Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What is Salesforce?

  • is a software as a service (SaaS) company that distributes business software on a subscription basis. 
  • Salesforce hosts the applications offsite. It is best known for its Customer Relationship Management (CRM) products.
  • is headquartered in San Francisco, with regional headquarters in Morges, Switzerland (covering Europe, Middle East, and Africa), Singapore (covering Asia Pacific less Japan), and Tokyo (covering Japan). Other major offices are in Toronto, New York, London, Sydney, and San Mateo, California. has its services translated into 16 different languages and currently has 82,400 customers and over 2,100,000 subscribers.

Products and services

Customer Relationship Management's CRM solution is broken down into several broad categories: Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Data Cloud (including Jigsaw), Collaboration Cloud (including Chatter) and Custom Cloud (including

The Sales Cloud
This application runs in the cloud, so the user can access it anywhere through an Internet-enabled mobile device or a connected computer. The Sales Cloud includes a real-time sales collaborative tool called Chatter, provides sales representatives with a complete customer profile and account history, allows the user to manage marketing campaign spending and performance across a variety of channels from a single application, tracks all opportunity-related data including milestones, decision makers, customer communications, and any other information unique to the company's sales process. Automatic email reminders can be scheduled to keep teams up to date on the latest information.
Other activities can be done on the Salesforce cloud. These include using the Jigsaw business data to access over 20 million complete and current business contacts from right inside Salesforce CRM, and designing and automating any process in Salesforce CRM.

The Service Cloud
The Service Cloud provides companies with a call center-like view that enables companies to create and track cases coming in from every channel, and automatically route and escalate what’s important. The Salesforce CRM-powered customer portal provides customers the ability to track their own cases 24 hours a day, includes a social networking plug-in that enables the user to join the conversation about their company on social networking websites, provides analytical tools and other services including email services, chatting tools, Google search, and access to customers' entitlement and contracts. platform
Main article:'s PaaS product is known as the platform. The platform allows external developers to create add-on applications that integrate into the main application and are hosted on's infrastructure.
These applications are built using Apex (a proprietary Java-like programming language for the platform) and Visualforce (an XML-like syntax for building user interfaces in HTML, Ajax or Flex).

Chatter, released in June 2010, is a real-time collaboration platform for users. The service sends information proactively via a real-time news stream. Users can follow coworkers and data to receive broadcast updates about project and customer status. Users can also form groups and post messages on each other's profiles to collaborate on projects.

Launched in 2005, AppExchange is a marketplace for cloud computing applications built for the community and delivered by partners or by third-party developers, which users can purchase and add to their environment. As of October 2010, there are over 900 applications available from over 450 independent software vendors. All partners can distribute applications and solutions on the AppExchange. Applications created on the platform are installed by customers.

Salesforce users can configure their CRM application. In the system, there are tabs such as "Contacts," "Reports," and "Accounts." Each tab contains associated information. For example, "Contacts" has standard fields like First Name, Last Name, and Email. Configuration can be done on each tab by adding user-defined custom fields.
Configuration can also be done at the "platform" level by adding configured applications to a Salesforce instance, that is adding sets of customized / novel tabs for specific vertical- or function-level (Finance, Human Resources, etc.) features.

Web services
In addition to the web interface, offers a SOAP/REST Web service API that enables integration with other systems.

Mobile support
In April 2009, released a slimmed down version of their application for subscribers with BlackBerry, iPhone, and Windows Mobile devices. In January 2010, started to promote the use of 2D Barcodes (SPARQCode) for exporting contact information to mobile handsets.

Other technologies allowing more advanced customization of Salesforce interfaces are the in-house technologies Apex (a Java-like programming language and programming platform), VisualForce (a user interface library), and S-controls (Salesforce widgets – these are predominantly based on JavaScript). S-controls are deprecated as of March 2010. It is possible to edit and use existing controls, but no new ones can be created.

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