A question we've consistently heard over the last year is: "When will Bracket integrate with Salesforce?"
As the most popular CRM on the planet, Salesforce is deeply integrated into the DNA of some of the world's most successful companies.
But as we wrote about here, problems arise when Salesforce becomes a de-facto database for an organization. Not only can the Salesforce API become frustrating to work with, but a company that relies too heavily on Salesforce for datakeeping also misses out on the benefits of a proper production database, like Postgres.
Maybe you're reading this because you're feeling some of those frustrations. Maybe you're reading this because you already use Heroku Connect and find it lacking. Either way, this is for you!
What is Heroku Connect?
Heroku Connect syncs data between Heroku Postgres instances and Salesforce. As a Heroku add-on, it only works with databases hosted in Heroku.
With Heroku Connect, you can map Salesforce objects and columns to tables fields in a Heroku Postgres database. From there, you can initiate two-way syncing, empowering you to build on top of Salesforce data using SQL.
Salesforce owns Heroku, so the chances of new integrations with other SaaS tools are very low.
What is Bracket?
Bracket is a general two-way realtime syncing tool. Like Heroku Connect, you can use Bracket to set up reliable two-way data syncs between Salesforce and Postgres.
However, Bracket agnostic to both your data source type and your hosting provider, meaning you can sync anything covered under Bracket's integrations, no matter what hosting service you use.
You can see how this works in practice below.
How are they similar?
Fundamentally, both services enable you to set up two-way syncs between Salesforce objects and Postgres tables. Both are web-based applications that allow you to map fields and set up syncs without code. Both provide web-app dashboards that allow you to monitor and troubleshoot your syncs.
How are they different?
Heroku Connect and Bracket differ in key ways:
Heroku Connect only works with Postgres databases hosted in Heroku. Bracket, on the other hand, works with any Postgres, anywhere. Want to use Supabase, Digital Ocean, or AWS? No problem.
Heroku Connect defaults into ten-minute polling intervals, and at the fastest offers two-minute intervals. For many user-facing use cases, this is too slow to be useful. In contrast, Bracket syncs in real-time, allowing you to build user-facing apps on top of Postgres.
Heroku Connect syncs are notoriously brittle - one error, and your entire sync is thrown off, leaving you to track down `_trigger_log` messages. In contrast, Bracket emails you every time your sync hits an error with a clear, actionable message. You can also set error thresholds that ignore a certain number of record-level errors, allowing your sync to continue while you troubleshoot in the background.
Clearer, cheaper price
Heroku Connect's pricing is famously opaque and requires a bespoke contract. It's not uncommon to hear stories of teams spending upwards of $50k / year.
At Bracket, we try to keep pricing clear and predictable by offering month-to-month subscriptions based on the number of syncs you need to set up and the speed at which you need them refreshed. This helps you plan your burn and avoid surprise bills.
Heroku Connect requires your data model to be the same in both Salesforce and Postgres.
For one-way syncs, Bracket offers the ability to add SQL transformation logic. Only need to `select * from users where "status" = "live"`? You can apply that transformation right in the Bracket web app.
A living roadmap
Heroku Connect's roadmap has sadly come to a standstill. Only two tickets mention Heroku Connect in Heroku's public roadmap, and both tickets have been open for months. Since its acquisition by Salesforce, Heroku has had little incentive to push its feature set forward, especially for an add-on like Heroku Connect.
In contrast, building a better Heroku Connect is Bracket's primary goal. Our team actively pushes out new features and improvements every week, with some exciting stuff on our near-term roadmap:
- Ability to select which fields sync one-way vs. two-way
- Hooking up Sentry and Slack for error alerts
- Copying staging syncs over to prod syncs seamlessly
- Multi-sync -- syncing Salesforce with multiple secondary sources (Postgres, Airtable, G Sheets, etc) in the same sync action
Able to sync with other databases, too
Perhaps you're on the fence about which production database you'd like to pick. Maybe you're considering MySQL instead of Postgres, or even dipping your toes into the NoSQL world. No matter which way you go, you can still use Bracket to sync with Salesforce.
Our philosophy at Bracket is that you should be able to use your favorite software without limitation. With this in mind, we built a faster, cheaper, more flexible version of Heroku Connect usable with any hosting service or database.
If you're considering ways to sync data between Salesforce and a database - or if you already use Heroku Connect, and want to switch to a cheaper tool with better support - shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or sign up at app.usebracket.com