Data Seeding

5 Steps to Achieving a Successful Salesforce Sandbox Integration

Selma Chang
Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Own Company
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As both the global ERP and CRM markets continue to grow, more companies are integrating these two systems to increase productivity and further streamline business operations. While this might seem like a no-brainer for the CIO, the developers responsible for integrating the systems have much to consider - especially when it comes to all of the moving data. Let’s review a hypothetical Salesforce to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) integration scenario to highlight some of the data challenges developers must consider when taking on an integration.

At the start of the project, the CIO’s ultimate concern is that sensitive Salesforce and ERP data both remain anonymous to any third-party contractors for regulatory compliance. There is also a requirement to periodically clear out specific datasets, including accounts, contacts, and user information, from different sandboxes to QA and test.

There are two Salesforce Developers (an internal employee and a third-party contractor) and one SAP Integration Architect assigned to collaborate on the project with a fast-approaching deadline to complete the integration before a significant upgrade of the ERP system. A few questions arise as the Salesforce Developers begin to visualize the outcome of a successful Salesforce to ERP integration based on the CIO’s concern:

  • How do we tackle this integration project efficiently to meet our tight deadlines and minimize re-work?
  • What methods will we use to ensure our Salesforce data is intact before and after integration?
  • When do we seed data into our sandbox environment, and what tool(s) will we use to seed perfectly sized, relevant data sets?
  • How do we keep any sensitive data we are testing anonymous or masked while testing?

The Salesforce developers decide to work together, build, and test using a couple of different sandboxes until they are ready to test and deploy changes into the production environment. They agree that the latest production data and users are critical to achieving the best results before deploying those changes. However, the primary concern is that the data is changing quickly, and they should be able to choose specific records from the ERP business team to seed into their sandboxes.

As the Salesforce developers move forward with their integration, they run into issues trying to keep the data fresh promptly within their partial and full copy sandboxes. They both agree that there has to be a faster and more efficient way besides their typical sandbox cloning and data loader approaches to decrease cycle times for testing. In addition, they would like to anonymize and seed the data before it lands at its destination and utilize a pre-configured template to automatically obscure data so that it is unreadable or replaced with mock data.

Let’s walk through a scenario if both Salesforce developers were using Own; here’s how simple it would be to achieve a successful Salesforce to ERP integration using our Sandbox Seeding tool.

Step #1: Create a template and define objects

You would create a new template or clone and edit an existing template. Then, identify the root object and add any number of parents, children, or additional roots to include. Seed Templates allow you to keep data relationships intact while creating perfectly sized, relevant seed data.

Step #2: Apply filters and optimize your seed data size

You can refine your results to hone the number of records or create a random, heterogeneous sample. You can monitor the seed data size at each step to ensure it will fit within your target sandbox destination. You can also see the exact data that will be seeded to identify any necessary adjustments.

Step #3: Anonymize your data

As you’re working with third-party contractors, it is crucial to mask any sensitive data. You can also use Own to select specific fields to anonymize in your seed data.

Step #4: Seed your data and rebuild indexing

Select your destination sandbox and choose from options to create a new seed or update a previously seeded sandbox. You can also choose whether to skip reindexing, not to rebuild destination indexing, rebuild indexing for template objects, or for all destination objects. Choosing to reindex your destination objects will ensure data from your production orgs or other sandboxes are the same in your destination environment. This is especially important if you have recently refreshed a sandbox environment or deleted old records.

Step #5: Reuse your templates

Once you’ve created your ideal template, you can save it and reuse it to accelerate your development and testing process.

See how easy it is to optimize seed data size and data relationships while addressing your CIO’s data privacy concerns. With Own Sandbox Seeding, you’ll complete your tedious Salesforce to ERP integration project within budget and on time. Learn more about our Sandbox Seeding solution here.

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