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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 event, 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 (SCC Sync) is a recurrent background (server-side) process of two-way data exchange between your email account (on an MS Exchange, Office 365, or Gmail server) and your Salesforce account, that SmartCloud Connect performs 24/7 to maintain data mirroring between your email/calendar items and their matching Salesforce objects, also considering your choices and actions in SmartCloud Connect Sidebar and your email client (via the dedicated category or folder). SCC Sync does not depend on whether SmartCloud Connect Add-In is opened in your email client. 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, SCC Sync is performed every 30 minutes; it runs regardless of whether SmartCloud Connect Sidebar or MS Outlook/other supported email client is opened or not, as server-to-server data exchange unnoticed by the users. 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 email/calendar data and register your choices and actions, SCC Sync 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 Exchange/Office 365 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. In addition, refer to this article for in-depth explanations of specific calendars sync exceptions. Finally, there are custom sync adjustment options which alter the reciprocal mirroring principle according to customers’ preferences.

Note

Unlike continuous mirror-syncing of MS Exchange/Office 365 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 Salesforce category or put into Salesforce folder, 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 in Exchange/Office 365).

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)

On user-initiated syncing or auto-syncing of calendar items, SmartCloud Connect can automatically create corresponding Leads or Contacts for meeting attendees addresses previously not registered in Salesforce (unresolved meeting attendees). The Calendar Event object created in Salesforce to match the shared item will be linked to this Lead or Contact. Note that SCC will be lacking data to fill in auto-created Leads’ or Contacts’ key fields, so the users should populate these fields later through the Sidebar.
To request enabling of the Auto-resolving 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 meeting attendees’ addresses.

Note that email addresses and domains blacklisted from syncing by an individual SCC user (personal contacts, for example) or by the Org Admin will not be processed on Leads/Contacts auto-resolving by SCC for this user.

In addition, SCC can optionally auto-create new Accounts to link the auto-created Contacts to in case there is no relevant Account retrieved by SCC Initial Search. The auto-created Account’s Name will be based on the corporate email domain from the attendee’s email address. Later the Account’s specific details can be populated by the user via the Sidebar.

 

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 custom 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 the standard patterns
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
Auto-sharing
MS Outlook/O365 Contacts syncing Sharing and then continuous mirroring of Contacts put in the Salesforce Contacts folder; automatic objects linking is applied
MS Outlook/O365 Tasks syncing Sharing and then continuous mirroring of Tasks assigned the Salesforce category; automatic objects linking is applied
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 search is conducted by the Add-In Auto-search of related Lead/Contact/Account/Opportunity to be auto-linked on items auto-sharing
Initial search (Related records list collection) Conducts Initial Search; scans emails subject, body, and signature; displays collected Related records list
Auto-fills objects’ key fields based on retrieved relevant data
Auto-links objects according to established pattern
Email key fields’ values editing on saving Via the “Save Email as an Activity in Salesforce” dialog (Save button)
Fully automatic sharing of new emails, meetings, appointment
Selective automatic sharing of emails (“Save all emails in thread”)
Selection of threads to be auto-shared using the Add-In’s UI; however, sharing itself is performed by SCC Sync All auto-sharing scenarios are performed entirely by Sync
Auto-resolving (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
Access to Sync settings and Customization settings Sync settings and Customization settings pages are accessed via the Sidebar’s menu. Note that in some configurations this access might be disabled for individual users Settings are managed only by the local SCC Admin or Invisible Support team
Objects deduplication Includes a conflict resolution feature derived from Salesforce Performs server-side objects deduplication