Product Updates

De-identifying Salesforce data for testing and development. Tonic Structural now connects to Salesforce

Paige Whittemore
March 21, 2024
De-identifying Salesforce data for testing and development. Tonic Structural now connects to Salesforce
In this article

    At, unlocking sensitive data for productive use is at the core of our mission. We're excited to introduce a groundbreaking addition to our catalog of native data connectors: a Salesforce connector. This integration not only expands our product’s functionality to connect natively with SaaS applications, it also empowers users to seamlessly integrate their testing and development workflows with the world's leading customer relationship management (CRM) platform. The result? Building better, faster, and more holistically with quality test data today.

    What did we build? 

    All the functionality that you know and love in Tonic Structural (generators, subsetting, consistency, and more) is now available to use with your Salesforce data directly. This integration enables users to effortlessly test their Salesforce workflows, bringing a new level of efficiency, flexibility, and data privacy to their daily operations.

    A screenshot of the Tonic Structural UI connected to a Salesforce database.

    Why did we build it?

    Salesforce is ubiquitous in the business world, and our customers have consistently expressed the need for a streamlined solution to integrate their testing workflows with this powerful CRM. 

    The ways to use Salesforce are practically limitless. From tracking customer transaction data to storing patient records, a CRM can be riddled with sensitive information. What’s more, Salesforce data is heavily integrated, tested, and leveraged across organizations. And getting that part right is critical, whether you’re bound by regulations to handle sensitive data compliantly (GDPR, CCPA, SOC2, HIPAA, etc.) or your teams need easier access to quality datasets sized and scaled to their environments.

    Testing your Salesforce workflows presents a number of challenges:

    • Getting your Salesforce test data to mirror test data in other data sources, especially when building or testing cross-functional data pipelines, is a sizable challenge that can involve a lot of manual work or simply be too complicated to achieve without the proper tooling.
    • The data limits of Salesforce test environments are often strict—for example, their commonly used developer sandbox environments have a storage limit of 200 MB. With 100s of GBs or TBs of data in your production Salesforce instance, the effort required to scope down the data footprint—while maintaining referential integrity—is significant. 

    This is where our new Salesforce integration comes in: our goal is to enable efficient, compliant use of Salesforce data to improve the testing and deployment of business-critical functions that involve Salesforce.

    What are the use cases for de-identified Salesforce data?

    Tonic Structural for Salesforce is highly applicable in many different contexts. Whether you're developing your application on top of Salesforce data, testing data pipelines, or leveraging customer data for training and analytics, Structural is your one-stop source for safe, useful test data rapidly provisioned where you need it, when you need it. This new connector offers a seamless integration that caters to the diverse needs of Salesforce users.

    Application development on Salesforce data

    For application development, high-quality data that looks and feels like production is a key component to building, iterating, and delivering a robust product. With Structural, you can pipe de-identified production data into any of your Salesforce test environments for developers to use without exposing PII or impacting your production instance. Whether you need a full sandbox to test at scale, or need to leverage Structural’s subsetting to fit prod-quality test data into a developer sandbox or scratch org size limits, you can unlock faster building and better testing, all while compliantly handling sensitive data as it flows between Salesforce and your application. 

    How does this work in practice? One of our customers is a rapidly growing startup whose application runs entirely on data stored in Salesforce. To date, they’ve had to develop against Salesforce production data, but now they’re able to leverage a de-identified Salesforce sandbox instead. Thanks to Structural’s ability to mirror the shape and logic of their production data, they're able to iterate rapidly and cover all test scenarios, including Apex code and automations that need to be tested, without putting production data at risk.

    Testing and QA at enterprise scale

    When testing your data pipelines, a top priority is making sure the data across all of your sources plays nicely together. Structural’s cross-connector consistency feature enables end-to-end testing on pipelines that involve Salesforce and non-Salesforce data, so your test suites won’t fail. With key relationships de-identified in the same way across all data sources, you'll unlock expanded test coverage and ship better quality products faster, driving business growth all while following best practices for data compliance.  

    For a real-world example, we have a Structural customer whose application relies primarily on Postgres databases, but has dependencies to customer data housed in Salesforce. With de-identification that’s consistent across data sources, they’ve now fully unlocked and expedited end-to-end UAT testing. 

    Data analytics

    For internal data analytics, leveraging the wealth of information in Salesforce is key to generating business insights. But privacy regulations (rightfully) limit access, and customer-specific data needs to be protected. Structural’s extensive set of data generators and column-linking capabilities maintain the nuanced complexity of your data’s relationships to preserve its utility for analytics, all while keeping your business in line with the requirements of compliance. Structural allows you to stand at the forefront of maximizing business insights from your private data. 

    Internal analytics take many forms, but we’ve heard from customers that these capabilities have been highly useful for reporting and dashboard building to pipe de-identified customer-usage data from Salesforce to downstream data warehouses and BI tools, allowing business users to extract meta details without gaining direct access to sensitive information. 

    What’s next for Salesforce and Tonic Structural?

    In a follow up post, we’ll show you how it works, guiding you step-by-step in using Tonic Structural to make realistic and compliant test data in Salesforce.

    Have a use case for de-identified Salesforce data that we didn’t mention? Eager to get your hands on high-quality, compliant Salesforce test data using Tonic Structural? Get in touch with our team! We’re excited to show you what we’ve built and to hear how we can improve your workflows.

    Paige Whittemore
    Product Manager

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