Salesforce.com backs tools for CRM expansion. (In Other News...).Salesforce.com plans to out-flank customer relationship management (CRM (Customer Relationship Management) An integrated information system that is used to plan, schedule and control the presales and postsales activities in an organization. ) rivals by rallying grassroots developers to its hosted service through a series of deals with major ISVs.
The CRM specialist is using web services (1) Loosely, any online service delivered over the Web. Such usage appears in articles from non-technical sources, but not in IT-oriented publications, because definition #2 below describes the correct use of the term. to expose APIs in its online software to external developers while encouraging programmers to tailor its business suite to enterprise needs using integrated development environments (IDEs) from partners.
The initiative, called sforce and announced, has attracted support from Borland Software, BEA Systems Inc, Microsoft Corp and Sun Microsystems Inc. The vendors will support sforce in their IDEs.
Salesforce.com believes developers will be encouraged to build extensions to its CRM offering as individuals will be able to use their existing IDE rather than be forced to learn something new.
Adam Grossman, sforce product manager, said this makes it easier to extend salesforce.com compared to CRM offerings from rivals. "Rather than require developers to learn bridging solutions or new languages, developers use the IDE they like and the language they know," Grossman said.
Sforce is also designed to generate new revenue for salesforce.com. Sforce-specific, per-user licenses are priced $50 per user, per month including 10 megabytes of storage, plus $1 per megabyte, per month for additional online storage.
The announcement is the first in a two-phase sforce strategy, which the company said is due for completion in the fall. Phase one involved exposing salesforce.com's APIs using XML XML
in full Extensible Markup Language.
Markup language developed to be a simplified and more structural version of SGML. It incorporates features of HTML (e.g., hypertext linking), but is designed to overcome some of HTML's limitations. , Web Services Description Language “WSDL” redirects here. For other uses, see WSDL (disambiguation).
The Web Services Description Language (WSDL, pronounced 'wiz-dəl' or spelled out, 'W-S-D-L') is an XML-based language that provides a model for describing Web services. (WSDL (Web Services Description Language) An XML-based language for defining Web services. Developed by Microsoft and IBM, WSDL describes the protocols and formats used by the service. ) and Simple Object Access Protocol (protocol) Simple Object Access Protocol - (SOAP) A minimal set of conventions for invoking code using XML over HTTP.
DevelopMentor, Microsoft Corporation, and UserLand Software submitted SOAP to the IETF as an internal draft in December 1999.
Latest version: SOAP 1. (SOAP).
Salesforce.com will also rely on partners' IDEs to provide additional characteristics beyond simple web services support. For example, BEA BEA - Basic programming Environment for interactive-graphical Applications, from Siemens-Nixdorf. will provide Java controls, used to simplify development of Java web services, in version 8.1 of WebLogic Workshop due later this year while integration with Microsoft's Visual Studio.NET provides access to WinForms.
Phase two of sforce will focus on application presentation, using elements such as customizable tabs so extensions to salesforce.com applications look like a customer's own application.
Saleforce.com, meanwhile, is in talks to provide federated Connected and treated as one. See federated database and federated directories. single sign-in and network-based identity to its existing services and sforce using systems based on specifications from the Sun Microsystems Inc-backed Liberty Alliance Project.