At Anaplan, our mission is to change the way companies around the world align people and plans to market opportunities. Central to achieving this goal is successfully integrating your data from various external systems into Anaplan, including native connectors as well as connectors with the most popular ETL tools on the market.
Anaplan has built a connector to provide a graphical environment for connecting with any of Boomi’s library of connectors to other applications. Check out the Anapedia for more information on performing basic functions with the Boomi connector; in this post, we will demonstrate an example Boomi process to demonstrate some advanced ways to use this tool.
Often, a need arises to import a subset of data into a list before it is possible to fill in a module. This is easily achievable if you prepare your import actions with a single sample CSV with the exact formatting that Boomi’s export will create.
This is a useful technique for handling an export of Salesforce opportunities. A single pull from Salesforce returns a CSV containing opportunity IDs as well as other data you track in Anaplan. Two successive upsert calls with the Anaplan Connector can add new opportunity IDs to an Anaplan list (useful for model-wide data integrity) then fill add the other information to a module.
Following this process has several upsides: a simpler Boomi process, a single query to Salesforce, and increased model-wide data integrity from the ability to make any opportunity id in the model match an item on the op ID list.
Calling a Process
Anaplan’s boomi connector does not have native support for calling processes. Often, calling individual actions is all that’s needed, but some integrations demand more. Also, calling an Anaplan process instead of a collection of actions can reduce the burden of maintenance for IT professionals by allowing actions to be renamed and reordered without requiring change of the Boomi process.
To call an Anaplan process within your Boomi workflow, you must skirt the Anaplan connector, and instead use a Boomi HTTPS connector to call a process using our API. There is thorough documentation on Anaplan’s RESTful API, and supplemental information in the knowledge base.
Recently, I used Anaplan Connect for the first time; I used it to import Workday and Jobvite data into my Anaplan model. This was my first serious data integration. After my experience I put together some tips and tricks to help other first-timers succeed.
Firstly, there are a few things you can do to set yourself up for success:
Download Anaplan Connect from Anaplan's Download Center.
Make sure you can run Terminal (Mac) or the Command Prompt (Windows).
Make sure you have a plaintext editor to edit your script (TextEdit or Notepad are available by default, but I recommend Sublime Text).
Read through the Anaplan Connect User Guide in the "doc" folder of the Anaplan Connect folder you downloaded in step #2.
Once you have these items completed then you’re ready to start writing your script.
In the Anaplan Connect folder that you downloaded, there are some example script files, “example.bat” for Windows and “example.sh” for Mac. The best way to start is to copy the right example file for your operating system, then alter it.
When you’re first navigating the example script, the section contains what are called variables (e.g. ModelId, WorkspaceId, AnaplanUser). If you keep your variables at the top, then use them in your script, it's easier to edit those components because they are only in one place. I highly recommend adding a variable for your Anaplan certificate. Then you don’t have to manually enter your password every time the script runs.
When you begin to piece together your own script, it will include some combination of Anaplan Connect Commands (you can check out the full list in an appendix of the Quick Start Guide for Anaplan Connect, on Anapedia). Because my script was focused on importing data from an outside source into Anaplan, it included the following components: file, put, import, execute, output. Each of these has a different function:
File identifies the File Name (i.e. Workday.csv).
Put identifies the File Path of the file you’re importing (i.e. User/Admin/Documents/Workday.csv).
Import identifies the action Anaplan is supposed to run (i.e. Workday_Import).
Execute is what runs the process; nothing needs to follow this.
Output identifies what happens to errors. If you would like those to go to a file then you include the location of the file following the output (i.e. User/Admin/Documents/ErrorLog.csv).
It’s worth noting that you can have multiple actions behind a file. For instance, I can have a command sequence like this: file-put-import-execute-output-put-import-execute-output. I found this useful when I used a single file to update multiple lists and modules; it saved me from needing to upload a file over and over again.
When you are identifying the file path for the script, it is easiest to keep terminal open. When you drag and drop a file in terminal it will automatically populate the file path. This will assist in avoiding syntax errors since you can copy and paste from terminal into the script.
Once you assemble your commands, it’s time to start testing your script! When you start testing the script, it is helpful to break it into small pre-built test chunks that build on one another. That way if something goes wrong, it won’t take as long to find out where the error is. Additionally, it makes the script more digestible in the event that it needs to be edited in the future.
As you test each of these chunks, you may run into some errors, so here are a few troubleshooting tips to get you started.
If your terminal reports that there is a syntax error, then there is most likely a pesky apostrophe, a space, or some other special character in your script that is causing the error. Comb through the code, especially your filenames, and find the error before attempting to run it again.
Secondly, you may run into a permissions error. These typically arise when your file is not currently an executable file. When I encountered this error, changing the permissions on the file to give me write access solved it.
Overall once you know these basics of Anaplan Connect you can build a script—even a complicated one! When in doubt, see if somebody else has asked about a similar issue in the discussion section; if you don’t find something there, you can always create your own question. Sometimes a second set of eyes is all you need, and our integrations site has some of the best in biz contributing!