Connecting BusinessObjects to Salesforce

Hi, we’re using Salesforce now (I know, it’s awful). Anyway, we successfully connected to Salesforce from B.O. about 2 years ago, but did nothing with it. But the connection was successful, and I created a quick report.

Now I know a little more about Salesforce, and I’m like WHY NOT? You can connect to it, so what the heck?

The current plan is to use Salesforce-Einstein which is a fancy dashboards tool. But that requires ETL’ing data from SF into Einstein, and that’s massive overhead. Tableau is now owned by SF, but that integration is going to be down the road, although they have renamed Einstein to Tableau CRM.

Anyway, it just seems to me you could use Business Objects effectively with Salesforce.

Does anyone have any experience?

Here’s some Business Objects resources, so they have made an attempt at this. But so far I haven’t found anyone who’s done it.

Connections for Salesforce

Data Access Guide, Section 8.10 for Salesforce

Well, it doesn’t look like anyone has any experience … but technically it’s possible, so I’m going to give it a whirl … will keep you posted.

It has been done. Please see this link.
It the 21st minute it finally shows some universes and Webi. It spends a lot of time with Explorer, which isn’t widely used, but this link is from 2011.

Great, thank you!

I’ll review tomorrow.

But still, I’m not finding anyone currently doing it. I also posted on SAP Community, and have reached out to various people on LinkedIn (including SAP B.O. people) … and no hits. I’ll try BO Speaks as well.

I’m not too keen on Salesforce, for a variety of reasons. And B.O. is a champ for traditional querying.

We use both Salesforce and Business Objects, but I think like you have eluded to, we source the data into our data warehouse then utilize IDT/Webi.

I’m going to try again - has anyone connected to Salesforce and used it effectively?

We connected 2 years ago and made a basic Universe, but just to CONTACT table and just to show that it worked.

Currently in Salesforce I’m wrestling on pulling data, and my only tool is using SOQL via Workbench. SOQL sucks and so does Workbench, it’s kind of like SQL Plus - bland, boring, and certainly not a state of the art tool.

It just seems to me that this should be a viable solution. Why not? It would be a direct connection, so no data movement.

Salesforce has a fancy schmancy dashboards tool called Einstein. But it requires moving data into Einstein. Salesforce purchased Tableau and then re-named Einstein to Tableau CRM. But I’m sure it will be a good long while before Tableau as it’s currently known is reconfigured to work with Salesforce.

*The Salesforce data architecture is way different than any traditional relational database like Oracle or MySQL. It’s totally different and blows your mind trying to learn it with Oracle in your brain.

Hi william, let’s keep this in the existing topic, thanks ! [I have merged the 2 topics] I have a new collegue that have some background on Salesforce, and I have some knowledge on Business Objects maybe we can dig on that !

As far as I know, traditional BOBJ layers (universes…) are not very flexible when it need to deal with cloud sources like Salesforce. I have tested recently to make some reporting off Jira, the application we use here to track our software development. We have ended testing Tableau Software and Microsoft PowerBI because we were not able to consume a regular REST API url that Jira is providing. But it seems that BOBJ comes with a Salesforce connector so it must work in some ways :wink: good luck !

Thanks for the assist Julien …

As far as I know, traditional BOBJ layers (universes…) are not very flexible when it need to deal with cloud sources like Salesforce.

So I don’t understand that - - - I guess I don’t understand what’s the big deal with the Cloud as opposed to like Oracle on-prem - it’s just a computer you connect to. But I don’t know all the Cloud ramifications.

For example, when we connected 2 years ago, I just created an ODBC connection using the SAP Salesforce ODBC Driver, entered the production URL, password, etc., and voila - we connected and created a Universe and I was able to generate a basic WebI report.

Salesforce is certainly not a traditional RDBMS (even though it’s built on top of Oracle, go figure). Business Objects imo is the right tool for our purposes. Einstein nor Tableau are not the right tool either, as our goal is not data visualization.

The tricky part, if we got this going, would be wrestling with SOQL within the Universe. Since the retrieval language would be SOQL, that would cause major limitations, as I understand things.

Bottom line - Salesforce ugh, Business Objects is a great tool.

So I’m going to say this is a big NO based on my evolving understanding of SOQL.

SOQL is very limiting, and Workbench is rudimentary, it’s not an IDE. It’s closer to Sql*Plus.

You can’t JOIN tables (like Oracle), so therefore this limitation would exist in the Universe Designer. So I can’t see being able to effectively connect B.O. to SF.

If anyone thinks otherwise, please advise. We currently have no solution to pull data out of SF! Einstein isn’t the answer (for us).


This may or may not fit your requirements, but have you tried using Crystal Reports? It has a connector to Looks like it connects via a login to the website. We don’t use Salesforce so I can look any further.

You would have to purchase a license (or more) for the Crystal Reports Developer Tool but you can host, schedule, and distribute the reports in Business Objects just like you would a Web Intelligence document.

John, thanks!

We do have Crystal Reports, but WebIntelligence is the only thing used around here. I have not used Crystal Reports but I think the limiting thing is still SF-SOQL. Which is ugh.

Is your DW a traditional RDBMS?

Have you tried to pull data out of Salesforce? Our only option has been SOQL via Workbench - it’s no pretty imo.

So I’ve given up on trying to connect BO to Salesforce, because of the limitations of SOQL and Salesforce, in regards to data analysis. (It seems to me that the only way to do traditional data analysis with a Salesforce d.b. is - you can’t. So you have to export to a traditional RDBMS …

Note: the far back end of Salesforce (that you can’t see) is … Oracle …

would love anyone’s thoughts on this.

Did you try this?