What are the prospects for an official Salesforce Integration/Plugin?

Hi Discourse team (and community!),

This is a follow-up on Discourse vs Salesforce Community vs Slack

At Markforged we’ve been discussing building communities for our channel partners (resellers) and our customers. One of the key business requirements for adoption of just about anything right now is that it plays nicely with Salesforce for getting that “360 degree view of the customer”.

Currently some of my colleagues have spun up a test Salesforce Community for a sub-group of customers, and we’re observing how that proceeds. We would like to A/B test adoption and utilization by spinning up a separate forum for our channel partners and/or a different user group in order to provide the opportunity for some evidence-based decision making—and to make the potential justification for integration effort to pipe the right data/metadata into Salesforce from external platforms if they provide substantially superior outcomes to the salesforce-native platform.

I might be wrong and Discourse might not move the needle as much as I think it will— but I’d like to be proven wrong by data instead of it being out of the running a-priori simply because it’s viewed as equivalent on features/experience for participants with the salesforce community offering, and perceived as more of a lift to implement. My working hypothesis is that neither of those viewpoints are accurate.

In looking at the topics regarding a Salesforce<>Discourse integration I’m not seeing anything recent other than my colleague’s thread linked above. I would love to hear about anyone’s integration and what they’ve implemented and the hurdles they ran into along the way.

@awesomerobot since we didn’t answer your questions in the last thread, I’ll do so here. An idea Salesforce<>Discourse bridge would:

  1. Authenticate with Salesforce SSO login, so that logins are matched to contacts in SFDC
  2. Push the user’s posts to SFDC for the “Feed” on the contact: content of post, + link to post, inclusive of attachment links (we’d probably implement attachment hosting on our S3)
  3. Sync Discourse user profile summary stats with fields on contact, + badges, so that we can run reporting in SFDC on community activity
  4. Ability to set/push group permissioning/tagging from SFDC to Discourse, so that Salesforce business logic rules impact community topic visibility, etc… (this person is a technical support person for a channel partner, they get to see X topics, this is a customer, they only see Y topics, etc…)

Another frequent objection internally is that this becomes “yet another database to synchronize with Salesforce” and I’d like guidance/assistance on rebuttal for that, given use of SSO ant the above bridge functionalities… seems like it would be pretty synchronized, no?

Looking forward to your input everyone!
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This is something we only offer to enterprise hosted customers at the moment.

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Hey Jonathan,

Thank you so much for writing this up in detail! it gives us a great idea of how a Salesforce Integration can give us a complete picture of the Customer. We’ve opened a discussion about this internally and will post here if there are any updates or questions from our team.

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Thanks Jeff and Rishabhd! I’ll stay tuned and as always good on you for maintaining a great community around building communities that work :wink:

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