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Salesforce Lightning Connect tackles real-time legacy data

The CRM powerhouse said the new data-integration tool is the 'fastest, easiest' way to access and connect with data stored in legacy systems.

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Salesforce.com has rolled out the Salesforce1 Lighting Connect, a new real-time data-integration tool that the company calls the "fastest, easiest" way to access and connect with data stored in legacy systems.

Subscriptions for Lightning Connect start at a monthly rate of $4,000, signaling that Salesforce is going for an enterprise clientele with the data-integration service — especially those who have lived through the pain points of trying to move legacy systems into the Salesforce ecosystem.

Previously, mature companies with a history of using older, siloed legacy systems were unable to get their data into the Salesforce cloud. So with the Lighting Connect, a bevy of integration vendors have built a library of adaptors that significantly widen the integration possibilities. Businesses now have the ability to pull data from any on-premise applications and databases and view it from within the Salesforce ecosystem. 

Salesforce also says integration with Lightning Connect is completely code-free and much faster, using the OData open data transfer protocol to cut the data transport time down to a few minutes, rather than a few months. And because the process happens in real time, the data isn’t copied or stored, and is instead streamed. This ensures that outdated data isn’t cluttering up the system, the company said.

Salesforce seems to have built up a decent arsenal of partners for Lightning Connect, with integration vendors including Informatica, Jitterbit, MuleSoft, Progress Software, SnapLogic and SoftwareAG.

"Salesforce1 Lightning Connect is the fastest way to integrate any data to Salesforce," said Mike Rosenbaum, EVP and GM Salesforce1 Platform for Salesforce, in a statement. "Now customers can extend all the benefits of the Salesforce1 Platform to all of their enterprise data — whether it's stored in Salesforce or another system."

Salesforce also tacked on an addition to the Heroku PaaS app development cloud. The new Heroku External Objects for Salesforce allows companies to sync data between their Heroku customer apps and their Force.com employee apps.