3 Reasons Why Every Company Needs a Dedicated Salesforce Integration User

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Every #AwesomeAdmin knows that utilizing their superpowers to champion productivity means finding the best tools to get the job done. For the last 14 years, the AppExchange has brought thousands of free and paid solutions to the fingertips of businesses to help them run more efficiently. In fact, in 2017 the AppExchange celebrated its 5 millionth App download! More and more businesses are taking advantage of integrating AppExchange Apps and other paid tools with their instance of Salesforce. 

So, what does all this mean for Salesforce Admins? It means that most Salesforce Admins today are managing a Salesforce ecosystem, not just a Salesforce instance.

The AppExchange thoroughly vets all vendors, so you can trust that while expanding the value your organization gets from Salesforce, you aren’t compromising the security of your instance. However, tying any external tools to your Salesforce instance presents Salesforce Admins with a new challenge:

How do you ensure all of your integrations are stable, auditable, and secure?

An easy way to address this challenge is to invest in a Dedicated Integration User. This will not only help you manage integrations more seamlessly but also increase your productivity by saving you time. Sounds like a win-win, right?

Read this post to learn how leveraging an Integration User helps improve the security and stability of your instance, manage integrations, and streamline reporting.

What is a Salesforce Integration User?

An Integration User is a dedicated (not used by any human) full Salesforce license that has a custom Profile, Permission Set, and is used for any third-party integrations, like marketing automation, CTIs, data enrichment tools, and even your own custom API work. Integration Users are particularly important for these kinds of tools because they tend to update thousands (or tens of thousands) of records per day.

In short, an Integration User is a more secure, auditable way to move data into and out of your instance without relying on an existing user’s license. Here’s a closer look at why every company needs a dedicated Salesforce Integration User.

#1: Leverage an Integration User to improve security

The status quo in many organizations is that Salesforce integrations are given access via the Salesforce System Administrator’s own license. While it’s easy to understand why this is done, consider that not all third-party integrations are downloaded via the AppExchange and have gone through a rigorous security review.

By giving an integration full system admin access, you’re giving that tool access to:

 

  • Create or delete your users.
  • Delete records.
  • Reset users’ passwords.
  • Log in as any user.
  • Create new permission sets and assign them.

(Click here for more information on how to set up a Dedicated Integration User)

This is why it’s best practice to use a Dedicated Integration User with a customized profile and permission sets that provide only the minimum access required. Depending on how integration-heavy your instance is, you may even have more than one Dedicated Integration User. For example, when connecting a marketing automation platform with Salesforce, it’s best to use a Dedicated Integration User solely for that sync for auditing purposes.

#2: Leverage an Integration User for stability 

Having a Dedicated Integration User will also make managing integrations simpler and save you time. For example, freezing and deactivating users that have integrations tied to them is a labor-intensive job for a Salesforce Admin in the absence of a Dedicated Integration User.

When an employee whose Salesforce license is being used for an integration leaves the company or changes their password, it can create unforeseen problems. A change in their password or deactivated user will break any integration attached to their license, and it can take a while before someone realizes the integration isn’t syncing properly.

This means that every time you wind down an employee who’s leaving the organization, you have to check if there are any integrations attached to that user and migrate those integration(s) to another user’s license. This also applies to any integrations that are attached to your own Salesforce Admin license. For example, every time you update your password, you also have to update every integration attached to you. This makes common tasks like updating your Salesforce password much more complicated and inefficient than they need to be.

#3: Leverage an Integration User for auditing and reporting 

The third reason to invest in a Dedicated Integration User is to improve data integrity and simplify reporting.

Most times when creating reports, you want to exclude record creations and modifications made by automated systems to provide more accurate results. As a Salesforce Admin, this is another area where you’ll see major time savings by investing in a Dedicated Integration User. For example, identifying how and why a record was created or modified can be challenging and time-intensive in the absence of having an Integration User. 

With a Dedicated Integration User, it’s easy to filter out activities created by automated systems like your marketing automation or enrichment platform. In doing this, you can avoid hours of additional analysis to figure out how and why a record was created or modified.

This can come in handy when looking at:

  • How many activities were created this week by actual team members (not by a marketing automation platform)?
  • What leads were created by a team member (and not created by a system)?

The ROI of an Integration User 

The upfront costs of an extra license and the work to set up a Dedicated Integration User can seem daunting to organizations and their Salesforce Admins. However, in the long run, it’ll make your life as an #AwesomeAdmin much easier and, in turn, save you time and your organization money.

Have questions about how to set up a Dedicated Salesforce Integration User? Feel free to check out this blog post, and if you have questions, please drop us a line in the comment section below.

Looking for Salesforce Security resources? Here are our top three favorite Salesforce Security Trailhead modules for Admins:

  1. User Authentication
  2. Data Security
  3. Security Basics

 

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