A Fresh Look at Salesforce.com APIs

Salesforce.com is holding its flagship event Dreamforce at Moscone Center in San Franscisco this week, and before we spend time covering some of its new initiatives in what the company calls the Social Enterprise, I thought it would be a good time to review the APIs that developers can use as part of the DeveloperForce program.

Salesforce.com has seven separate APIs that allow you to customize and build on top of the cloud Platform:

  • Salesforce.com API - This is actually a suite of four APIs that provide programmatic access to an organization’s information and allow developers to implement custom functionality.

    1. Force.com Web Services API - A SOAP API allowing developers create, retrieve, update or delete records, such as accounts, leads, and custom objects in any Salesforce.com CRM account.
    2. Force.com REST API - The REST API provides a simple Web services interface for interacting with Salesforce.com, providing easier Integration and development for mobile and web applications.
    3. Force.com Bulk API - The Bulk API is a RESTful API optimized for loading or deleting large sets of data. It allows you to query, insert, update, upsert, or delete a large number of records asynchronously by submitting a number of batches that are processed in the background by Salesforce.
    4. Force.com Metadata API - An API to retrieve, deploy, create, update or delete customization information, such as custom object definitions and page layouts, for an organization using Salesforce.com. The Metadata API is intended for managing customizations and for building tools that can manage the metadata model, not the data itself.
  • Force.com Streaming API - A Streaming API, it allows developers to receive events for changes to Salesforce data that matches a SOQL query criteria, in a secure and real-time way.
  • Force.com Apex API - A RESTful API allowing developers to create other web services, email services and perform complex validation of objects, and create complete business processes that are not normally supported.
  • Chatter REST API - A RESTful API that provides access to Chatter feeds and social data such as users, groups, followers, and files. The Chatter API is similar to APIs offered by other companies with feeds, such as Facebook and Twitter.

These seven APIs provide some very deep integration into the Saleforce.com CRM and cloud platform, allowing developers to work with CRM data or build full blown applications that can be deployed in the AppExchange.

These APIs reflect the Salesforce.com platform APIs, but through recent acquisitions we can add three more APIs to the Salesforce Stack:

  • Database.com REST API - The Database.com REST API provides programmatic control over the multitenant cloud database service that’s designed to store data for mobile, social, web, and desktop applications.
  • Radian6 SocialCloud API - Programmatic interface for the social media monitoring tool/platform allowing developers to listen, track, measure and engage in conversations across the social web.
  • Heroku API - An API used for manually building, deploying and manipulating Ruby and Java cloud application built on the Heroku platform. The service lets app developers spend 100% of their time on their application code, not managing servers, deployment, ongoing operations, or Scaling.

That makes ten total APIs for integrating and building applications on top of one of the fastest growing CRM and cloud platforms. I hope that gives everyone a refresher course on what Salesforce.com is bringing to the table when it comes to APIs, and now I can talk about some of their newer initiatives to come out of Dreamforce 11.

Be sure to read the next Social article: Viadeo Looks to Take on LinkedIn in the US