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Real-Time Data: What To Do With It

05.18.2012
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At the CloudStock event in San Francisco this year, Alex Toussaint, Director, Product Management,  of Platform API Services at Salesforce.com, joined MuleSoft CTO and founder Ross Mason along with Dr. Raman Khanna, Project Lead for the Salesforce.com Chatter for Health project at the University of California SF, for a session where they talked about real-time, secure cloud messaging and how it was being used for doctors to quickly exchange research information.

This month in London, Toussaint will talk about how he works with Force.com's Streaming API to retrieve data in near real-time.

Session description:

Traditional integration models poll for data updates. This model is resource intensive, and complex. The Streaming API provides a subscriber-based solution to deliver updates in near real time. This session will demonstrate the Streaming API via an example app, deployed on Heroku, and review how the salesforce.com, Salesforce Service Cloud, and leading customers are taking advantage of the Streaming API.

I had a chance to talk with Alex Toussaint this month and ask him about some of the things he's working on.

He comes from a Java background with experience in many major tech companies, as well as small startups.  At Salesforce.com, he's focused on the streaming API, which he used to great effect with the help of Mule's iON cloud integration platform.  He told me that the systems were fully synchronized and had the advantage of not a requiring a lot of polling.

The classic scenario for any real-time or near real-time (NRT) app is to make sure the app is frequently updated, with no heavy polling and a high level of efficiency, says Touissant.  The paradigm for showing this data is also important, since people will want information coming in quickly in a visually digestible manner.  The users may also want to share relevant data using different third-party integrations.  Maybe they want to take different actions on the data that comes in.  A messaging service like Twilio might be one of the tools that users can harness through their dashboards. A continuous query system and security filtering were two other things Toussant offered as examples.

Returning to the UCSF use case, those doctors had the ability to flag incoming events for additional data.

Here were some other usage scenarios based on Mulesoft's idea sharing app integration with Chatter and Brightidea: 

  • Capture and share ideas from decentralized product teams across the globe to refine your product lines
  • Gather feedback and ideas from your partners on product launches
  • Brainstorm and rate ideas for your next marketing or branding campaign

Alex Toussaint said that, "Going forward you will see us doing more on the real time space with new services and integrations. For example, Salesforce.com recently enabled Real Time in their applications like Service Cloud Agent Console, taking full advantage of the Streaming API. We are very excited to show this during our session in London."