First, load the salesforcer package and login. There are two ways to authenticate: 1) OAuth 2.0 and 2) Basic Username-Password. It is recommended to use OAuth 2.0 so that passwords do not have to be shared/embedded within scripts. User credentials will be stored in locally cached file entitled “.httr-oauth-salesforcer” in the current working directory.

Just a note, that it’s not necessary to setup your own Connected App in Salesforce to use OAuth 2.0 authentication. The only difference is that the authentication will be run through the client created and associated with the salesforcer package. By using the package client, you will NOT be giving access to Salesforce to anyone, the package is just the medium for you to connect to your own data. If you wanted more control you would specify those options like so:

options(salesforcer.consumer_key = "012345678901-99thisisatest99connected33app22key")
options(salesforcer.consumer_secret = "Th1s1sMyConsumerS3cr3t")

sf_auth()

After logging in with sf_auth(), you can check your connectivity by looking at the information returned about the current user. It should be information about you!

# pull down information of person logged in
# it's a simple easy call to get started 
# and confirm a connection to the APIs
user_info <- sf_user_info()
sprintf("Organization Id: %s", user_info$organizationId)
sprintf("User Id: %s", user_info$userId)

Create

Salesforce has objects and those objects contain records. One default object is the “Contact” object. This example shows how to create two records in the Contact object.

n <- 2
new_contacts <- tibble(FirstName = rep("Test", n),
                       LastName = paste0("Contact-Create-", 1:n))
created_records <- sf_create(new_contacts, "Contact")
created_records

Retrieve

Retrieve pulls down a specific set of records and fields. It’s very similar to running a query, but doesn’t use SOQL. Here is an example where we retrieve the data we just created.

retrieved_records <- sf_retrieve(ids=created_records$id, 
                                 fields=c("FirstName", "LastName"), 
                                 object_name="Contact")
retrieved_records

Query

Salesforce has proprietary form of SQL called SOQL (Salesforce Object Query Language). SOQL is a powerful tool that allows you to return the attributes of records on almost any object in Salesforce including Accounts, Contacts, Tasks, Opportunities, even Attachments! Below is an example where we grab the data we just created including Account object information for which the Contact record is associated with. The Account column is all NA since we have yet to provide information to link these Contacts with Accounts.

my_soql <- sprintf("SELECT Id, 
                           Account.Name, 
                           FirstName, 
                           LastName 
                    FROM Contact 
                    WHERE Id in ('%s')", 
                   paste0(created_records$id , collapse="','"))

queried_records <- sf_query(my_soql)
queried_records

Update

After creating records you can update them using sf_update(). Updating a record requires you to pass the Salesforce Id of the record. Salesforce creates a unique 18-character identifier on each record and uses that to know which record to attach the update information you provide. Simply include a field or column in your update dataset called “Id” and the information will be matched. Here is an example where we update each of the records we created earlier with a new first name called “TestTest”.

# Update some of those records
queried_records <- queried_records %>%
  mutate(FirstName = "TestTest") %>% 
  select(-Account)

updated_records <- sf_update(queried_records, object_name="Contact")
updated_records

Delete

You can also delete records in Salesforce. The method implements a “soft” delete meaning that the deleted records go to the Recycle Bin which can be emptied or queried against later in the event that the record needed.

deleted_records <- sf_delete(updated_records$id)
deleted_records

Upsert

Finally, Salesforce has a unique method called “upsert” that allows you to create and/or update records at the same time. More specifically, if the record is not found based an an “External Id” field, then Salesforce will create the record instead of updating one. Below is an example where we create 2 records, then upsert 3, where 2 are matched and updated and one is created. NOTE: You will need to create a custom field on the target object and ensure it is labeled as an “External Id” field. Read more at http://blog.jeffdouglas.com/2010/05/07/using-exernal-id-fields-in-salesforce/.

n <- 2
new_contacts <- tibble(FirstName = rep("Test", n),
                       LastName = paste0("Contact-Create-", 1:n), 
                       My_External_Id__c=letters[1:n])
created_records <- sf_create(new_contacts, "Contact")

upserted_contacts <- tibble(FirstName = rep("Test", n),
                            LastName = paste0("Contact-Upsert-", 1:n), 
                            My_External_Id__c=letters[1:n])
new_record <- tibble(FirstName = "Test",
                     LastName = paste0("Contact-Upsert-", n+1), 
                     My_External_Id__c=letters[n+1])
upserted_contacts <- bind_rows(upserted_contacts, new_record)

upserted_records <- sf_upsert(input_data=upserted_contacts, 
                              object_name="Contact", 
                              external_id_fieldname="My_External_Id__c")
upserted_records

Check out the Tests

The salesforcer package has quite a bit of unit test coverage to track any changes made between newly released versions of the Salesforce API (typically 4 each year). These tests are an excellent source of examples because they cover most all cases of utilizing the package functions.