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Authenticated Feeds, SSL, Spanning Partners and Salesforce.com

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

On the wish list for a while has been the need to let FeedBlitz access feeds that either need SSL or authentication or both. The buzz about enabling Salesforce.com reports via RSS from Spanning Partners has put me over the edge.

Why? Well, I've always thought adding feeds to salesforce would be a good idea. More to the point, how many field sales reps do you think know or care about RSS, XML, have an aggregator already installed on their laptops or blackberries and know how to use it? And how many IT staff are rejoicing at the prospect of setting all this up and training tens, hundreds or thousands of sales personnel on this type of technology?


By enabling authenticated feeds and SSL polling, FeedBlitz gets Spanning Partners' nifty salesforce feeds to the intended end user via email - which every field sales manager has and can use. No training, no software installations. The only hassle I can see with the Spanning Partners approach is that you need to have one feed per sales manager, as the authentication defines what you can see from salesforce (actually, this is a reflection of the underlying salesforce.com web services API). At least with FeedBlitz, setting up automatic notifications based on RSS feeds from salesforce.com makes the setup task a centralized, web-based process that requires no code to be installed on a salesperson's system and no retraining necessary.

So, spurred on by RSS for salesforce, the new features du jour are:
  • SSL support for any feed
  • HTTP Authentication
Users enter their name and password when they set up the feed.

Of course, moving private, secure data onto email using FeedBlitz makes it neither secure nor private, so the feature is accompanied by clear warnings of the potential consequences of syndicating a protected feed. To see this in action, log in to FeedBlitz and edit the details of one of your feeds.



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