Guest Post: Connecting to Salesforce Data Through SAP BusinessObjects with an ODBC Driver


Mitesh Shah is a senior Business Intelligence consultant for Decision First Technologies, a BI consulting firm and SAP gold partner. Shah recently evaluated ODBC connectors for Salesforce data access via SAP BusinessObjects from different ODBC driver vendors. His assessments are candid and thorough. In the end, he endorsed the native ODBC driver that comes with SAP BusinessObjects, an ODBC driver built by…well, I don’t want to spoil the surprise. Read on for Shah’s complete analysis and recommendations.

I recently found myself needing to connect my Salesforce® data to SAP® BusinessObjects™. My project required meshing data from multiple sources and BusinessObjects is the best way to do that. Although Salesforce has a native reporting component, it’s not as robust as BusinessObjects, which allows me to run powerful analysis, and generate highly formatted, interactive reports and dashboards with extensive visibility, alignment and insight across my entire enterprise.

When I started looking at the best way to accomplish this, I knew I had to do one of two things: extract the data out of Salesforce, or find an ODBC driver to connect to it. Extracting the data required keeping it in a staging area in my database, but I knew that wouldn’t produce real-time updates. So I decided an ODBC driver was the path of least resistance.

With several driver options available, I decided to experiment to find the best one. My focus was on the usability and functionality of each without taking cost into consideration.

I searched the internet for Salesforce ODBC drivers and downloaded each from its respective vendor. I installed them on my BusinessObjects server and began my experiment.

Below is a list of the drivers I tested:

  • Native SAP Salesforce ODBC installed with BusinessObjects Server and Client tools
  • Progress DataDirect Salesforce
  • Easysoft Salesforce ODBC Driver
  • CDATA ODBC Driver for Salesforce
  • Simba Salesforce ODBC Driver

Continued…