Salesforce Org Architecture

The figure above shows a complex multiple org architecture (Hub-and-Spoke model). I’ll return to the drivers for multiple-org versus single org in a future post. For now let’s consider some interesting aspects of the above scenario.

SSO : users log in via their Active Directory Credentials. The CORPORATE org being a SAML 2.0 Service Provider to the AD Identity Provider. The CORPORATE org is also aN Identity Provider, enabling SSO across all child-orgs (which are SP).

Managed Packages : versioned baseline functionality. It’s often the case that certain configuration elements are common across orgs in a multi-org architecture. A best practice is to distribute this metadata as a managed package thereby preventing local modification. The business owners of the client org are free to innovate in their org, but the baseline configuration is locked (possibly to ensure compatibility with data sharing processes). Managed packages arenot just for ISV.

Salesforce-to-Salesforce : data sharing (automated or manual). S2S is a very underrated technology, enabling bi-directional, selective sharing of data between orgs. A great fit for multi-org architectures where common data can be shared across all orgs, or partitioned (geographically, business type etc.) and perhaps consolidated at the CORPORATE level.

External Execution Environment : complex, off-platform processing (perhaps legacy components written in Java). Salesforce orgs are subject to execution limits (governor limits etc.), whilst this becomes less restrictive with each release, there are times when an external execution environment can be helpful. For example a payroll calculation engine (written in Java and used within the enterprise) could be deployed to Heroku and called via Apex. Personally, I look to repurpose or buy technology before coding anything – the ability to assemble a solution should not be overlooked.

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