What is the difference between Salesforce.com's External Objects and the SOAPBox?

What is the difference between Salesforce.com's External Objects and the SOAPBox?

We have been getting a lot of questions regarding the difference between the SOAPBox connector and Salesforce.com' s new realtime data access dubbed 'External Objects' and thought a quick post would clarify the difference between the two technologies.

The main difference between the two is that Salesforce.com's current release of this technology relies on a connection protocal called Odata.

Odata is af "form" of a REST call, but it only exposes interactions between Salesforce.com and On-Premise database tables for CRUD operations only. At present Salesforce.com is only allowing selecting of the data. So if you wish to write data, you are out of luck.

This allows Salesforce.com to roll-out this capability onto the Force.com platform and make it a simple codeless addtion to the existing user interface. While this allows for administrators to add external database tables to the user interface easily there are some notable limitations. You cannot invoke stored procedures, perform bulk updates and query database views. In addition, you still require an on-premise Odata Server to connect to that must be installed in your datacenter on-premise. There are very few Odata providers at present and most offer this capability as part of a larger SOA product purchase.

While the SOAPbox does not have the ability to hook into the new Salesforce.com Odata capability (yet), it is part of our Product Roadmap. Our current offering provides, CRUD operations, stored procedure calls, bulk inserts, bulk updates, bulk deletes, and allow queries on database views along with some other key differentiators. In order to use our libraries on the Force.com platform, you will need some knowledge of the Force.com programming language. This allows for more flexibility, but also requires coding knowledge.

We intend to support Odata in the near future so you, the customer, can have the best of both worlds. At present our development team is working hard to make sure it is compatible with our current product AND to ensure that our security framework built in to each SOAPBox is not unaffected.

#apex #restful #webservices #soapbox