Dynamics 365 vs Salesforce: Integration

A popular search query for Salesforce vs Dynamics 365 concerns “integration”. As I do a series on how Dynamics 365 and Salesforce stack up, I wanted to address this point. In this article, I’ll explain – to the best of my ability – how integrations can be approached in both applications. I’ll also look at the respective product ecosystems, and we’ll try to figure out if either vendor has an advantage over the other when it comes to integrations.

Salesforce Integration

Technical Resources

Salesforce offers 10 APIs for different kinds of integration; they have APIs that are suitable for most purposes. There is a very good overview here that you should read if you are interested.

Data Importing

Salesforce has a competent data loader for large data imports.

Workflow Tools

Want to build your own cross-app workflows? There are a ton of connectors to third party workflow tools, including Microsoft Flow, Zapier, Mulesoft, and more.

App Store

Salesforce has a large AppExchange claiming nearly 5,000,000 installs.

Other Salesforce Apps

Salesforce has a Service Cloud and a Marketing Cloud that work very well with the core Sales Cloud product.

Out of the Box Integrations

Salesforce is the market share leader for CRM, so many other apps have made it a priority to integrate with Salesforce in a “plug and play” manner. As an anecdote, I would surmise that they strongly outpace Dynamics 365 in terms of the number of third-party applications that connect natively.

Dynamics 365 Integration

Technical Resources

Dynamics 365 has a powerful web API (REST). Most operations can be done with this, including data synchronization. Microsoft will be focusing on their REST endpoint going forward.

Data Importing

Dynamics 365 has a good data wizard. I might have to give the edge to Salesforce in this category since they have more bells and whistles. They will both get the job done, however!

Workflow Tools

Dynamics 365 connects to a wide variety of 3rd party workflow tools as well, including examples such as Microsoft Flow, Zapier, and Mulesoft.

App Store

Microsoft has their own app listing called AppSource. It’s not as large as AppExchange – but Microsoft also has a huge network of Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) that develop Dynamics add-ons.

Other Microsoft Apps

This is the only category where Dynamics 365 blows Salesforce out of the water. Most companies use Office 365 and other Microsoft products – the level of integration between Dynamics 365 and these core business applications is second to none.

Furthermore, .NET and other Microsoft-oriented technologies (i.e. SQL server) will work much better with Dynamics 365. One of our clients chose Dynamics because their new CRM “system needed to work very, very closely with our existing information management system… Salesforce couldn’t do that unless we rebuilt a massive amount of things”.

3rd-Party Integrations

As I mentioned above, Salesforce probably beats Dynamics 365 in this category. Many smaller 3rd parties prioritize Salesforce when developing a CRM integration. You’ll find that most of the major vendors in a category advertise their Dynamics support, however.

Conclusions

Okay, what can we conclude here? It appears that both Salesforce and Dynamics 365 are very comparable when it comes to integration. There are a ton of different options with each vendor.

Microsoft definitely comes out on top when it comes to integrating with core business productivity tools, but Salesforce has a stronger app store and is arguably more developer-friendly, despite Microsoft’s attempts to turn that corner.

If you work for a company that uses a wide variety of third-party SaaS apps for your enterprise technology, Salesforce might lead in the “integration” category – though Microsoft is looking to close that gap. On the other hand – if you are a Microsoft shop for the majority of your software – Dynamics 365 looks like the right path forward.

I’m doing a series of posts comparing Dynamics 365 and Salesforce. Check out comparisons on price, market share, and features.

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