Data Integration between Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Heroku- APIs vs Marketing Connectors

Published on
December 24, 2019

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Data integration between systems is critical for organizations to optimally leverage their data and ensure smooth data flow across processes. In this blog, we discuss the challenges associated with data integration between Marketing Cloud and Heroku. We also show how data integration using APIs is a better approach compared to Marketing Connectors.

Integrating Salesforce Marketing Cloud & Heroku With Marketing Connectors

  • In the Marketing Cloud, we enable the user to accept API calls from an external system and create respective components with access under Installed Marketing Connectors.
  • We installed the Marketing Connector (Starter Edition – 99$/month) to Heroku Postgres and are ready to push the data to Marketing Cloud.
  • We created a connector with Heroku as the data source and pushed the leads table into the Marketing Cloud.

Here are the results for the various data activities-

Sl. NoAction Result 1Updated records from PostgresUpdated in Marketing Cloud 2Deleted Records from Postgres Not affected in Marketing Cloud 3Deleted marketing connectorNot affected in Marketing Cloud and Postgres 4Two-way SyncNot possible for the same data source 5Updated records from Marketing CloudNot possible for the same data source 6Deleted records from Marketing CloudNot possible for the same data source Note: As per the update received by Marketing Connector support team - we should select the different table as a target if we want to update or delete the records from Marketing Cloud to Heroku.  

Limitations of Marketing Connectors

The Marketing Connector suffers from a few limitations like-

  • With the basic version, we could only sync two tables/data extensions from Postgres to Marketing Cloud
  • No Auto-sync option available (Auto Sync option will be available starting from Developer Edition - $450/month and the minimum sync time would be 1 min using the Custom feature)


To address the various limitations of Marketing Connectors, we have a few solutions like-

  • As the bi-directional update of records to the same data source will lead to confusion, we try a different data source in Marketing Connector and will have the records update from Salesforce Marketing Cloud to Heroku by importing them manually. However, this needs to be done manually all the time and hence not a practical solution!
  • We can push the data both ways using Skyvia, a data integration tool. However,  it will cost us $79/month and even that comes with a few limitations.
  • To write an API code which enables the platforms to exchange data between them without flaws or limitations.

Benefits of APIs over Package

Data Integration between Marketing Cloud and Heroku using APIs offer many benefits including-

  • Cost-Benefit- No need to spend extra dollars on buying Marketing Connectors.
  • Customized activities- Activities like delete or update would not be available in Connectors whereas in API all these extra activities can be tailored to match your requirements.
  • Scalable and Efficient- Addition or deletion of any activities/features can be achieved with minimal effort and in an efficient way.

Integrating Salesforce Marketing Cloud & Heroku With APIs

Now, we decided to proceed with API code and to get it thoroughly tested using Postman. In less than 3 business days, we created the API which can be a plug and play solution in similar situations-

How scalable the API is?

It would be pretty simple to add any additional fields; just go ahead and add the fields (under existing fields) as highlighted below and your fields are ready to fetch the data-

Data integration between Marketing Cloud and Heroku

Outcome of API

Sl. NoAction Result (API )1Insert records from Postgres to Marketing CloudYes2Updated records from Postgres to Marketing CloudYes3Two-way SyncYes4Updated records from Marketing Cloud to PostgresYes5Auto SyncYes6Sync Min timeYes (1 min)7Live StreamingYes


To create a data integration solution that supports the flow of data across the organization and meet the requirements of data latency, availability, and relevancy, we need to ensure that the solution implemented is scalable and sustainable. Data integration between Salesforce Marketing Cloud & Heroku offers both with the added advantage of customization and cost-benefits.

The business’ uses of data are constantly changing and evolving, and as a result, the integration processes that ensure data availability must be frequently reviewed and repositioned.  If you are looking for a Salesforce Consulting Partner to help you with data integration between various Salesforce products or for any other Salesforce implementation services, please email to


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