Salesforce APIs and Integration Capabilities: The Pocket Guide

Winter ’24

Dave Norris
Geek Culture


The Salesforce Platform is an ecosystem of connected applications. The pieces can operate independently or fit together with the goal of providing capabilities to personalise customer, partner and employee experiences.

The Salesforce platform. A connected ecosystem.

Integration discussions are nuanced and depend on which parts of the Salesforce Customer 360 are important to you. In an attempt to provide a pocket guide to integration I’ll breakdown each part into 2 areas:

  1. APIs — These are the endpoints made available to interact with your data and metadata.
  2. Capabilities — These are the services that abstract the users and developers away from the underlying APIs.

For brevity some APIs and capabilities have been omitted.


Slack: The digital HQ

Slack is the digital HQ of Salesforce. Designed to make communication organised and efficient for different teams.

Slack APIs

  • Web API is an interface for querying information from and enacting change in a Slack workspace.
  • Webhooks are a simple way to post messages from apps into Slack.
  • Events API allow integrations to be activity driven and enable apps and bots to respond to these triggers. This includes Socket Mode — which allows apps to use the Events API without exposing a public HTTP Request URL.
  • Admin APIs are a subset of Web APIs that are geared towards automating and simplifying the administration of Slack.
  • SCIM APIs are available to provision and manage users.
  • Audit Log APIs can be used by security monitoring and event management tools — for example to automatically feed Slack access data into a SIEM tool (Security Incident and Event Monitoring).
  • Status API provides a programmatic way to monitor the health of Slack.

Slack Integration Capabilities

  • Canvas is a straightforward tool for colleagues to collaborate, create, collect and propagate information. It’s like having a document editor embedded in your app.
  • Workflow Builder Workflows are automated multi-step tasks or processes within Slack. Workflow Builder is the no code interface to create them.
  • Bolt SDKs are the best way to start programming with the Slack Platform in JavaScript, Python, or Java. They allow you to respond to Slack events and build rich interactive messages.
  • Platform for Slack provides turn key solutions for integrating Slack and Flow Builder and custom solutions using Apex (Beta)
  • Salesforce Apps for Slack are a suite of integrations that can be used standalone or in combination with each other. They help manage your sales pipeline, improve customer service or help monitor your marketing campaigns.
  • ChatGPT is an application that integrates OpenAI to increase productivity to help summarise Slack threads and craft new messages. Currently in beta.
  • App Directory provides prebuilt apps from third parties that streamline communications, multi-step processes and more. Apps like Google Calendar, Zoom and PagerDuty.

Lightning Platform

The home of Sales, Service, Experience, Industry Clouds + more

Provides Sales, Service and Industry data models, business processes and user interfaces on a configurable and customisable platform.

Lightning Platform APIs

  • REST, SOAP, BULK, Composite and Apex Web Service APIs provide transactional access to create, read, edit and delete data. Composite resources include collections and graphs to allow you to interact with related data in one API call.
  • GraphQL API is a new paradigm of sending and receiving data, offering developers a single endpoint to call for all data needed in one request. Apps that call GraphQL APIs are often much more performant than those that use traditional REST APIs.
  • Industries API are simple web services for interacting with Lightning Platform. It’s customised for use with the Industries products, such as Salesforce Health Cloud and Salesforce Financial Services Cloud, and gives you easy access to the special objects and features these products provide
  • Streaming and Pub/Sub APIs enable event driven communication by streaming events and provides mechanisms to subscribe to those events internally and externally using the Bayeux and gRPC protocols respectively.
  • Metadata and Tooling APIs provide support for build release management and version control activities.

Lightning Platform Integration Capabilities

  • Salesforce Connect provides seamless integration of data across system boundaries by letting your users view, search, and modify data that’s stored outside your Salesforce org. For example, perhaps you have data that’s stored on premises in an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Instead of copying the data into your org, you can use external objects to access the data in real time via web service callouts.
  • Apex callouts enable you to tightly integrate your Apex with an external service by making a call to an external Web service or sending a HTTP request from Apex code and then receiving the response. Apex provides integration with Web services that utilise SOAP and WSDL, or HTTP services (RESTful services).
  • External Services provides a way for exchanging information between your Salesforce org and outside services. Unlike Apex callouts, external services let you declaratively integrate with externally hosted services that conform to open standards.
  • Change Data Capture (CDC) publishes change events, which represent changes to Salesforce records. These events can be subscribed to within the lightning platform or from an external app.
  • Platform Events publishes custom payloads which makes them suitable for publish subscribe patterns beyond record changes.
  • MuleSoft Composer for Salesforce — allows business users to create integrations using prebuilt connectors for common enterprise apps like Microsoft Teams, Netsuite and Jira.. By specifying your source, event and the destination you can meet integration use cases without writing code.
  • Embed 3rd Party Apps provides 2 capabilities to take existing web applications developed with a third-party framework and embed them into the Salesforce UI. The Canvas SDK and Lightning Container.
  • Data Pipelines is new and allows you to ingest data from over 50 data sources, apply transformations and calculations to it then load it to one of 5 destinations — including your Salesforce org.
  • OmniStudio came into the platform as part of the Vlocity acquisition. It has drag-and-drop configuration capabilities for customers to create guided brand experiences specific to their industry with clicks rather than custom code. OmniStudio also includes tools for integrating with other enterprise applications, namely integration procedures and data raptors.
  • Digital Engagement is a capability designed to support customer engagement through digital channels — Meta Messenger, SMS, WhatsApp and web chat. Bots provide intelligent, automated responses to common questions and can hand-off to agents when needed
  • Content Management Systems (CMS) are typically used to centralise digital assets and share them across the enterprise. CMS Connect can be used by Experience Cloud to integrate digital assets stored in Adobe, Drupal, Sitecore and others. You can also curate content in Salesforce CMS and use that internally and externally.
  • Email & Calendar options are available for Outlook and Gmail customers. Salesforce provides several tools that integrate with Microsoft or Google email and calendar applications.
  • Release Management options allow customers to adhere to DevOps best practices with a suite of tools that can help automate deployments using Metadata and Tooling APIs. This includes the Salesforce DevOps Centre.
  • Backup & Restore is the process of backing up your data and having the ability to restore in the event of an operational issue. The BULK and Metadata APIs help customers build solutions to meet this need. Third party solutions are also available that integrate natively with Cloud Service Providers to backup records, documents and metadata.
  • MuleSoft Direct offers pre-built integrations to solve for common industry integration challenges. It accelerates project delivery by providing turnkey connectivity tailored to industrie
  • Flow HTTP Callouts allow Flow Builders in Salesforce to a JSON sample request and response for an API to automatically create an External Service. This allows Flow builders to declaratively callout to an endpoint and receive the response to use in their Flow — including support for URI and Query Parameters
  • MuleSoft Services allow you to register MuleSoft Anypoint Platform with Salesforce then import your APIs from the setup menu. This process automatically creates external services for APIs your have already built and deployed and use them in Flow Orchestrator and Flow Builder without the need to write code.
  • DataWeave in Apex brings native support for DataWeave. DataWeave is a MuleSoft expression language for accessing, transforming and parsing data. This helps Apex developers parse complex integration payloads.
  • Files Connect integrates your enterprise document management system with the Lightning Platform. Provides the ability to search for documents stored in Google Drive, Box, OneDrive and SharePoint and link them by reference to records in your CRM.
  • AppExchange is the Salesforce online marketplace for the lightning platform. It has over 4,500 applications and partnerships with iPaaS providers that can fast track your implementations.

Salesforce also has strategic partnerships with Google and AWS to further provide flexibility to meet integration use cases.

  • Amazon AppFlow is a fully-managed integration service that enables you to securely exchange data between software as a service (SaaS) applications, such as Salesforce, and AWS services, such as Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Amazon Redshift.
  • Amazon Connect offers pre-integrated cloud telephony and automatic speech recognition for both agents and supervisors in Service Cloud.
  • AWS Integration simplifies the setup and integration for common AWS use cases. Integrate with Amazon EventBridge, AWS Lambda and data stores (RDS, DynamoDB, S3 and Redshift)

Marketing Cloud

Engage customers with personalised marketing campaigns

Optimised for large transactional volumes of email, SMS and mobile push notifications. Acquire and nurture prospects and craft personalised marketing campaigns across a diverse range of channels.

Marketing Cloud APIs

  • REST and SOAP APIs include Content Builder API, Journey Builder API, Mobile Connect API, Einstein Recommendations API and the Transactional Messaging API. These have been created to not only initiate communications with your customers but also to create and modify marketing content.
  • AMPScript and Server-Side JavaScript can also programmatically drive behaviour by calling out to API endpoints to dynamically bring in digital content on demand.
  • FTP/SFTP provides a secure FTP site where your prospect lists can be securely shared and imported to be used in your marketing campaigns.
  • Data Cloud provides a Customer Data Platform for marketers. Consume data in any application using high-scale query and profile APIs. Load data into the hyperscale data platform using the Ingestion API.

Marketing Cloud Integration Capabilities

  • Automation Studio allows marketers to execute multi step data management activities with a point and click UI. Import, filter and distribute data within Marketing Cloud and your enterprise. Use scripts to make HTTP callouts to retrieve data at runtime.
  • Journey Builder allows you to design and deliver personalised content with audience segmentation. You can also integrate the initiation of journey’s with your wider enterprise applications by triggering them when an external event occurs (like a service outage).
  • Mobile Messaging provides the features to connect with your customers over SMS and MMS. It also provides support for location and beacon based messaging.
  • Content Personalisation refers to a broad set of capabilities that allow customers to make real-time callouts to inject personalised content into their marketing communications. This can use Server Side JavaScript, AMPScript, Automation Studio, or a combination.
  • Customer CDP helps unify disparate data sources and map to a common information model that can be used to create a single-source-of-truth (SSOT). This SSOT can then be used within marketing campaigns to personalise content and segment customers.
  • Google Analytics 360 users get access to unsampled data and audiences, allowing them to act on the reporting that Google and Salesforce provide. Google Analytics 360 customers can market to customers in your audiences in Journey Builder using the Google Analytics 360 entry source.
  • Sinch is a partnership that enables WhatsApp integration allowing customers to create and respond to messages in WhatsApp.

B2C Commerce Cloud

A scalable digital storefront

Integrate your back office products and pricing into an online storefront. Delivers aggressive managed caching, content delivery networks and a composable architecture that supports mobile and web use cases.

B2C Commerce Cloud APIs

  • Commerce API is a RESTful API that provides access to B2C Commerce Cloud resources and are key to providing a headless implementation of you commerce digital storefront.
  • Recommendations API has 2 main functions. To receive and output recommendations and to allow switching recommenders easily.

B2C Commerce Integration Capabilities

  • Composable architecture allows you to choose the storefront technology that you want to work with. You can use the prebuilt storefront with preconfigured integrations OR use a Progressive Web App (PWA) toolkit and managed runtime to allow you to build with modern programming languages like Node and React OR you can get full control by building your custom storefront on top of the Commerce APIs.
  • LINK marketplace is an online marketplace for partners to extend your B2C Commerce experience. Find payment vendors like Stripe and PayPal or ratings plug-ins like Get Feedback.
  • Social Channels allow partnering with channel aggregators like CED commerce and GoDataFeed to build API driven integrations with the most commonly used/widely adopted social channels, marketplaces and Ad Platforms like Google, Amazon, Walmart, Facebook, Ebay, Microsoft Ads, Criteo etc. Or use strategic channels (like Tiktok, SnapChat, Instagram) so that merchandisers can get the rich/channel specific user experience for onboarding, selecting products, posting an Ad or creating a product listing for checkout.


Using data insights to solve problems

Brings together disparate data sources, visualises them, and provides data driven insights.

Tableau APIs

  • Web Data Connector (WDC) is a collection of APIs that enables developers to connect Tableau to any data on the web.
  • ODBC (Open Database Connectivity) is supported by a wide array of data sources. Tableau lets you connect to any of these ODBC-compliant sources using its built-in ODBC connector.
  • Hyper API allows you to create custom scripts that interact with extract (.hyper) files. This allows you to update data in existing extract files or read data from them.
  • REST API allows a developer to access content, users, sites and more. This enables embedding Tableau dashboards in third party websites or automating tasks like managing users.
  • Document API allows you to programmatically modify Tableau files and helps support migrating workbooks from test to production.
  • Metadata API Query and discover metadata about content and external assets. For example, query for databases and views or analyse dependencies like which workbooks depend on which columns.
  • Webhooks enables notifications of Tableau events like being able to send an SMS whenever a data source refresh occurs.
  • JavaScript API allows you to programmatically interact with individual dashboards — useful when embedding dashboards in a third party app.

Tableau Integration Capabilities

  • Native connectors provide seamless integration for over 100 data sources for common data platforms and applications. This allows you to immediately extract and visualise data in your existing enterprise data assets.
  • Data Science Integration gets your statistical models into the hands of more people. Integrate the data from your R, Python and MATLAB models in Tableau.
  • Embedded Analytics makes it easier for more people to interact with data then embed your visualisations into other business applications.
  • Connector SDK — If you don’t have a native connector for a particular ODBC or JDBC supported data source then build one.
  • The Extension Gallery is the Tableau online marketplace. It has third party data connectors and custom dashboard extensions written by a growing developer ecosystem.


Custom applications, in modern programming languages, with managed data services

For custom applications in your enterprise — or net new applications — requiring the full elasticity of B2C scale and the use of existing, modern, programming languages like Go, Scala, Ruby, Python, Node.js and more — Salesforce provides the ability to host these applications and their corresponding data services on fully managed infrastructure.

Heroku APIs

  • Platform API empowers developers to automate, extend and combine Heroku with other services. You can programmatically create apps, provision add-ons and perform other tasks without relying on the CLI.
  • App Webhooks enable developers to receive notifications whenever particular changes are made to your Heroku application. This is useful to monitor domain changes, app builds and release or see what dyno formation changes are happening.
  • Partner API — Developers can create add-ons for Heroku applications. Developers can register an endpoint to receive administration tasks related to your add-on via the Add-On Partner API.
  • Custom API — APIs can be created with a multitude of programming languages and Heroku supports Go, Scala, Ruby, NodeJS, Python, Java, Clojure and PHP. Create a secure REST API with the stack of your choice.

Heroku Integration Capabilities

  • Heroku Connect makes it easy for you to build Heroku apps that share data with your Salesforce deployment. Using bi-directional synchronisation between Salesforce and Heroku Postgres. It also has an OData provider built in to visualise Postgres data without replicating the data to your Salesforce deployment.
  • Heroku Kafka is an add-on that provides Kafka as a service with full integration into the Heroku platform. Kafka makes it easy to ingest large volumes of inbound events without volatile scaling demands of downstream applications.
  • Streaming Data Connectors is an add-on that provides Change Data Capture (CDC) for Heroku Postgres events. This makes it easy to notify downstream applications about changes being made to your transactional databases.
  • Heroku Flow brings together 6 features into an easy to use workflow. It connects to your GitHub repository, allows you to setup review and staging apps to support your test lifecycle, runs tests in a low configuration test runner and integrates with Slack for monitoring and deployments.
  • Elements is an online marketplace for add-ons developed by third-parties. Apps like Twilio Send Grid and New Relic provide a bootstrapped implementation to add value to your apps.


A foundation to bring AI capabilities across IT, sales, service, marketing and more.

Einstein is an umbrella term for features of Salesforce that use machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing and generative pre-trained transformers (GPT) to model data to provide proactive insights.

Einstein APIs

Bots API can start new sessions, reply to messages, and collect customer responses. Use Einstein Bots Java SDK and channel connector framework to integrate your external channel with Einstein Bots API.

Discovery REST API access Einstein Discovery features such as predictions, models, and stories programmatically using this API.

Content Selection API is used to manage Einstein Content Selection assets, profiles and configuration in Marketing Cloud. Create digital assets programmatically from content changes in your enterprise.

B2C Commerce API allows you to extend intelligent capabilities beyond the online storefront allowing you to integrate them into mobile apps, clienteling tools and more.

Einstein Integration Capabilities

Discovery integrates statistical modeling and machine learning to identify, surface, and visualise insights into your business data. Used by Tableau and CRM Analytics users to address numerical, binary and multiclass classification solutions.

Prediction Builder allows administrators to build custom predictions on any Salesforce objects without coding. Prediction builder handles 2 types of predictions. Binary (Yes/No) and Numeric. Start to use AI to predict use cases like — if an invoice will be paid (Yes/No) or how many days late is an invoice likely to be paid (Number).

Next Best Action allows administrators to develop a strategy that applies business logic to refine recommendations being shows to Sales and Service use cases. The strategy distills the recommendations into key suggestions, like a repair, a discount and add-on service.

Bots provide integration with Natural Language Processing AI models that allow administrators to launch a multi-channel, multilingual digital assistant to automate common Sales and Service tasks.

Prompt Builder allows administrators to setup well defined, accurate and well thought out prompts that can include your CRM data to provide accurate, useful results using the power of generative AI. Surface these prompts in Sales Emails or associate them with a field to enable quick auto complete.

Einstein Trust Layerthis has been created to make using Generative AI and their associated Large Language Models (LLMs) accurate, secure and consistent. It provides a framework to work with a variety of LLM providers providing future flexibility. It ensures your enterprise data is not retained or used by LLM providers and exposed to other users.

Data Cloud

Data Cloud hyperscale data platform

Ingests data from Salesforce technologies and your Enterprise applications to provide a single source of truth, provide insights then publish actionable events. It can use machine learning models from Einstein or federate models from your existing investments like Snowflake, Amazon SageMaker and Google Vertex AI. Actionable events can be consumed by other Salesforce apps to drive an outcome.

Data Cloud APIs

  • Profile API is used to look up and search customer profile information.
  • Query API supports the SQL query ANSI standard. Supports large volume reads or interactive on demand querying on the data lake.
  • Ingestion API provides a RESTful interface that supports both streaming and bulk interaction patterns for loading data.

Data Cloud Integration Capabilties

  • Data Ingestion connect to key enterprise systems, including Amazon S3 and Google BigQuery. Data Streams allow administrators to setup inbound connections and select data fields to import into Data Lake Objects. These inbound connections can be either scheduled (batch polling) or streamed (near real-time).
  • Data Mapping simplifies data unification and machine learning, being able to operate on one common model allows for data lakehouses, like Data Cloud, to scale. Data Cloud comes with a common model that is used to map into from your disparate inbound data sources.
  • Identity Resolution provides built-in matching and reconciliation rules that can identify data that is likely to be related to the same person. Matching rules allow you to add criteria based on data in the common data model with match methods — like fuzzy matching, exact matching and normalised exact matching
  • Zero copy data federation enables Data Cloud to operate on a customer’s data lake as if it were stored natively in Data Cloud (currently in Pilot) for sources like Snowflake.
  • Amazon SageMaker and Google Vertex AI. The Bring Your Own Model approach enables Data scientists to build and deploy and train any Machine Learning Models using any frameworks such as TensorFlow, Scikit Learn, XGBoost, R, Python etc in Amazon SageMaker or Vertex AI.


A unified, single solution for iPaaS and full API management

Is the foundation to exchange data both between Salesforce applications and your wider enterprise systems. Connectors and accelerators act as templates for common industry integration use cases. Composer and Robotic Process Automation adds to the capabilities to move data between systems.

MuleSoft’s API Management

  • Anypoint and custom connectors are reusable extensions to Mule runtime engine (Mule) that enable you to integrate a Mule app with third-party APIs, databases, and standard integration protocols.
  • RAML & OAS — RESTful API Modeling Language (RAML) makes it easy to manage the API lifecycle from design to deployment to sharing. Uniquely among API specs, it was developed to model an API, not just document it. You can also implement, deploy, and operate APIs using native OpenAPI Specification (OAS) 3.0 formats.
  • Deployment — Mules, lightweight, scalable runtime engine for APIs and integrations can be deployed anywhere — on-premises, on the cloud (CloudHub), or both.

MuleSoft Key Features

  • Routing allows MuleSoft to meet complex API and integration needs by sending messages to various destinations in a flow. Some routers incorporate logic to analyse and transform messages before routing takes place.
  • Translation is a key capability needed for connecting disparate data sources. DataWeave scripts act on data. You can use DataWeave to modify and output selected fields in that data to a new data format.
  • Anypoint Service Mesh enables you to extend your microservices network by including your non-MuleSoft applications into the Anypoint Platform sphere. You can then manage and secure your application network, including your non-Mule applications, seamlessly from a single pane.
  • Flex Gateway is a lightweight, fast, API gateway that can be deployed on any architecture (on prem, containerised or cloud-native environments). It provides one place to manage your APIs in an easy to configure setup.
  • API Governance Anypoint API Governance ensures consistent API quality and security with self-service tools that enable architects to define standards for API quality with control groups and apply standards to any API.
  • AsyncAPI is an open source initiative that seeks to improve the current state of Event-Driven Architectures (EDA). The long-term goal is to make working with EDAs as easy as it is to work with REST APIs. That goes from documentation to code generation, from discovery to event management.
  • Anypoint Code Builder is a new desktop and cloud based IDE that helps developers design, build an deploy APIs
  • RPA is a software technology that allows us to create software robots that emulate human actions. These software robots can understand what’s on a screen, identify and extract data and carry out keystrokes to manipulate data entry points. This means that you can automate repetitive workflows. RPA has great use cases for integrating with legacy systems that lack APIs and help eliminate human errors associated with common tasks.
  • Composer allows you to connect apps. No need to be a Salesforce customer. Composer is a standalone product enabling data exchange using over 30 connectors to commonly used enterprise applications.
  • Custom Connectors — Fundamentally creating your own connectors or process modules abstracts and encapsulates reusable code — removing the need for duplicating effort across projects. This SDK provides the scaffolding to create one.


The Salesforce Platform is an ecosystem of connected applications. These applications serve different use cases and run on different technology stacks.

Whilst the applications are designed to run independently they are also designed to fit together. Each part not only provides extensive support to manipulate data via API calls but has turn key capabilities to solve for common integration use cases without writing code.



Dave Norris
Geek Culture

Developer Advocate @ Salesforce || Interested in solving unique challenges using different cloud service providers || All opinions are mine.