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Has anyone used Apatar to connect to Salesforce?

Posted on 2011-04-19
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Last Modified: 2016-02-16
I am trying to use Apatar to connect to Salesforce and push/pull data back and forth between an Access application that I have created.  I am just having a little trouble getting it to work and was curious if anyone has done it and if so, if they know of any good tutorials...
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Question by:rgn2121
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by:Nico Bontenbal
ID: 35430563
What part exactly are you having problems with. Is it the connection to Salesforce or the connection to Access? The following pages seem to have detailed instructions for the Salesforce and Access connectors:
http://www.apatarforge.org/wiki/display/GUI/Apatar+Connector+for+SalesForce.com
http://www.apatarforge.org/wiki/display/GUI/Connector+for+MS+Access

I've never used Apatar, but I know Salesforce and Access, so hopefully I can help you to solve this.
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by:rgn2121
ID: 35433332
I tried just adding the initial connection to Salesforce and configured it and it should pull everything back from one of my objects in SF...Select * From Accounts.

When I do the run and preview in Apatar, it returns blank.

What I have is my data in Salesforce...I need to download certain items in Access, then my access app is used to create contracts and such for the business, then that info will need to go back into salesforce.  Then I need to get the unique salesforce ID for each contract back into my app.

I wanted to schedule an automated process that would run at EOD, just having an issue getting started...
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by:rgn2121
ID: 35433344
I followed that first link exactly several times and got nothing back...
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by:Nico Bontenbal
ID: 35433528
The last 2 screenshots of the first link. The one with the data. What do you get:
1. No window at all
2. Completely blank window
3. Window with columns but no rows
And the one with the progress. Do you get that one too and what does is say?

When enter the wrong password for the user. Do you get an error message or do you get the same result. If you get an error message we at least know you got the user info right. Also in the Salesforce logs. Can you verify the user connected to Salesforce successfully?
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by:rgn2121
ID: 35453113
I am not in front of it right now, but I when I click the "Run and Preview" I see the window open and scroll through the running commands and then I get a window with column headings and no rows.
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Expert Comment

by:Nico Bontenbal
ID: 35454033
Do you also get the progress window and what does it say?
Just to make sure: there are Accounts registered in SalesForce and the user that you use has permission to view those?
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Author Comment

by:rgn2121
ID: 35505023
I can't tell you about the progress window because I don't have access to it and I am not with the person that does, but I know that they are the sole account with access to their Salesforce data and yes there are Accounts listed.

I should know more tomorrow once I meet with the user again...sorry this isn't easy for me to check for you.
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Expert Comment

by:Nico Bontenbal
ID: 35688151
I've installed Apatar and followed the instructions. It worked exactly as described in the manual. Maybe you could try a new install of Apatar on another machine, or try another Salesfoce account.
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by:rgn2121
ID: 35735776
Well, after the meeting yesterday it looks like the client is not going to use apatar.  If you wouldn't mind giving me your thoughts on something else I will award points so we can close this out...

What do you think is the best option to synch data back and forth between MS Access and Salesforce.  The ideal situation is that the process would run EOD and synch the data.
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Expert Comment

by:Nico Bontenbal
ID: 35736006
And why don't use Apatar for that. It seems like it can do the job. The only options I have experience with are tools I've written myself in (Excel) VBA and C#. The advantage is it gives you complete control over the process. The disadvantage is it takes a lot of time to built the solutions.
What do you mean by "back and forth". Will data change in the same table (for example contacts) on both Salesforce and Access? That would be rather difficult because of the conflicts that could occur (same record changed in Salesforce and Access). If you only need specific tables one way and other tables the other way (for example contacts form Access to SalesForce and opportunities from SalesForce to Access) you might be able to use the data loader. This is a free tool from SalesForce that you can use to upload and download csv files. You can create these csv files from Access, and import them in Access. You could create a script to do the synchronization and then schedule this script.
Maybe you can go into what exactly you need a bit more.
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by:rgn2121
ID: 35743244
Well, agents and dealers get added into SF and since SF adds their unique ID, that info gets updated back into Access.  Then contracts get built in Access and they get moved into SF.

I know about the data loader and that might be a route to take, I was also thinking about looking into the salesforce api and creating a windows service to do the work...
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by:rgn2121
ID: 35743248
The apatar tool was just giving us problems and since I don't have the access to SF I can't really play around with it much.  It does look perfect, but I just don't have access to everything I need to mess with it.
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Accepted Solution

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Nico Bontenbal earned 2000 total points
ID: 35744302
I'd start with the data loader. Because each type of information only goes one way this shouldn't give you too much problems. You could create a vbscript or small .Net program that calls the data loader. You can then schedule this. The data loader can do xml also I believe. So that's easier to process than csv. You could also write a program yourself (as a windows service) that uses the (bulk) api of SalesForce, but I think you should only do that when the data loader approach failed. In my situation I also had to run some other code on SalesForce after the upload of the data, that's why I wrote my own program.

<<I need to mess with it>>
Just get you own free developer account at SalesForce, then you can experiment all you want.
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Author Closing Comment

by:rgn2121
ID: 35758497
Thank you...i will do that!
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