Companies are getting increasingly reliant on applications such as Salesforce.com and Google Drive. The ability to share information between these applications enables streamlining business processes. All that is needed is minor customization within Salesforce, without the need for any API and complex code.
The introduction of Salesforce Files Connect, has made the process of exposing Google Drive files data to Salesforce users much simpler. Previously, this required accessing data via Google web services APIs. Files Connect provides connectors for Google Drive. Once setup and configured, external data sources can be created to allow employees access data from Google Drive in Salesforce.
As the name implies, the most obvious use of Files Connect is the ability to access documents stored in Google Drive from within Salesforce. For example, a proposal document that resides in Google Drive can be attached to a lead that resides in Salesforce.
Files Connect can be setup in either Copy Mode or Reference Mode. Copy Mode actually stores a copy of the Google Drive document in Salesforce. If files are shared with a Chatter group, all group members can access the files, even if they lack access to the document in Google Drive. In Reference Mode, a copy of the file is not stored in Salesforce and there is simply a reference to the document in Google Drive. Any access to the file in Salesforce will require that the user have access to the file in Google Drive.
The Custom Properties of Google Drive can even be included in Search, SOQL, and SOSL Queries, so federated searches can query both Google Drive and Salesforce simultaneously from any device. Google Drive documents attached to social feeds, groups or records will be included in Salesforce search results.
Files Connect Architecture Overview
The process starts with enabling Files connect for the Salesforce instance with a result that culminates accessing Google Drive in Salesforce. It is easy to establish and configure the connection.
Go to Build->Customize->Salesforce Files->Settings->Files Connect. Or if you are lazy like me, you can find Files Connect in the quick find bar. From there click on edit and enable Files Connect. In file Sharing setting select ’Copy’ or ‘Reference’ depending upon your business requirement as discussed above.
The next step is to set up user permissions for Files Connect. If you use permission sets for managing user permissions, go to Permission Set->System Permissions->Edit, then Select “Files Connect Cloud”. Click Save.
Now we need to set up the auth provider.
Once you click save, you would be directed to an Auth Provider Detail screen. This screen will have necessary details like “Callback URL”. You would need it for the next steps.
Now it’s time to configure Google Drive.
Now that we have created the external data source, we have to enable it in permission set.
After going through and customizing all of those, it's time to test it. Select Files Tab->External Files->Google Drive. Now you can access data from Google Drive in Salesforce.
Here are some limitations of Files Connect –
All things considered, this is a very easy and reliable integration method. This method can be used to connect other products like Google Apps, SharePoint App, OneDrive, etc.
Watch this space for my next post related to Salesforce Integration.
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