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SmartCloud Connect Synchronization: An Overview

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Tip

The core data synchronization process described in this article is not to be confused with the toggleable SmartCloud Connect features - auto-sharing (auto-syncing) of every new email or events, or auto-saving of new messages in selected correspondence threads. Those features are carried out by this process and if synchronization is not set up or is suspended, these features will not work.

SmartCloud Connect synchronization is the recurrent background (server-side) process of two-sided data exchange between your email account (on an MS Exchange, Outlook.com, or Gmail server) and your Salesforce account that SmartCloud Connect performs to maintain data mirroring between your email/calendar items and their matching Salesforce objects, also considering your choices and actions in SmartCloud Connect Sidebar or your email client locally. The data is transferred securely server-to-server over EWS in the case of MS Exchange, using TLS/SSL in the case of Gmail, and over the official and secure Salesforce API to/from your Salesforce account.

By default, data synchronization is executed every 30 minutes; synchronization runs regardless of whether SmartCloud Connect Sidebar or MS Outlook/another supported email client is opened or not, as server-to-server interactions unnoticed by the end user. Since data exchange is carried out between your email server and Salesforce server while your local email client and the Sidebar only serve to display data and register your choices and actions, synchronization does not consume any noticeable amount of your local internet traffic.

The key aspects of synchronization process can be flexibly adjusted by the end users individually via Sync dashboard and SmartCloud Connect Customization page, or by the local admin via Admin settings. Synchronization can be manually suspended or forced to run sooner than the next scheduled session. It may also get suspended due to errors and monitored for troubleshooting.

Maintaining data mirroring is based on tables of matching fields mapped between MS Outlook/Exchange calendar items/tasks/contacts and corresponding Salesforce objects. These mapping tables are used to compare the values in matching fields and transfer updated values from email server to Salesforce or vice versa, replacing old values in corresponding fields with actual ones. This ongoing data mirroring process has its specific exceptions and overriding patterns applied in certain cases as required by convenience of use considerations, e.g. for processing event attendees lists. Additionally, there are custom sync adjustment options which alter the reciprocal mirroring principle according to customers’ preferences.

Note

Unlike continuous mirror-syncing of MS Outlook/Exchange calendar items/tasks/contacts, sharing of emails is always a one-way MS Exchange → Salesforce process by definition, and it is performed only once per email.

Besides this core data mirroring process, synchronization sessions include several related jobs: checking for emails/events/tasks/contacts assigned the Salesforce category, creation of Salesforce objects based on new emails or calendar items and user input, finding and linking of related records in Salesforce, deletion of a matching object if the procedure requires that (for example, removal from Salesforce of an event that got cancelled on the email server).

Note

In the latest SmartCloud Connect updates, resetting/reapplying Customization settings does not affect calendar items synchronization in any way.

Important

Some actions can only be performed via synchronization: sharing of calendar items in Salesforce, saving of email messages in Compose mode, sharing of emails, contacts, or tasks by assigning them the Salesforce category or moving emails to the Salesforce emails folder. Additionally, due to the sync interval it may take up to 30 minutes for a corresponding record to appear in Salesforce after your performed either of these saving actions. However, please note that several other actions involving creation or updating of Salesforce records do not depend on synchronization, as they are performed by SmartCloud Connect immediately in Salesforce, e.g. saving email messages using the Save button in Read mode or initial sharing (creation) of calendar items in Salesforce.

Tip

Besides regular synchronization settings SmartCloud Connect offers special adjustments to meet your company’s specific preferences - syncing calendar items as other object types besides events and one-way synchronization options.

 

Auto-linking of email/event/task items created by sync

Another important aspect of synchronization is auto-linking of Task/Email message/Event objects created in Salesforce by SmartCloud Connect sync. The Salesforce objects mirroring your email messages and calendar items get automatically associated through “lookup” relationships (the “Name” (WhoID) and “Related To” (WhatID) fields) with a relevant Contact/Lead, Account, and (optionally) Opportunity. This linking pattern is used both on auto-sharing and user-initiated sharing through custom category/dedicated MS Outlook folder.

 

Automatic creation of Contacts or Leads by SmartCloud Connect (Autoresolving)

SmartCloud Connect can automatically create required Leads or Contacts for new emails or calendar items containing addresses previously not registered in your CRM (unresolved recipients/senders), if the email is shared via SCC synchronization - by assigning it the Salesforce category or putting it into the Salesforce Emails folder in MS Outlook. Created Lead’s or Contact’s key fields will be auto-populated with data retrieved from the email message; the Task/Email message or Calendar Event object created in Salesforce to match the shared item will be linked to this Lead or Contact. To request enabling of the Autoresolving feature for your org, send a corresponding request to Invisible Support team, specifying if you would prefer Leads or Contacts to be auto-created for unresolved email addresses.

 

Functions comparison: SCC Add-In app vs. SCC sync engine

Component
Function
MS Outlook/Office 365 Add-In app Server-to-server synchronization engine
Emails processing Save button: “manual” (direct) saving in Read mode; saved by sync in Compose mode Via the “Salesforce Emails” folder or the Salesforce category
Calendar items processing Clicking the Save button in the Sidebar for a calendar item initiates its saving by sync, not by the Add-In; however, in this case special object linking can be set in the “Save event as an activity in Salesforce” dialog By assigning the Salesforce category; automatic object linking is applied
Activities linking User-defined (Related To and Name fields) Automatic, following standard patterns described earlier in this article
Sharing functions Single time one-way sharing of emails in Read mode
Updating of details of already shared calendar items
Initial sharing of calendar items

Sharing of Contacts and Tasks
Sharing of emails in Compose mode
MS Outlook Contacts processing Sharing and then continuous mirroring of Contacts put in the Salesforce Contacts folder
MS Outlook Tasks processing Sharing and then continuous mirroring of Tasks assigned the Salesforce category
Business objects creation in Salesforce User-initiated creation and creation of objects associated with emails shared in Read mode Optional auto-creation for unresolved senders/recipients/invitees
Objects search in Salesforce User-initiated and Initial search (Related records list) Auto-search of related Lead/Contact/Account/Opportunity to be auto-linked
Email key fields’ values adjustment on saving Via the “Save Email as an Activity in Salesforce” dialog (Save button)
Fully automatic sharing of emails or Calendar items
Selective automatic sharing of emails (Save all emails in thread)
Possibility to select threads to be auto-shared; however, sharing itself is performed by synchronization Threads autosaving is performed by sync
Autoresolving (automatic creation of relevant Leads or Contacts based on new email addresses discovered) Only those emails and calendar items which are assigned the Salesforce category or put in the Salesforce Emails folder by the user get shared by sync with corresponding contacts or leads auto-created, if this feature is enabled
Objects deduplication Includes a conflict resolution feature derived from Salesforce Performs server-side objects deduplication