Connect to External Data with Clicks, Not Code (Generally Available)
Connectors were introduced as a pilot feature in the Spring `17 release, but are now generally available and already turned on for you if you have replication enabled.
Think of a Wave connector as a cable, with different types of cables available to connect to different data sources. You can connect to a new data source and bring in data with just a few steps.
- Choose a connector for your data source.
- Create a connection to the data source by providing login details and other settings.
- When you’re connected to the data source, select the table or object you want to bring into Wave and the associated fields.
- Run replication. The data comes into Wave as a replicated object.
After the data is replicated, you can use it in dataflows and recipes to create or update datasets.
What Types of Connectors Can I Use?
Five types of connectors are available: one for bringing in data from your local org, and four for external data. Let’s look at how an example company, Blue Sky Solar, uses each connector. Blue Sky Solar sells and installs solar panels in California and Arizona.
- Salesforce Local Connector
- Big Sky Solar already uses replication to bring its California sales data into Wave. The company uses the Salesforce Local connector to replicate additional objects without having to add them to the dataflow.
- Salesforce External Connector
- To qualify for state issued grants, the company operates as separate entities in Arizona and California. Each entity operates its own Salesforce org. Senior leadership wants to understand the state of the business across both entities. The company uses the Salesforce external connector to connect the California org Wave instance to the Arizona org opportunity data. This data is then merged with the California Salesforce org opportunity data in Wave to create a unified view of the opportunity pipeline.
- Marketing Cloud Connector
- Blue Sky Solar tracks prospects in Marketing Cloud. The company plans to enter the Southern California market and wants to launch a personalized marketing campaign. The Wave Marketing Cloud connector allows the marketing team to load prospect data from previous campaigns into Wave and use Wave dashboards to target select companies and households.
- Heroku Postgres Connector
- Prospect customers interested in installing a solar system can download the Blue Sky Solar mobile app. The app helps the prospect identify suitable rooftop spaces for a solar system. This data is stored in a Heroku Postgres database, and the marketing team uses it for targeted campaigns. The Wave Heroku Postgres connector lets the team to move this data into Wave for analysis.
- Amazon Redshift Connector
- Each installed solar system constantly monitors the generated electricity. Blue Sky Solar has a Salesforce Community page that provides an account overview for each customer, using Wave-driven widgets to show the generated electricity. The raw data is initially stored in Amazon Redshift, from where aggregated views are created and brought into Wave using the Amazon Redshift connector.
I’m Ready to Connect. How Do I Turn On Connectors?
Wave Connectors are enabled when you enable replication. If you haven’t enabled replication, you can do it from Setup. Enter Analytics in the Quick Find box, then click Settings. Select Enable Replication, and then click Save.
With replication enabled, head to the data manager in Wave.
You create and manage connections on the Setup tab, along with your existing replicated data.
The Setup tab displays all your replicated data in one place, organized by connection type. Local Salesforce objects (1) replicated through the dataflow or the Salesforce Local connector appear first. External replicated objects appear by connection type below (2). Click Set Up Replication (3) to create, edit, or delete connections, or create replications.
Imagine you are the Wave admin at Blue Sky Solar. Let’s walk through connecting to the company’s remote Arizona org, and selecting data to bring into Wave. Your first step is to create the connection.
Create a Connection
To create a connection, click Set Up Replication. A Salesforce Local connection is already set up, ready for you to connect to objects in your local org. Other connections that you create appear here, too.
Click Add Remote Connection. The available connectors appear.
Click the connector you need, and enter the connection settings for that connection. For Blue Sky Solar, you select the Salesforce Multi-Org connector to connect to the remote Arizona org. All connections require a name, developer name, and description. The remaining settings differ depending on the connector you choose. See Create a Remote Connection to learn more about each connector’s settings.
When you save the connection settings, the new connection appears on the select connection page, ready for use.
Use a Connection to Replicate an Object
Now you can start using your new connection to bring data into Wave. For Blue Sky Solar, you want to bring in Account, Opportunity, and User data from the Arizona org, so click the Arizona Sales Connection. You start with accounts, so, from the list of available objects, select Account. Continue on to select the fields from this object.
|Select Object||Select Fields|
After selecting fields, you get the chance to preview the data you’re replicating before you save. When you save, the selected object appears on the Setup tab of the data manager with other objects using the same connector.
Repeat this process for other objects you want to replicate.
Use Replicated Objects in Dataflows and Recipes
After replication has run, you can prepare your replicated data in dataflows and recipes. For dataflows, use the new digest transformation to extract data from the replicated object. If you’re using the new dataflow editor, look for the digest node button (). If you’re working in JSON, add a digest node to your dataflow definition file.
To prepare replicated data in a recipe, head to the Datasets tab in the data manager. Open the Replicated Data tab, and select Create New Recipe from the actions list next to the data you want to prepare.
Considerations for Using Wave Connectors
Before using Wave connectors, review these considerations.
- You can create up to 20 connections, regardless of type. This limit does not include Salesforce local connections.
- Wave can extract up to either 20 million rows or 10 GB from an object, depending on which limit is reached first.
- You can replicate data from up to 50 objects in Wave. This total includes local and external objects.
- Incremental extracts and filters are only available with the Salesforce Local connector.