Edit and Search External Facebook Objects in Salesforce Connect

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Use CData Connect Cloud to securely provide OData feeds of Facebook data to smart devices and cloud-based applications. Use the CData Connect and Salesforce Connect to create Facebook objects that you can access from apps and the dashboard.

CData Connect Cloud, enables you to access Facebook data from cloud-based applications like the Salesforce console and mobile applications like the Salesforce Mobile App. In this article, you will use CData Connect Cloud and Salesforce Connect to access external Facebook objects alongside standard Salesforce objects.

Connect to Facebook from Salesforce

To work with live Facebook data in Salesforce Connect, we need to connect to Facebook from Connect Cloud, provide user access to the connection, and create OData endpoints for the Facebook data.

(Optional) Add a New Connect Cloud User

As needed, create Users to connect to Facebook through Connect Cloud.

  1. Navigate to the Users page and click Invite Users
  2. Enter the new user's email address and click Send to invite the user
  3. You can review and edit users from the Users page

Add a Personal Access Token

If you are connecting from a service, application, platform, or framework that does not support OAuth authentication, you can create a Personal Access Token (PAT) to use for authentication. Best practices would dictate that you create a separate PAT for each service, to maintain granularity of access.

  1. Click on your username at the top right of the Connect Cloud app and click User Profile.
  2. On the User Profile page, scroll down to the Personal Access Tokens section and click Create PAT.
  3. Give your PAT a name and click Create.
  4. The personal access token is only visible at creation, so be sure to copy it and store it securely for future use.

Connect to Facebook from Connect Cloud

CData Connect Cloud uses a straightforward, point-and-click interface to connect to data sources.

  1. Log into Connect Cloud, click Connections and click Add Connection
  2. Select "Facebook" from the Add Connection panel
  3. Facebook uses OAuth to authenticate. Click "Sign in" to authenticate with Facebook.
  4. Navigate to the Permissions tab in the Add Facebook Connection page and update the User-based permissions.

Add Facebook OData Endpoints in Connect Cloud

After connecting to Facebook, create OData Endpoints for the desired table(s).

  1. Navigate to the OData page and click Add to create new OData endpoints
  2. Select the Facebook connection (e.g. Facebook1) and click Next
  3. Select the table(s) you wish to work with and click Confirm

With the connection and OData endpoints configured, you are ready to connect to Facebook data from Salesforce Connect.

Connect to Facebook Data as an External Data Sources

Follow the steps below to connect to the feed produced by Connect Cloud.

  1. Log into Salesforce and click Setup -> Integrations -> External Data Sources.
  2. Click Now External Data Sources.
  3. Enter values for the following properties:
    • External Data Sources: Enter a label to be used in list views and reports.
    • Name: Enter a unique identifier.
    • Type: Select the option "Salesforce Connect: OData 4.0".
    • URL: Enter the URL to the OData endpoint of Connect Cloud: https://cloud.cdata.com/api/odata/service
  4. Select the Writable External Objects option.
  5. Select JSON in the Format menu.
  6. In the Authentication section, set the following properties:
    • Identity Type: If all members of your organization will use the same credentials to access Connect Cloud, select "Named Principal". If the members of your organization will connect with their own credentials, select "Per User".
    • Authentication Protocol: Select Password Authentication to use basic authentication.
    • Certificate: Enter or browse to the certificate to be used to encrypt and authenticate communications from Salesforce to your server.
    • Username: Enter a CData Connect Cloud username (e.g. user@mydomain.com.
    • Password: Enter the user's PAT.

Synchronize Facebook Objects

After you have created the external data source, follow the steps below to create Facebook external objects that reflect any changes in the data source. You will synchronize the definitions for the Facebook external objects with the definitions for Facebook tables.

  1. Click the link for the external data source you created.
  2. Click Validate and Scan.
  3. Select the Facebook tables you want to work with as external objects.

Access Facebook Data as Salesforce Objects

After adding Facebook data as an external data source and syncing Facebook tables as external objects, you can use the external Facebook objects just as you would standard Salesforce objects.

  • Create a new tab with a filter list view:

  • Create reports of external objects:

  • Create, update, and delete Facebook objects from the Salesforce dashboard:

Simplified Access to Facebook Data from Cloud Applications

At this point, you have a direct, cloud-to-cloud connection to live Facebook data from Salesforce. For more information on gaining simplified access to data from more than 100 SaaS, Big Data, and NoSQL sources in cloud applications like Salesforce, refer to our Connect Cloud page.