CommuniGator/MSCRM Integration Explained

Gator’s integration is designed to allow users to easily integrate data from your CRM system to CommuniGator, without the need to perform time consuming data extracts and uploads.

CommuniGator’s integration service uses outbound initiated only, AES encrypted, SOAP based Web Service calls for the passing of and requesting of data to and from CommuniGator.

On the following page is a diagram showing a typical deployment of the integration, this deployment architecture is the same whether you will be using CommuniGator’s hosted solution or your own on-premise installation of CommuniGator; in this scenario the “Cloud” will be your own DMZ.

The Typical Architecture

Installation and Support

CommuniGator are dedicated to providing not just a great system but outstanding support.

To help the installation and on-going support (support is provided as part of your software maintenance) run as smoothly and efficiently as possible we request that remote access is provided to all servers involved in your setup.

CommuniGator’s integration is generally deployed in two parts:

  1. A standard windows service which acts as the messaging queue between your CRM system and your CommuniGator instance (either hosted or on-premise).
  2. A set of CRM customisations designed for your CRM to hold CommuniGator results, allow user access to CommuniGator and allow users to define data for integration.


Integration Service

CommuniGator’s integration service is installed in your internal network and acts as the messaging queue between your CRM system and CommuniGator.

This integration service runs a number of operations at different intervals depending on your CRM system and the settings required to fulfil your needs.
The integration service’s routine runs the following operations:

  1. Requests from CommuniGator for any contact updates. This includes Unsubscribes, Undeliverables, and any other updates generated by recipients entering data into user created web capture forms or data cleanse surveys.
  2. Requests for batch history data from CommuniGator, including but not limited to: emails sent, emails opened, website hits, landing zone hits and surveys completed.
    Which history records are returned is configurable within CommuniGator’s data feed.
  3. Checks and updates field mappings between the two systems.  Field mappings allow you to define which contact level data is integrated from CRM to CommuniGator.  By default we would map the first name, last name, email address and email opt in status from CRM to CommuniGator.
  4. Fields can be mapped to one level deep of the Contact and in a 1:1 relationship only. For further details and explanations please speak to your allocated technical consultant.
  5. Checks CRM for any newly defined Campaigns which are marked for integration to CommuniGator.
  6. Sends Campaigns for integration to CommuniGator along with the associated audience.

Please Note: All communication from the service is initiated as outbound requests; no connections are initiated into your internal network, the service is designed to work without jeopardising the security of your internal systems and data. At any point if you stop the service the integration will halt and all communication will cease.

CRM Customisations

Each integration install also includes a number of customisations which are deployed into your CRM system.
These customisations are unique to your CRM platform and contain some, but not all of the following:

  1. Additional tables to hold recipient history including emails sent, emails opened, website hits, landing zone hits and surveys completed.
  2. Additional UI customisations for displaying recipient history data where appropriate.
  3. Additional UI customisations for embedding CommuniGator in CRM or allowing CommuniGator to be launched from within CRM.
  4. Additional UI customisations for marking campaigns to be integrated.

For further details and explanations please speak to your allocated technical consultant.

How the Installation Works

For the installation of your CommuniGator integration you will need to have read and completed the System Requirements and Sign-off for your particular CRM system before dates are allocated for a technical consultant to complete the installation.

Installation is completed remotely unless previously discussed and agreed that a consultant will come on-site to complete.

Where is the service installed?

The integration service is typically installed on the CRM application server. The service is designed to run alongside CRM without impacting on performance, the integration also makes use of batching to ensure no impact is made on your bandwidth.

However, depending on your choice of CRM and internal network architecture, the integration service can usually be placed in a location which suits you as long as it meets the integration requirements for your CRM. This can be discussed with your allocated technical consultant.

How long does it take?

The integration install process is different for each CRM; your allocated technical consultant will be able to provide exact timing requirements.

What steps are taken during the installation?

The installation generally follows the same steps for deployment, regardless of which CRM platform it is being deployed for.

  1. Consultant accesses required servers.
  2. Consultant’s initial investigation to double check prerequisites and understand any unique aspects of your system and network.
  3. Copying of required installation files to the server.
  4. Backing up of affected elements including Customisations, Databases, Application and Websites.
  5. Installation of integration components.
  6. Configuration of integration components.
  7. End-To-End Testing.


System Requirements

Please see the individual pre-requisite and sign-off documents for your CRM system.