Did you know that you can integrate your Salesforce and Box.com using at least two approaches? With a few steps, you can make Box.com folders associate with Accounts and Contacts in Salesforce and automate document storage. In this post, we give an overview of Box for Salesforce functionality, pros and cons of these integration options, and limitations of each of them.
What is Box?
But before we start, let me explain what Box is. In a nutshell, Box is a cloud content management system. Using Box, you can store your files in the cloud, decide who can view/edit your files, access them on the go. They promise secure storage of your data and advanced collaboration possibilities.
Toyota, IBM, General Electric, Coca Cola and 69% of the Fortune 500 rely on Box (according to their website).
They also mention that Box integrates with over 1,400 apps including Salesforce.
Why Box to Salesforce Integration
Box is a good cloud alternative for the reliable and convenient storage of important documents (for example, of legal documents). It enables sharing files internally and externally using links 0r requesting documents from prospects and customers on various levels.
Box can be integrated with many document management solutions on the market, for example, DocuSign and enhance its general functionality by automating of transferring of the necessary data to respective account or by automating the process of the signed document storage.
How Box for Salesforce Functions
There are two main approaches of The Box – Salesforce Lightning integration, both of which have their pros and cons that we will discuss further down the road. The first one is to synchronize Box with Salesforce via Box for Salesforce native app available on AppExchange (the Salesforce app Marketplace) profile. The second option is to integrate Box for Salesforce via a custom implementation.
Let’s take a look at both of them in detail.
Salesforce Integration via Native Box App
Box application integrates with Salesforce based on Visual Force pages and Box API so it’s possible to integrate Box with any Standard or Custom objects.
Our Salesforce Consultant Chris Petersen recorded a short overview where she uses our Demo account to show how Box integration looks:
Box Salesforce Integration Pros
- Easy point-to-click way of Box app setup and no coding required.
- Box can handle Lead conversion action and reassign folders from Lead to Account, Contact, and Opportunity.
- Standard application handles auto sharing Box application among users.
- The out-of-the-box functionality will let you review Box files right in the Salesforce. Here you can also add new files.
- You could also assign tasks to team members, comment on files, and edit documents.
- What’s more, you can share files with external people even if they are not Salesforce users.
- Native application also allows us to share files and folders with customers with help of standard sharing features. With the help of this feature, it’s possible to request any documents from external clients directly from Salesforce.
- It is the quickest (the whole integration & configuration process takes up to 6 days) and the most budget-friendly way to satisfy some of your needs.
Box Salesforce Integration Cons
- Box has strict Folder structure, and you can’t customize it. The only one path you can select is a Root folder.
- You need to manually set up the correct path to the file for EVERY record, e.g., every Account or Deal.
- Box has simple automation but it won’t be possible to auto create folders on Account/Contact/Opportunity Levels.
- You should have a separate Salesforce user to sync setup for Box integration. This requirement is related to Security setup for common Salesforce users. That’s why it requires purchasing an additional Salesforce user license
If you want to configure your Box account to totally fit it in with your business processes, but you might need a Salesforce consulting help.
Also, switching between records of the different objects brings you to the default location of the Box file structure of the Salesforce, which is ?All files > You Salesforce Org name > Object name > Record name.
How to Set Up Box Salesforce Integration
You must have two Box accounts before you can install the Box for Salesforce integration: a Box service (any managed user or admin for enterprise setting) and a Box user account (to link individual’s Salesforce and Box accounts). Learn more here.
Step 1. Add Box for Salesforce to your Org.
Like any other apps for Salesforce, you will find Box on AppExchange, the Salesforce Marketplace (the Box for Salesforce AppExchange Profile). It is free to use.
Click the Get It Button and follow the instructions. You should have Admin rights to do this.
Step 2. Create or define a folder in your Box where you’ll store all data that should be available in Salesforce.
In our example, we’ve used a standalone file structure, which is the Companies folder with some Exact Company subfolder with some files inside.
The file path is ? All files\Companies\Company\File.pdf
You might also notice a Your Salesforce Org Name folder, which mimics your Salesforce org.
Remember it for now, and let’s move to the next step.
Step 3. Go to your Salesforce > Accounts > Company > Box tab.
By default, you will see the content of ?All files\Your Salesforce Org Name\Accounts\Company\File.pdf
Go back to the All Files and find the Company folder among the standalone Box file structure.
Reviewing Box Files in Salesforce
Step 4. From the Salesforce record on the Box tab click Upload > File > Choose the file > Open.
Check the syncing in the Box by refreshing the page.
Step 5. Go into the Salesforce > Select any Object > Select any Record > Go to the Box tab.
If you receive “Create a new folder for this record” message > Click Create folder.
Check the syncing in the Box by refreshing the page.
Salesforce navigation between objects
Salesforce Box Integration via Custom Implementation
Box has a powerful API solution to automate manual processes and to add efficiency to the workflow via a custom coding. For example, due to custom implementation using Apex classes for API calls and creation of response handlers you can execute several integration actions related to Folder actions like Create, Update, Delete, and Share or File actions like Upload, Download, Delete, and Share.
- This integration approach satisfies all the needs
- It allows for many automation processes like creation of a predefined list of sub-folders and lead conversion automation folder, synchronization of signed documents with Box
Salesforce Box Integration Cons
- This option takes more time (up to a month of development) and money investment to create all desired automations
You can learn more about Box for Salesforce integration here:
- Box for Salesforce Install Guide
- Box for Salesforce – FAQ
- Salesforce Developer Toolkit
- Box SDK for Salesforce
- Install Salesforce SDK
- How to embed a specific Box folder into a specific Opportunity, Lead, or Account