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Extend your Salesforce functionalities with visualforce and the alternative

Read about integrating your online forms with Salesforce using Visualforce and Alternatives

Amy W, 25/05/2018
Read about integrating your online forms with Salesforce using Visualforce and Alternatives

What is Salesforce CRM

Salesforce is the world's #1 customer relationship management (CRM) platform. Salesforce offers a wide variety of CRM categories and systems to meet your needs, including Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Service Cloud, Analytics Cloud, Data Cloud, Community Cloud, App Cloud, and IoT, serving more than 150,000 customers.

Updating your Salesforce CRM
Integrations nowadays are a basic requirement when you are capturing data online. It makes no sense managing the data in your CRM as well as maintaining it in other places at the same time, so you need to focus only on your CRM and continuously update it. If you are using Salesforce as your your online CRM i’m sure you already know that without an automated integration syncing the data becomes a bourdon, an additional task that takes up much of your time and resources. In addition, manual update can also lead to human errors such as creating duplicate records, misspelling, accidentally deleting data etc.

What are my options for Integration with my salesforce crm?

First, let’s agree - the automated integration with your Salesforce CRM is a must.
There are a few options for capturing data online and having it integrated with your Salesforce CRM. The most obvious solution, of course, would be Visualforce,

What is visualforce

which is a component-based user interface (UI) framework that it is a part of Salesforce's Force.com Platform as a Service. allows developers to build sophisticated, custom user interfaces that can be hosted natively on the Lightning platform.
Visualforce is a really good tool with which you can create web pages to capture data. It’s greatest advantage is that it keeps everything under the Salesforce umbrella.
However, visualforce, in spite of all its good marits also has its disadvantages: It requires a developer to build a page and also to maintain it after that, and It is an expensive option.
The other solution is using a form builder.

What are form builders

Form builders are platforms that enable to create online forms, collect data and integrate them with Salesforce (and well as other 3rd party applications). The best thing about form builders is that they are designed to make it all easy for you. They don’t require a developer, or any coding knowhow and they empower you to do it yourself and cut your expenses.

What should you look for in a form builder
If you look up the term ‘form builder for salesforce’ in google you will find several applications that suit the description. However, like always, the truth is in the details. Since each application is different you should try finding out which one is the best match for what you need.
You may, for example, be more interested in a builder that does not limit your form design. And only need a simple Salesforce integration for creating records. In this case be sure to look for the tool that has the most flexible design capabilities in addition to a basic Salesforce integration.
On the other hand, you may be looking for a very standard looking form, but one that has conditional logic, that populates your form fields from Salesforce, as well as updates information. In this case you would need to look for a tool that, first and foremost, has a powerful integration with Salesforce, and enables to create sophisticated forms.

Following are the things you should be checking when looking for a form builder:
In general:
- Ease of use. Drag and drop, simple, user friendly tool.
- No coding required
- No installation
- Flexible design to create any look you are after
- Supports responsive forms (with tablet and mobile versions)
- Customizable in terms of emails, on line messages, form language etc.
- Has conditional logic and validations
- Supports Integrations with 3rd party application
- Can be published in various ways: as iframe, as script, as link, in lightbox, via QR code etc.

In terms of Salesforce integration:
- bi directional integration that allows to read from Salesforce and write to Salesforce.
Read: Allows to read data and populate form fields, Write: Allows to create records, update records, upsert records, delete records and find records in Salesforce objects.
- Supports all the Salesforce field types.
- Allows integration with multiple SF objects (in one form)
- Supports integration with Parent-Child relationship objects
- Allows to add conditional logic to the integration
- Flexible enough to support almost any scenario.
- can be embedded inside Salesforce, as well as in external web pages/blogs.