Salesforce Integration with Nodejs based applications using Canvas

How to use Canvas Signed Request Authentication with web based applications like Nodejs & how to use Canvas LifeCycle Handler Class

Salesforce provides many ways to integrate with external systems like SOAP, Rest, Bulk API, User Interface API and so on. One of useful way to integrate any existing web applications with Salesforce is using Canvas.

For sake of this post, I’m using Nodejs application and complete source code can be found here , on my Github repository. It can be deployed on Heroku easily, however I used my local computer to run canvas. That also proves point that integration is happening via Browser and therefore canvas application can be hosted on premise and not necessarily on DMZ layer.

Step 1 : Create Connected App in Salesforce

Enable OAuth in Connected app and provide any Callback URL. Canvas app does not use callback URL however we DO NEED scope.

Next step would be enabling canvas app itself connected app along with locations where we would be using it.

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Salesforce to Salesforce integration using Canvas

After writing this article Salesforce has enabled CSP (Content Security Policy) which restricts adding Salesforce in iFrame. We can add MyDomain URL as CSP whitelisting and it works only if user already logged into other Salesforce instance. However, if user is not logged into other instance , internally OAuth navigates through login.salesforce.com which is too restrictive and canvas application fails to load.

In this post we will discuss how Canvas can be used to integrate Salesforce with Salesforce. On my blog we have seen many articles and possibilities to integrate Salesforce with another Salesforce instance like this and this post.

Whats is force.com Canvas

Force.com Canvas SDK from Salesforce allows developers to connect existing legacy system or any web based application with Salesforce using JavaScript and REST API. Canvas applications can be displayed in Chatter, Salesforce Mobile Cards or Visualforce page.

Why we are accessing another Salesforce instance as Canvas app

To get hands on with Canvas, most of article are around creating Heroku applications. I understand there are few developers who are not comfortable with Heroku. So to keep learning curve less, lets use Visualforce page to be exposed as Canvas application after all Visualforce is very advance MVC framework in itself. Continue reading “Salesforce to Salesforce integration using Canvas”