Mapping Salesforce Object fields to Drupal Taxonomy terms

Originally published April 06, 2015.
Information provided in this post may be out of date.

The Salesforce Suite module for Drupal synchronizes Salesforce Objects with Drupal Content Types on a one-to-one, field-to-field basis. However, it doesn’t map an Object’s fields to a Content Type’s Taxonomy terms. After laying out a use case, I’ll share my working solution.


Let’s say you want to replicate Salesforce Contact Objects as instances of a Drupal Content Type. The following Object fields map directly to fields in our Content Type.

  • Name
  • LeadSource
  • Email

You could create a Content Type mirroring those as simple text fields. But, I have something more interesting in mind for you!

Drupal Contact Content Type fields screenshot, with LeadSource as a Taxonomy

LeadSource is a Salesforce picklist that might work well as a Drupal Taxonomy. Perhaps you’d like to use it in a faceted search, or as an easy filter for a view, or use some cool module for taxonomies? Sorry, the Salesforce module can’t get you there out of the box.

The Road Taken

In August of 2013, the user mkryemadhi posted a issue titled Mapping drupal vocabulary terms with Salesforce field inquiring whether or not it was possible. A few others replied, also in search of a solution. About a year later, one of the module’s contributors, tauno, replied with a suggestion.

… For pulling, you would need to implement hook_salesforce_pull_entity_value_alter() to use a term name from SF and convert that to a term id in Drupal.

A custom field mapping handler could be implemented to make this all possible from the UI. Moving to the Feature Request queue.

My Solution

Here’s how I used the first part of that advice and implemented hook_salesforce_pull_entity_value_alter() to successfully map Salesforce Object fields to Drupal Taxonomy terms.

To start, I created a custom module with a function implementing the hook. Then, because I had more than one implementation of that kind, I checked the incoming Object type. If it wasn’t Contact, I skipped it. Otherwise, I used the Content Type’s mapped field to obtain the Vocabulary and either create a new term or use the existing one.

Drupal Salesforce Contact mapping screenshot

To use my solution, you’ll need to:

  • Have a Content Type with a field of type Term reference.
  • Create and enable a custom module containing my code, below.
  • Set up a mapping from the Content Type’s field (“Drupal Field”) using Related entities, as above, to the Object’s field (“Salesforce Field”).

But, first: please note the following:

  • Expect some naive Drupal / PHP mistakes. This is an excerpt from my very first Drupal module / PHP code.
  • This solution hijacks the module’s concept of Related Entity; the way I went about it prevents its original, intended usage. (It’s meant more for referencing a Node from another Node.)
  • I should have used a custom mapping handler and created a proper UI for it.

In the near future I hope to resolve the deficiencies in my implementation and contribute my solution back to Drupal’s Salesforce Suite community.


Please note: I accidentally left out the get_drupal_field_name() function, below. Unfortunately, I no longer have access to the original codebase and am unable to provide it. If you use a debugger, or use print statements, to inspect $field_map, you may be able to come up with your own version of get_drupal_field_name().