Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Eloqua Cloud Connectors

For those of you who are either a bit technical, or who have technical folks on your team, there is now a very interesting opportunity for you to extend the capabilities of Program Builder in any way you choose. The capability is called Eloqua Cloud Connectors, and it is very simple, but incredibly powerful.

If you want to connect to your own custom systems (a free trial system to grab a token, an event registration system, etc), build custom logic (scoring leads based on unique criteria), or run custom rules (determining whether a person lives within a 100 mile radius of a certain city), you can now build that quickly and easily by building your own Cloud Connector.

Essentially Cloud Connectors, available today in your Eloqua instance, allow you to build any step you want in your marketing automation workflow within Program Builder. To do so, there are three simple steps:

- Define the Step in your program as a "Cloud Connector" step. This means that whatever happens in that step will be run by your service, rather than natively within Eloqua.

- Configure the Step with whatever rules, credentials, and configuration you need. This is configured and saved within the service that your build.

- Run the Step have your service call into the Cloud Connector API, find the members of the step, run whatever is needed, and then tell Program Builder that it is complete

It's as simple as that. You can build whatever marketing automation capabilities you need quickly and easily. Here's a quick diagram of how this might work connecting with a Hoovers database as an example:

To begin building your own Cloud Connector, all you need is a user account with access to the Eloqua API, and a creative idea. Here is an Eloqua Cloud Connector development sample guide to give you a walkthrough of how to get started, and sample code for all the steps you'll need to take in building one.

I look forward to hearing what you've built, and if you build something that is available to the Eloqua community, I would be glad to highlight it here.


Mark H said...


Looks interesting. I was thinking of tying some authentication into the connector - is there any latency?

Steven Woods said...

I would imagine that any connector would want a form of authentication, so I'm not quite sure what you're specifically referring to. It's a poll-based system, so that will be the main element of any latency in connecting with remote systems, but that won't be much.

Mark H said...

We'd actually look to authenticate with another system, so the approach we use is event-driven instead of polled. But the cloud connector has a lot of interesting possibilities for services that we have further downstream (examples: fulfillment systems, CRMs that don't have out-of-the-box integration with Eloqua).