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Best API approach to send data to another system not using Outbound Messenging


Does anyone have a best approach template for sending data to another system when data changes.  We do not want to use Outbound Messenging.

Would the receiving system have to supply the SF system a WSDL or the other way around?  

I will be using a trigger to call a class method.  That class method will build an in memory array of data from account, contact and opportunity data.  I want that array of data to be sent to the other system.

Does anyone have a high-level layout approach to do this and even a basic code example of sending an array of data would be sweet! :)

Basically it depends on your coding proficiency level . Outbound messaging uses SOAP notification technlogy which is a built-in way to send notifications to external systems without writing code in at all (you'll need a SOAP endpoint configured with the WSDL from the Outbound Message, though).

If you want the development quickly you can take this approach. However if you have a good knowledge on coding technologies like PHP, .NET, etc you can go with Apex Code i.e.., integration REST api etc..,

Both Apex Callouts and Outbound Message serve the purpose to send data to external systems outside of

Apex Callouts can be synchronous. If you need to call an external system, process some data, and immediately return it into SFDC as one transaction than Apex Callouts are the solution for you.

Outbound Messages are Asynchronous and more in line with "Fire and Forget". Once the Outbound Message is sent you don't get an immediate response. They are good for workflows or processes you don't need immediate results in SFDC.

The below post explains about different situations on when to use outbound messaging vs apex call outs

Here is an example of APEX integration

Another Example :

Hope this helps !