Personally, I believe our SmartConnect for CRM Self-Paced Training is a hidden gem within the eOne shop. For an extremely low price, an entire CRM practice has unlimited access to step-by-step videos breaking down everything from the foundations of building integrations to tips and tricks designed to make you an integration pro. We want to dive a little deeper into everything this self-paced training has to offer. This is the first piece in a three-part mini-series designed to highlight what each stage can do for you.
The key to solid training is building a strong foundation. A two-part introduction helps you get started with SmartConnect by walking you through the map setup window, in addition to helping you define your data source and destination for the integration. You’ll also cover security settings and the connectors available within SmartConnect.
Every video is played from YouTube making it simple to view within the training window or on a second screen while reviewing the exercises within each section. The exercises build off one another as you progress, and each exercise has two ways to participate. Those inclined for a challenge can try to complete each exercise with minimal information. Others can review a step-by-step process outlining each activity along the way.
Creating a Basic Map
Step one of the training and any integration project is building an integration map. This section opens by helping you define each option available for sending data into CRM. SmartConnect can map to every field in CRM including custom fields specific to your organization. The drag-and-drop functionality here makes it incredibly simple to align your source with the CRM destination.
Next, we dive into the first of many data transformation functions available in SmartConnect – Translation Tables. These help you convert data from your source into how the data needs to be received by the destination (ex. Primary addresses mapping to Address 1). Translation tables are limitless in SmartConnect. Next come pre-defined lists which allow us to hardcode any field in CRM to a specific value based on the options available within CRM for example sending the same product type for every order.
Expanding on a Basic Map
Now that we have a map in place, we’re able to start having fun with the data and truly focus on data transformation. Duplicate maps begin this training section and allow you to copy any existing integration. These are a time saver when building multiple, similar integrations and can be a life-saver if you’re altering an existing map yet don’t want to break the one in place. Calculated columns allow you to take your data transformation to the next level. Pre-built functions for non-developers and powerful scripting options for code-writers give you every configuration option necessary to complete the job.
A key function within SmartConnect, entity look-ups, relieve much of the pain often felt during CRM integrations. These lookups turn looking for an ID/GUID value when mapping to a specific field in CRM into a code-free process. Anytime you need to populate those values, entity lookups get the job done. When integrating with CRM, you’re typically loading data into numerous related records simultaneously (ex. Accounts/contacts). Our final tip in this section, advanced messages, will set a relationship type linking the two during the integration and ensure your CRM data is accurate from the start.
Bulk Destination functionality allows you to send numerous records all at once. These are traditionally used for an initial sync between systems or a bulk load during a migration. However, it’s not all or nothing. Numerous rules and configurations exist for you to use bulk destinations on a continual basis while pin-pointing exactly what you want to send and when. Multi-lookups are often used in tandem with bulk destination maps and are similar to entity lookups. They allow you to return any field on a record and tie it back to another record. For example, you’re adding contacts to an account; multi-lookups allow you to use the default account address and tie it back to each contact you’ve added.
Sending Data Out of CRM
The key takeaway in this training section revolves around SmartConnect’s query builder. When you’re sending data out of CRM and pulling from multiple entities, data needs to be joined together. When you’re sending orders to an ERP system and need to link product code, currency and pricing, the query builder will help you easily link each aspect together.
Importing Transaction into CRM
The final area we’ll discuss today covers two key features that differentiate SmartConnect when sending data to CRM from an outside source. First, the functionality needed to map to multiple entities simultaneously. When integrating in accounts/contacts, this allows you to bring both in and establish the relationship between them in the same integration, not separate maps. This area also handles the order of operations functionality within a map that defines the preference given to records as they’re imported. This allows you to create new accounts before you add contacts to them without needing to build out separate maps to do so.
Hope you’ve enjoyed our first look at the SmartConnect Self-Paced CRM training set. We’ll be back next week with part two covering the next four sections to ensure you’re well on your way to becoming a SmartConnect for CRM guru.
If you have questions or would like to know more, send an email my way – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read Part 2 of the Series HERE.
Read Part 3 of the Series HERE.