Lets say that you have a database internally that holds some of your key data. You have just implemented a CRM in Salesforce and you want to be able to reference (lookup) this data in real time.
You have a couple of choices:
1) Copy all the data into Salesforce and keep the two systems synchronised. This is ok, and if you need the data frequently may be the best way to go
2) Keep the data in the database, and just look it up from there.
For option 2, this used to involve a fair bit of setup and a bit of custom coding to get it to all work nicely, and more importantly to work securely. A couple of recent features to two products has just made this easier.
Firstly, Salesforce.com has introduced a new feature to allow you to generate your own certificate to securely call a web Service inside your company firewall and be sure that the originator of the request was in fact your own Salesforce instance. See the following write-up for more info.. http://wiki.developerforce.com/index.php/Making_Authenticated_Web_Service_Callouts_Using_Two-Way_SSL
Secondly, Boomi has released a feature to expose a database query, or Stored procedure as a web Service that can be called in real time. This release from Boomi has opened up a whole range of possibilities to quickly and securely expose internal services to SaaS based applications.
For more information on this or other integration stories give us a call at WDCi..