Skip to content
By Glen Crawford

How reinteractive can build apps on top of your Salesforce organization and still be immune from Salesforce outages

Last week Salesforce had an outage. And not just any outage; a worldwide one that lasted hours and affected thousands of businesses and millions of users around the world.

Here at reinteractive we have quite a few apps that we have built for clients that interface with their Salesforce organisation, accounting for about half of all the new apps that we have built in the last two or so years. Some of these apps use our StoreConnect® service, and some are bespoke builds.

Both of these connect to Salesforce for data storage. And yet, we had a pretty chill time while the Salesforce outage was ongoing. Why? Because our apps are built in a way that are almost unaffected by Salesforce outages, even though all of their data is ultimately stored there.

How? Well, first you need to know what an API is. An API is just a way for software systems to interact with each other in a programmatic way, as opposed to the point-and-click way that humans do. Whereas a human might fill out a form and click a submit button to search for products in a system, a computer would invoke its API via a web request that looks like GET and get back a response that looks like { "products": [{ "name": "Jelly beans", "price": 2.50 }] }. There's nothing visual; it's just computers talking to each other via programmatic interfaces in order to efficiently transmit data between themselves on demand. Obviously, fetching and storing data this way requires the API to be online. If it isn't, any app that needs to use it will be unable to access its required data.

Now that you know what an API is, forget about it: apps that we build here at reinteractive don't interact with their Salesforce data via an API. Instead, we use a system to constantly store and maintain a copy of a Salesforce organization in a database that is local to the application, meaning that the data is available to our apps without having to retrieve it on demand via the Salesforce API.

We do this using a system called Heroku Connect. Heroku Connect allows us to do three key things:

  • Map the structure of a Salesforce organisation into a PostgreSQL database schema. For example, if the organisation has an entity called Product with two fields called Name and Price, that would become a database table called products with two columns called name and price.
  • Sync data between the Salesforce organisation and the database. This can be read-only or read-write and can handle new, updated and deleted records. Each record of a Salesforce object becomes a row in the aforementioned products example table.
  • Make this database available to a Ruby on Rails application that can present it to users like any other app as if it were traditionally stored data.


The end result is that alongside the application sits a database that is constantly up-to-date and, most importantly, is not dependent on the Salesforce API being available.

So what happens to a reinteractive-built StoreConnect (or bespoke) app when there is an outage at Salesforce? It pretty much continues to operate as normal. The app can still read, write, and search its data like any other app can with its database. The only thing it can't do is sync its data (both to and from Salesforce) once an outage occurs at Salesforce. This means that, for example, new records in the app's database won't show up in the Salesforce organisation right away. But that is only until the Salesforce outage is over, at which point syncing automatically resumes and all is well again.

This is a significant departure to the traditional way of connecting an app to a third-party for data storage, but it has worked out well for us, as evidenced by the events of the last week. These apps are quickly becoming a significant number of the apps that we build and maintain, and we like to think that we're getting pretty good at it! If you have (or are considering having) your organisation's data in Salesforce, and would like to build an app or website on top, get in touch with reinteractive and we'll find a solution that meets your needs.

Popular Articles by Our Team

Our expert team of designers and developers love what the do and enjoy sharing their knowledge with the world.

We Hire Only the Best

reinteractive is Australia’s largest dedicated Ruby on Rails development company. We don’t cut corners and we know what we are doing.

We are an organisation made up of amazing individuals and we take pride in our team. We are 100% remote work enabling us to choose the best talent no matter which part of the country they live in. reinteractive is dedicated to making it a great place for any developer to work.

Free Community Workshops

We created the Ruby on Rails InstallFest and Ruby on Rails Development Hub to help introduce new people to software development and to help existing developers hone their skills. These workshops provide invaluable mentorship to train developers, addressing key skills shortages in the industry. Software development is a great career choice for all ages and these events help you get started and skilled up.

  • Webinars


    Webinars are our online portal for tips, tricks and lessons learned in everything we do. Make the most of this free resource to help you become a better developer.

    Learn more about webinars

  • Installfest


    The Ruby on Rails Installfest includes a full setup of your development environment and step-by-step instructions on how to build your first app hosted on Heroku. Over 1,800 attendees to date and counting.

    Learn more about Installfest

  • Development Hub

    Development Hub

    The Ruby on Rails Development Hub is a monthly event where you will get the chance to spend time with our team and others in the community to improve and hone your Ruby on Rails skills.

    Learn more about Development Hub

Get the “reinteractive Review” Monthly Email