Organizations have numerous departments and employees of all skill sets using the same CRM. When it comes to Salesforce, transferring data and files from an external location can be complicated, especially when dealing with confidential information.

A great solution to securing the data transfer is to use an SFTP. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to integrate your systems from SFTP to Salesforce.

Table of contents:

  1. What is SFTP?
  2. Data Migration
  3. Why Should You Use an SFTP When Migrating Data to Salesforce?
  4. Things to Consider Before Migrating Data
  5. How SFTP's Secure Your Integration
  6. Setting Up an SFTP Server
  7. Data Pipelines and ETL's
  8. Setting up Your Data Pipeline

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What is SFTP?

SFTP stands for secure file transfer protocol. An SFTP does exactly what the acronym states, it is a way to transfer files across a network securely. SFTP is usually more secure than FTP (file transfer protocol) because SFTP encrypts both commands and files before they travel over a network connection.

The protocol does not contain any built-in authentication mechanisms; instead, users must rely on ssh keys or passwords to authenticate themselves when transferring data between servers.

This process might identify them as different entities for each server to share information accordingly.

Some popular transfers that would benefit from SFTP transfers include transferring Salesforce data to Amazon Redshift, using an ETL such as Xplenty to transfer data to Snowflake, and moving Salesforce data to Google BigQuery.

SFTP's are especially effective when migrating data to and from different programs, computers, and software.

Data Migration

Storing data in multiple places can limit an organization's success in strategic planning and optimization.

Migrating data into one location, such as Salesforce, can help decision-makers make quicker and more informed decisions.

Providing a centralized repository of company data is advantageous because it ensures that all departments access the most accurate and up-to-date information possible.

Data migration is done by checking multiple folders for changes and manually inputting this information or through automation with third-party tools.

Using software such as Xplenty can help limit errors and streamline the integration processes.

Why Should You Use an SFTP When Migrating Data to Salesforce?

Using an SFTP is essential when dealing with confidential information. According to Tech Jury, there were twenty million breached records in March alone in 2021.

This exemplifies the importance of maximizing security, especially when vital information is in a vulnerable state, such as moving and migrating data.

File transfers expose data to higher risks than static data because when data is in the transferring process, it risks data interception from hackers or unintended recipients.

Organizations using Salesforce often have highly sensitive data stored within the software, so transferring to and from Salesforce must be approached with caution. 

SFTP is crucial in this data transferring and migrating process because an SFTP protects any point in the data transfer process.

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Things to Consider Before Migrating Data

Before starting a data migration, there are some essential things to consider.

1) Organize the data

The first thing is that the data is organized and will be easy to understand after the migration. If data is disorganized and difficult to understand, errors are likely to occur when using software such as Microsoft Power BI.

2) Cleanse the data 

When importing data and information from multiple locations, cleansing the data before the integration is very important.

3) Ensure the transfer is secure

Ensuring data is secure is very important when dealing with confidential data.

The best way to secure the transfer is by using an SFTP to Salesforce.

How SFTP's Secure the Integration

SFTPs protect the integration process by providing secure connections and limiting errors to reduce streamlined processes.

To protect "man-in-the-middle" attacks, SFTP manages public key authentication via one of its various protocols and ensures encryption on all transmissions.

When installing an SFTP on a new system, that system will automatically gain protection with no extra steps necessary.

Setting Up an SFTP Server

SFTP transfers files securely over an open network, using the same encryption as SSL/TLS (secure sockets layers).

When using an SFTP, no one can intercept the information while it's being transferred from place to place and read its contents. 

There are two main ways to set up an SFTP Server.

  1. Build it manually
  2. Use a managed cloud service.

To manually build an SFTP server, using a Linux machine is a recommended solution. When Using a Linux machine, manual creation of accounts, passwords, public keys, and assigning various permissions will occur.

If using Windows servers, using 3rd party software such as Filezilla SFTP Server or WinSCP will be required.

However, using cloud-based solutions may be a more suitable option for individuals who may not be as familiar with the server interface and processes.

One of the best options is using AWS Transfer for STFP. AWS Transfer provides access to Amazon's S3 platform that is industry-leading in multiple areas.

After the configuration of the STFP server, the server must be connected before transferring files. 

Various commands are required to transfer from local machines to remote servers and vice versa.

For a list of commands, check out this article

Once the server is established, a data pipeline can help expedite the transfer process into Salesforce.

Data Pipelines and ETL's

When integrating systems with Salesforce, a data pipeline can expedite the transfer. If the data transfer happens from multiple locations, having a data pipeline can save countless hours of work and minimize errors. 

Data pipelines can be complicated if using manual integrations. However, third-party software known as ELT's can help streamline the process.

Xplenty has a drag and drop solution that allows employees with varying levels of technical experience to operate and organize data pipelines.

In order to utilize an ETL in the data transferring process, connections need to be created on both ends.

Since the connection has been established with the STFP server, the connection with Salesforce has to be secured.

If looking for the proper steps to set up your sales force connection with Xplenty, click this article: Create a Salesforce ETL Pipeline in 30 Minutes

Transfer Data From SFTP to Salesforce with Xplenty

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To securely transfer data into Salesforce, having an STFP server is one of the best ways to limit breaches and data hacks.

  • When transferring data from SFTP to Salesforce, there are multiple steps to take.
  • The first step is to ensure that the data for transfer is as organized as possible.
  • The second step is to set up a data pipeline and implement third-party software that cleans the data during the transferring process.

Xplenty can seamlessly connect to SFTP servers and provide the data pipeline that is a simple to use, drag and drop solution.

Xplenty works directly with Salesforce and can provide solutions to your data transferring problems without the hassle of manual coding or hiring a dev team.

Grab a demo of the Xplenty platform now, where you'll get to meet an Xplenty expert and see the magic in action!