Salesforce Lightning Connector (External Data Source / External Objects )

What is it?

  • In short: This is a new SFDC feature to retrieve and show data in SFDC without save it in the platform. 
  • External Data Source: Connection to external service to retrieve data on the fly and show it in SFDC. It could be OData 2,0 or URL Rest.
  • External Object: New type of Custom object which works as a wrapper  to expose external data.
  • Full detail in the official doc or a more lazy introduction on this video

When use it?

  • When you have to integrate a service that support OData 2.0.
  • When you are planning just ReadOnly integration.
  • When you need that data in SFDC just to be rendered and not to be calculated (what I mean is to use it in a workflow process). This is partially true depending on your intentions when accessing this data thought APEX.

How to use it?

  • Coming soon…..

Important to know

  • Data is NEVER stored in SFDC
  • External Object as an API Name like OBJECTNAME__x
  • External Object are exposed to SOQL and Apex (Wow! Yeah!!)
  • Also Views, related lists (thought External Lookup Relationship ) PageLayouts and Salesforce1
  • Global Search is supported
  • It is always possible to add a proxy service to translate any source to OData. Jitterbit and other services support it.
  • High Data Volume checkbox bypassed most of limits.
  • The authentication could be: Anonymous, Per User o Unique. Oauth 2.0 or Password.


  • Take in mind that this feature will require a special licence.
  • External Objects are not available for: reporting or workflows.
  • External Objects are READ-ONLY (I hope this would change soon since OData is Full CRUD supported).
  • Performance could be affected by the external load. Latency would be poor in some cases.
  • There are a limit of queries to be executed by hour.
  • More details in the official doc




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