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Edit and Search FinancialForce External Objects

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

The CData API Server, when paired with the ADO.NET Provider for FinancialForce (or any of 200+ other ADO.NET Providers), enables you to access FinancialForce data from cloud-based applications like the Salesforce console and mobile applications like the Salesforce1 Mobile App. In this article, you will use the API Server and Salesforce Connect to access FinancialForce external objects alongside standard Salesforce objects.

Set Up the API Server

Follow the steps below to begin producing secure FinancialForce OData services:

Deploy

The API Server runs on your own server. On Windows, you can deploy using the stand-alone server or IIS. On a Java servlet container, drop in the API Server WAR file. See the help documentation for more information and how-tos. You can find guides to deploying the API Server on Azure, Amazon EC2, and Heroku in the CData KB.

Connect to FinancialForce

After you deploy the API Server and the ADO.NET Provider for FinancialForce, provide authentication values and other connection properties needed to connect to FinancialForce by clicking Settings -> Connection and adding a new connection in the API Server administration console.

There are several authentication methods available for connecting to FinancialForce: login credentials, SSO, and OAuth.

Authenticating with a Login and Token

Set the User and Password to your login credentials. Additionally, set the SecurityToken. By default, the SecurityToken is required, but you can make it optional by allowing a range of trusted IP addresses.

To disable the security token:

  1. Log in to FinancialForce and enter "Network Access" in the Quick Find box in the setup section.
  2. Add your IP address to the list of trusted IP addresses.

To obtain the security token:

  1. Open the personal information page on FinancialForce.com.
  2. Click the link to reset your security token. The token will be emailed to you.
  3. Specify the security token in the SecurityToken connection property or append it to the Password.

Authenticating with OAuth

If you do not have access to the user name and password or do not want to require them, use the OAuth user consent flow. See the OAuth section in the Help for an authentication guide.

Connecting to FinancialForce Sandbox Accounts

Set UseSandbox to true (false by default) to use a FinancialForce sandbox account. Ensure that you specify a sandbox user name in User.

You can then choose the FinancialForce entities you want to allow the API Server access to by clicking Settings -> Resources.

Authorize API Server Users

After determining the OData services you want to produce, authorize users by clicking Settings -> Users. The API Server uses authtoken-based authentication and supports the major authentication schemes. Access can also be restricted based on IP address; by default, only connections to the local machine are allowed. You can authenticate as well as encrypt connections with SSL.

Connect to FinancialForce Data as an External Data Source

Follow the steps below to connect to the feed produced by the API Server.

  1. Log into Salesforce and click Setup -> Develop -> External Data Sources.
  2. Click New External Data Source.
  3. Enter values for the following properties:
    • External Data Source: 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 the API Server. The format of the OData URL is https://your-server:your-port.rsc.

      Note that plain-text is suitable for only testing; for production, use TLS.

  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 the API Server, 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 the username for a user known to the API Server.
    • Password: Enter the user's authtoken.

Synchronize FinancialForce Objects

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

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

Access FinancialForce Data as Salesforce Objects

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

  • Create a new tab with a filter list view:

  • Display related lists of FinancialForce external objects alongside standard Salesforce objects:

  • Create, read, update, and delete FinancialForce objects from tabs on the Salesforce dashboard:

Troubleshooting

You can use the following checklist to avoid typical connection problems:

  • Ensure that your server has a publicly accessible IP address. Related to this check, but one layer up, at the operating system layer, you will also need to ensure that your firewall has an opening for the port the API Server is running on. At the application layer, ensure that you have added trusted IP addresses on the Settings -> Security tab of the administration console.
  • Ensure that you are using a connection secured by an SSL certificate from a commercial, trusted CA. Salesforce does not currently accept self-signed certificates or internal CAs.
  • Ensure that the server you are hosting the API Server on is using TLS 1.1 or above. If you are using the .NET API Server, you can accomplish this by using the .NET API Server's embedded server.

    If you are using IIS, TLS 1.1 and 1.2 are supported but not enabled by default. To enable these protocols, refer to the how-to on MSDN and the Microsoft technical reference.

    If you are using the Java edition, note that TLS 1.2 is enabled by default in Java 8 but not in Java 6 or 7. If you are using these earlier versions, you can refer to this this Oracle how-to.