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Case Study: John’s Island Real Estate Salesforce Integration

Published 09/14/2018

Client Name

Johns Island Real Estate

Industry

Real Estate

Budget/Compensation

$20,000

Problem Summary

JIRE purchased a subscription to PropertyBase, which is Salesforce’s real estate plugin.

Unfortunately, the model of integration Saleforce had in mind (where the website would be generated from their end) turned out be unfeasible.

Solution Summary

Gunner proposed using the Salesforce API to push data from the open source CRM to Salesforce and maintain the existing platform.

This would give JIRE the flexibility it needed from a product standpoint while still feeding the data into PropertyBase, which would keep the CRM functionality they desired in the first place.

Challenges

PropertyBase turned out to be more of a bolted on afterthought than a first-class citizen in the Salesforce world.

That meant, once JIRE was under contract, we didn’t get much support help and were left figuring out how to integrate with the Salesforce API on our own.

Testing was also a challenge because JIRE didn’t have a test environment for PropertyBase and couldn’t always tell if the data was correct.

Technical Approach

Simply put – we needed to keep the data in sync between the two platforms.

We did this using AWS JavaScript-based Lambda functions behind AWS API Gateway.

Whenever a listing was saved on the JIRE platform, the Ruby on Rails application would notify the serverless API which would create an entry in an SQS queue.

That queue was connected to another lambda function which grabbed the current data in Salesforce using the Salesforce API and munged it with the new data in the queue.

The resulting data was then sent to PropertyBase via the Salesforce API, updating the data on their end.

Project Management Approach

As with most projects, we took an Agile Scrum approach.

Half of this project were research sprints and only two were implementation sprints.

The infrastructure and code setup was relatively easy.

What took the most time was testing and matching data.

JIRE didn’t know exactly what they wanted synced to what.

For example, the JIRE platform had a concept of Property Type while Salesforce had Features.

These discrepancies weren’t one-to-one mappings, so we had to work with JIRE to come up with business rules for mapping the data.

Then, it was difficult to tell if a sync failed because the JIRE team would make updates to the JIRE data and forget to check to see if the sync was correct on the PropertyBase side.

Then, someone might come in and edit PropertyBase and we wouldn’t know what happened – was the sync wrong or did someone change the data manually?

Project Roles

Solutions Architect – Cody Swann

Web Developer – Cody Swann

Project Manager – Lisa Brignac

Proficiencies Used

  • Ruby
  • Ruby on Rails
  • JavaScript
  • Salesforce
  • PropertyBase
  • Lambda
  • API Gateway
  • Serverless
  • SQS
  • AWS
  • Elastic Beanstalk
  • Agile
  • Scrum
  • Continuous Deployment
  • Continuous Development
  • Git

Lessons Learned

We’ve worked with Salesforce a lot, but this was our first time with PropertyBase.

This taught us that not all Salesforce products are created – or treated – equally.

Benefits

After the project’s launch, JIRE was able to use a single source of data while still leveraging the benefits of PropetyBase.

Why Gunner Technology?

Gunner has worked extensively with the Salesforce API, so we were immediately familiar with how to get up and running, so we put together a demo for JIRE that illustrated our proficiency with Salesforce.