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Connect to external data source via lighting connect


Salesforce launched Lighting Connect by which can intergrate with exteal data source like SAP, DB etc. Does Salesforce itself provide external data source service? Or i can only use lighting connect by adopting third partners like Mulesoft, Progress Software, TIBCO...?

greg staskogreg stasko

My understanding is that if the desired external data source can present an OData-compatible interface (SAP is the one I see most often demoed), you would not have to use a third-party product. The External Object definition could access this data source directly.

However, many products don't have native OData services. I work for Progress, so I will speak for our offering, Datadirect Cloud - it allows data from most of the leading enterprise databases (Oracle, SQL Server, DB2, etc.) and many cloud data sources to be accessed via Lightning Connect without any modifications to the data source. These data sources typically don't present an OData interface, so our service provides a bridge between the OData/REST "client" (your Salesforce application) and JDBC-accessible databases. 

Hope this helps.
Lightning Connect is a new add-on service that uses the oData protocol to reference external data.   As Greg correctly mentions, if your database doesn't natively support oData, you would need something in the middle (i.e. middleware) in order to receive the outbound-from-Salesforce oData call, and translate it into the native database call (eg JDBC, MDAC).  This translation could be handled by an API gateway in your perimeter DMZ, or by an ESB either on premise or in the cloud.   While oData as a protocol was initially most heavily supported by SAP and Microsoft, other vendors are now offering support for it.   The current list of oData producers can be found here: