methods can be implemented as web services (in the form of API endpoints that external services and applications can call)
Apex REST API
This API works similarly to the Apex SOAP API but is used with the REST API instead.
Usage Of Apex REST API
If you outsource your development to an external company, this API will be required.
This API was developed to edit many records with a single command, whether creating, updating, viewing, or deleting records. Because the APIs work asynchronously, allowing requests to be processed in parallel, they don’t try to manipulate too much data at once.
Usage Of Bulk API
- Send a group request whose response can be seen later
- Streaming API
- The Streaming API will generate immediate real-time information that logs all changes to the data in your Salesforce organization.
Tooling API is used to integrate metadata with other systems. One of the main advantages is handling complex types of metadata that speed up operations. You can also use this API to create custom development tools for your force.com application, e.g., Manage Apex classes and Visualforce pages.
With Tooling API, you can:
- Add options and convenience to your existing Lightning Platform tools.
- Build dynamic development modules for the Lightning Platform in your enterprise integration tools.
- Create custom development tools for selected applications or services.
Analytics REST API
The Analytics API gives users access to useful analytics, including specific data sets, filters, and dashboards. It also provides shortcuts for query analysis, creates new filters or lenses to analyze data, and edits replicated data sets.
Usage Of Analytics REST API
- Send requests directly to your analytics platform
- Collect and group lenses arranged in Analyze
- Backup and restore analyzed data
- Fix business problems by finding anomalies
Chatter REST API
Use the Chatter REST API to view Salesforce data, especially mobile apps. In addition to the Chatter feed, users, groups, and followers, the Chatter REST API provides programmatic access to files, testimonials, topics, notifications, purchases from Data.com, and more.
Many REST API Chatter resource actions are defined as static methods of the Apex class in the ConnectApi namespace. These classes are called Chatters on Apex.
Data.com offers 100% complete, high-quality data, updated in real-time in the cloud with worldwide coverage. The Data.com API uses Salesforce Data.com Prospector and Data.com Clean to provide accurate account and contact information from Data.com. The Data.com API searches and compares account and contact records. Data.com’s “Company” records are similar to Salesforce’s “Account” records.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to custom integrations with your Salesforce organization. Implementing the right one for your specific needs ensures you get the most out of your Salesforce CRM software. Choosing the right Salesforce integration tool and API for your business depends on many factors specific to your business needs that require careful consideration.
Hire one of the best Salesforce consulting companies to help you with various business processes management, from simple admin tasks to flow design, development, and implementation of your Salesforce project.