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Salesforce Platform OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Salesforce Platform is the #1 ranked solution in our list of top Mobile Development Platforms. It is most often compared to Microsoft Azure: Salesforce Platform vs Microsoft Azure

What is Salesforce Platform?
The Salesforce1 Platform brings together Force.com, Heroku, and ExactTarget into one family of cloud services all built API first to help deliver apps that connect products, users, and next generation experiences. Designed for scale and speed, it provides a fast way to build apps with open APIs, back-end services, integration tools, starter templates as well as powerful developer environments; there's no limit to what you can build.

Salesforce Platform is also known as Salesforce1, Force.com, Salesforce App Cloud.

Salesforce Platform Buyer's Guide

Download the Salesforce Platform Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: September 2021

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Archived Salesforce Platform Reviews (more than two years old)

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LS
Chief Technical Lead at a tech vendor with 201-500 employees
Real User
A reliable solution that helps us focus on business rather than technology

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable features are quick customization, solid deployment processes, and excellent reliability."
  • "The cost of data storage is an issue once the company grows."

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution for the support of business sales and service processes.

How has it helped my organization?

It has allowed the company to focus on Business and not in Technology.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are quick customization, solid deployment processes, and excellent reliability.

What needs improvement?

The cost of data storage is an issue once the company grows. The last time I checked a Gigabyte of structured data (tables) cost 3000 usd per month.

For how long have I used the solution?

Ten years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

With decent developers (governor-limits in Salesforce can be quite a challenge for newbies) Salesforce scales easily.

How are customer service and technical support?

All problems solve within a reasonable timeframe. Best support comes from the community which is great.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Used Zoho CRM and also tested others. The flexibility and ecosystem for Salesforce is unmatched. 

How was the initial setup?

The learning curve for the initial setup can be difficult if you don't have professional help. Once the basics are learned getting things done is mostly a problem of process.

What about the implementation team?

In house

What was our ROI?

Less than a year

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Carefully study the user licencing possibilites and make adequate choices based on real needs (must have vs nice-to-have).

Which other solutions did I evaluate?


Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Shivali Ahuja
Netsuite Specialist at a recreational facilities/services company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Leaderboard
Marketing and Sales lead, Forecasting, Campaign management.

Pros and Cons

  • "Marketing and Sales Lead, Forecasting, Campaign management."
  • "Areas of improvement can be around Engagement of Customers feature and approvals of transactional records."

What is most valuable?

Marketing and Sales Lead, Forecasting, Campaign management.

How has it helped my organization?

We have different sets of businesses: B2B and B2C. So depending on business users and requirement, we were dealing with their requirements of creating leads, managing forecasting and all. So Salesforce has helped us customising the system as per business user needs.

What needs improvement?

Areas of improvement can be around Engagement of Customers feature and approvals of transactional records.

For how long have I used the solution?

Two years

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

There was no Issues in deployment because we haven't customised Salesforce much for our users. Instead, we focused on using standard Salesforce and integrating it with Netsuite.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We didn't encourage scalability because we were had Netsuite, which we already customized so much. So, we decided to keep Salesforce simple enough to just store customer data and help capturing forecasting.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

A three out of 10.

Technical Support:

A two out of 10.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

No. We just decided to use Salesforce as a CRM system as its Forecasting and Marketing Lead is a good module to work with.

How was the initial setup?

We used standard Salesforce, so setup wasn't complex.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented through an in-house team

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Pricing and license differ and depend on how much license you are purchasing from them.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We didn't evaluated any system at that time. But after Salesforce got implemented, we tried evaluating other systems as well

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about Salesforce Platform. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2021.
540,984 professionals have used our research since 2012.
ITCS user
Managing Director at a tech vendor with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
​Improved forecasting, account management, 360 view of customer.​

Pros and Cons

  • "Scalability to configure and integrate."
  • "Easier process to move to Lightning Components."

What is most valuable?

Scalability to configure and integrate. This is due to Salesforce being easily configurable and, with the ability to build APIs, almost anything can be integrated, thus allowing more capability, more data and more value to the system.

How has it helped my organization?

Improved forecasting, account management, and a 360 view of customer.

What needs improvement?

Easier process to move to Lightning Components. There is a huge overtake of planning, testing and resources required to analyse what features would work. Currently, not all configurations and development can simply move across from Classic to Lightning. In an ideal world, this would be a lot less exhaustive.

For how long have I used the solution?

Eight years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues.

How is customer service and technical support?

Six out of 10.

How was the initial setup?

Straightforward for the most part. Can be complex with API integrations and coding.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Costly, but it is the top product in SaaS/PaaS. Pricing is more for large to enterprise level companies. If integration or development is not required, I'd recommend a cheaper CRM product.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, we considered building in-house, Sage CRM, Oracle CRM.

What other advice do I have?

Define your business processes. Consider customer experience first and then the User experience before thinking about data and financial related benefits.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Salesforce certified system admin at a cloud provider with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Its Unique verticals and needs allow the users to avoid writing custom codes.

Pros and Cons

  • "Most of the apps allow you to try out the product before buying it. The trial period depends on the product and varies from a week to 30 days."
  • "I think the search needs to be improved so as to allow for a broader keyword search."

What is most valuable?

The two important standout features are:

  • Firstly, most of the apps allow you to try out the product before buying it. The trial period depends on the product and varies from a week to 30 days.
  • Secondly, people are encouraged to review the products and this allows the potential purchasers to see feedback from both happy/unhappy customers. I would also like to add that approximately 50% of the apps on the exchange are available for free.

How has it helped my organization?

Salesforce encourages independent app development and what this simply does is, it extends the Salesforce functionality. Unique verticals and unique needs from Salesforce are extremely well-catered for and this allows users to avoid writing some custom codes.

What needs improvement?

I think the search needs to be improved so as to allow for a broader keyword search.

I find that the search facility on the AppExchange does not always allow for keyword searching.If I type in the word Form, it will not necessarily bring up all the apps on the exchange that can be used for form processing.If you know the name of the app you are looking for or its publisher then it works well.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for a little over eight years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There were no issues with the platform itself. However, some individual apps do have a few stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were no scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have never needed technical support from the App Cloud team, but my experience with the broader Salesforce technical support team has been outstanding.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

There are no alternates to the App Cloud but some vendors list their products privately.

How was the initial setup?

Most of the apps are pretty straightforward to install. The more complex the app, it usually entails a more complex installation process. This is true when the triggers are involved for the Salesforce sites and sometimes, for the Visualforce pages.

What other advice do I have?

Always try each app before buying it and also, determine the quality of support provided.

The App Cloud is not a single product, but rather a multitude of the Salesforce compatible apps, also known as the AppExchange. It is very similar to the App Store or Google Play.

I find that the search facility on the AppExchange does not always allow for keyword searching.If I type in the word Form, it will not necessarily bring up all the apps on the exchange that can be used for form processing.If you know the name of the app you are looking for or its publisher then it works well.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Eric Dirst
President / COO / Chief Technology Advisor at DeKonsultere LLC
Real User
Top 20Leaderboard
Fits Agile development model and easy to use, but has its issues.

What is most valuable?

Fast speed to delivery of new solutions; fits Agile development model; easy integration and mashup with other SaaS/PaaS offerings; combination of configuration and coding; easy to learn and get up-to-speed quickly for developers; no waiting for hardware & other environments to be ready; scales up immediately

How has it helped my organization?

We went from 1 or 2 CRM enhancement releases per year to a minimum of 8 per year by moving from on premise CRM to cloud CRM. Automation of process steps have saved us millions of dollars by removing manual steps/activities. We have reduced our average speed to respond to customers by >4000% through automated routing/workflow. Most importantly, our users actually love the system (how many times have you heard that?).

We have also built custom applications on the platform for such things as faculty attendance tracking, HR compensation review and exception processing, and text based poling for use in meetings or classroom settings. These were all relatively small applications that never seemed to be "big enough" or "prioritized enough" to get IT resource dedication. However, with the ease of the salesforce platform, IT was able to quickly and cheaply build these applications. Without such a flexible and easy to configure/code platform, I'm not sure these would have gotten attention.

What needs improvement?

Hard to negotiate ability to scale down; integrations with back-office systems is still complex unless you have robust SOA platform already in place at your organization; doesn't fit for heavy graphics or multimedia apps; could benefit from other than per-user pricing; reporting tools are not great and you usually have to use a 3rd party reporting tool for any complex report or reports which also need to source data from outside your CRM (which many of ours do), and to get any historical data analysis (e.g. need data warehouse).

Managing test and dev environments is certainly easier than on-premise, but there still are challenges synching changes between environments and synching data. Additionally you will have to negotiate for multiple "full data" environments if you have multiple parallel path releases going since salesforce usually only gives you one of these environments.

For how long have I used the solution?

Since 2009

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We did with reporting. We did not sufficiently test our reporting tools, built with a combination of salesforce and cognos reporting, and there were too many discrepancies in the numbers being reported such that we had to immediately put a tiger team together to address. This had nothing to do with the platform, and more to do with our process for adequately testing large scale reporting before rolling out to 4,000 people.

Having said that, the reporting tools are still just ok. We usually end up extracting data out of salesforce to report on elsewhere, primarily because it's easier to extract salesforce data and merge with data from other systems as opposed to putting data from other systems into salesforce just for reporting. The good news is each year the reporting/analytic platform gets bettter.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Nope, it's been more stable than any on premise software we've ever had.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We did have issues when we originally launched, due to us exceeding certain API thresholds that exist by default by salesforce.com. The good news is they were able to increase them for us relatively quickly.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Solid. No issues. They really try and work with you to ensure you know how/where/why you are using or not using all aspects of the platform. No, of course, they do this level of reporting to you so that you use more, but it's still good data to inform where you have opportunity to better leverage what you are already paying for.

Technical Support:

Very good. As usual, if you run into anything serious, escalate quickly. They have channels for escalating, so use them. Don't let your technical teams try to solve themselves for too long.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used Oracle CRM on premise. We switched because we spent too much time applying patches and upgrades and regression testing such that we were unable to respond to changing business conditions and put in enhancements. Now we never deal with patches and upgrades and we only focus on enhancements.

How was the initial setup?

Much of it was straightforward, with the only complex areas being areas that we wanted to customize for items like inquiry routing (our rules were very complex) and analyzing how we wanted to configure the data best to allow us to also report they way we wanted to for operations, executive and historical comparison reporting. Thinking those concepts through was difficult and I'd suggest spending more time on those activities than anything else during design, and test your design concepts early so you can adjust if it turns out your assumptions don't work out the way you thought they would when you see real data being put through the system.

What about the implementation team?

We used Appirio as our implementation vendor. They did a solid job. As usual, with consulting, it's the strength of the team they field for you, so that is what you should evaluate the most.

What was our ROI?

We have a case study on our implementation on salesforce.com website that you can read, under DeVry.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Negotiate HARD on ability to reduce licenses if business conditions dictate you have to shrink or divest yourself of divisions/departments. They won't want to do this, but that should not stop you for negotiating what's right for your business.

If you desire, you can get them to agree to create custom types of licenses that are specific to the way you plan to use the platform or the tools (sfa, crm, marketing), so this might be worth exploring if you have unique business requirements that don't fit the standard pricing model.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, we also looked at RightNow Technologies, which was later bought by Oracle. We actually used RightNow and Oracle CRM, so we had experience with both.

What other advice do I have?

The hardest part of using the system is finding the technical resources to do the customization and configuration. I'd recommend getting going with a good contracting firm, but make sure you interview and lock in the resources. After that, I'd recommend you find internal business people who know your processes and happen to have a technical aptitude and get them trained up to be admins and developers. We did that and it worked out great...but be prepared to give them significant raises, promotions, and/or long term incentives to keep them with your company.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Owner at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees
Real User
Time to Value – Force.com Hands-On Winner
The Who, What and Why May 19, 2011 Forrester Research published ‘The Forrester Wave: Platform-As-A-Service For App Dev And Delivery Professionals, Q2 2011”. In this paper Forrester concluded among other things that Salesforce.com’s Force.com was the leading PaaS platform for business experts but, went on to suggest that two alternative solutions – Caspio and WorkXpress presented good alternatives. The following summary represents my hands-on evaluation of all three solutions, as well as, a few comments regarding Microsoft Azure. As part of my evaluation, I chose to build a project portfolio application on each platform in order to catalog my experiences from on-boarding, application configuration to functionality testing. First, I would like to provide response to a few items highlighted…

The Who, What and Why

May 19, 2011 Forrester Research published ‘The Forrester Wave: Platform-As-A-Service For App Dev And Delivery Professionals, Q2 2011”. In this paper Forrester concluded among other things that Salesforce.com’s Force.com was the leading PaaS platform for business experts but, went on to suggest that two alternative solutions – Caspio and WorkXpress presented good alternatives. The following summary represents my hands-on evaluation of all three solutions, as well as, a few comments regarding Microsoft Azure. As part of my evaluation, I chose to build a project portfolio application on each platform in order to catalog my experiences from on-boarding, application configuration to functionality testing.

First, I would like to provide response to a few items highlighted in the Forrester report. Below I reference the page number and report reference alongside my response.

Page Report Reference Counterpoint
3, 5, 8 Number 3. Forrester references business experts but fails to define the baseline skills of these experts. On page 5, Forrester defines business experts as ‘not coders’. My evaluation assumes a business expert as one that has familiarity with one or more software applications and how they are administered. Understands the importance of defining data relationships to drive reporting requirements and has worked with IT in the past to either source or build domain specific software services. This person is familiar with MS Access, Excel, Website dev tools, importing and exporting data, setting up preferences and administering public and private application services at a minimum.
5 Figure 2. Forrester omits adding Salesforce to PaaS for business experts This seems inconsistent with the balance of the analysis. Unclear why one would differentiate resident IDE vs IDE in the cloud. As point of clarification, Salesforce.com uses Eclipse IDE Platform, which is installed locally and synchronizes metadata changes to the Salesforce.com Platform. An introduction can be found here: http://wiki.developerforce.com/page/An_Introduction_to_Force_IDE
8 Current Offering: The evaluation’s current offering scores do not measure either product performance or stability… This was a big surprise to me, as I believe any service based offering must be evaluated based upon its performance and stability. SaaS or PaaS (in this case) is completely reliant on the stability and performance of the delivery of the service. I.e. access and stable use.  As you will read below I incurred these issues throughout my evaluation.
15 Figure 6 The following references are inconsistent with the balance of the report and my findings, and are offered here for your consideration.
* Performance and Reliability – I experienced non-responsive system events, longer than expected processing times on multiple occasions and find it hard to believe that WorkXpress is on par with SFDC, and that SFDC is on par with Caspio as the table would suggest. This is especially true given the broader range of application services inherent in the Salesforce.com platform.
* Application Development – I found both WorkXpress and Salesforce to have equal to and greater development capabilities than Caspio. Although WorkXpress provides an innovative approach to configuring applications, I believe it may have a larger learning curve as one has to learn the new icon driven metaphor and wizard driven methodology.
* ISV Services – it’s hard to believe that WorkXpress and Salesforce score equally when Forrester highlights in the Vendor Profile that WorkXpress is just starting their ISV Channel. Combine this with fact that WorkXpress outsources infrastructure to AMZN and you have to question the comparison, as most ISV prefer to have one SLA.
* Cloud connectivity and Standards and Interoperability – I’ve combined these as I believe they are interdependent and generally seek to define integration capabilities. Integration and interoperability is about more than what protocol standard a particular vendor supports. It is best proven out in the patterns executed by its customers. It’s hard to imagine that WorkXpress or Caspio have the broad baseline of integration patterns or the proven scalability of the salesforce.com platform. That is not to say that one cannot push or pull data to and from Caspio or WorkXpress but to compare them as near equals seems a little misleading.

Best laid plans, fast forward 11 months, and I’ve decided to provide summary rather than click by click detail of my evaluation. If you read the following and want to discuss further contact me and if appropriate I will provide my evaluation log for your reference.

In summary, I found both Caspio and WorkXpress to be interesting alternatives but not comparable to Force.com. If you have not evaluated these solutions you owe to yourself to spend a few hours with each. In both cases, I spoke with representatives from each company and described the project as well as my target evaluation application. In both cases the vendors suggested the application could be built.  As for Windows Azure I found it to be overly complex to onboard and clearly targeting coders and not business user so will only discuss Caspio and WorkXpress below.

Caspio

After speaking with a Caspio sales engineer I better understand Caspio’s value proposition relative to SFDC Platform. Caspio is a great tool (MS Access in the cloud) for setting up a forms based external facing application – website. ie, you need to collect data from people accessing your website with very little intervention from IT.  The Caspio SE suggested that they were enabling business users to develop these online databases without IT but, it clearly will require IT or Creative to compile a branded user interface and deal with authentication, etc.

That written, standing up a simple database and form for embedding, and using Caspio to host is fast, simple and requires no html scripting or coding.  A similar database using salesforce.com would require an introduction to Visualforce, the salesforce.com  HTML-like markup language.

WorkXpress

I spent a similar amount of time evaluating WorkXpress. Again, the goal of my evaluation was to develop/configure an application portfolio project management system. This system would be based upon four simple database tables, include workflow driven status updates, visibility rules and data validation, as well as, an analytics dashboard. As an experienced Force.com user, I was able to configure this application in approximately four hours. Back to WorkXpress; based on my brief evaluation, I imagine with the appropriate amount of training one could build my target application.  The big ‘if’ has to do with WorkXpress innovative approach to user interface elements, and development step process wizards. They have clearly spent time and money to develop their vision but it’s unclear to me that the target users will have the patience to make the leap and learn a new methodology. As to whether or not it’s on par with Force.com – at the time of my evaluation and based upon my experience the answer is, no.  If  you have the time and want to consider another platform you should evaluate. Is it more robust than Caspio, I believe so.

Application Portfolio Management

In closing, if you are interested in viewing additional screenshots of the target application you can view them on my Linkedin profile.
If you would like to discuss this project further, drop me a line.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user8508
Industry Analyst at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Salesforce Takes on Mobile App Development Cloud-style
Salesforce today announced ‘Salesforce Platform Mobile Services’, its response to the market opportunity around mobile application development. Salesforce Platform Mobile Services should smooth the development of mobile enterprise app creation and comes with support for analytics, secure access control (single-sign on based on Salesforce Identity) and other libraries of tools. As part of the ‘Mobile Services’ offering, Salesforce is rolling out a new Mobile SDK (availability announced for June) and what the company calls ‘Developer Mobile Packs’, an enriched set of Mobile APIs based on open source (ie popular JavaScript frameworks) that should enable developers to access real-time Salesforce data. -- Value & Differentiation -- PAC believes that the integration and access of…
Salesforce today announced ‘Salesforce Platform Mobile Services’, its response to the market opportunity around mobile application development. Salesforce Platform Mobile Services should smooth the development of mobile enterprise app creation and comes with support for analytics, secure access control (single-sign on based on Salesforce Identity) and other libraries of tools. As part of the ‘Mobile Services’ offering, Salesforce is rolling out a new Mobile SDK (availability announced for June) and what the company calls ‘Developer Mobile Packs’, an enriched set of Mobile APIs based on open source (ie popular JavaScript frameworks) that should enable developers to access real-time Salesforce data. -- Value & Differentiation -- PAC believes that the integration and access of real-time Salesforce data is a key benefit and strategic differentiator for the company against other emerging mobile application development environments (eg IBM, SAP, Oracle). The ecosystem and marketplace developed around the AppExchange platform gives Salesforce substantial competitive advantage. The company already has a very lively ecosystem of ISVs and developers building on its platform. So far, over threee million custom apps have been developed on the Salesforce Platform, a significant number irrespective of the level of depth of enterprise functionality put into these apps. This is particularly relevant as Salesforce’s app development environment is Cloud-native, giving it an extra advantage over other enterprise-grade mobile SDKs. -- Placement in Portfolio -- Salesforce Platform is not yet a monolithic platform, consisting of sub-branches like force.com, Heroku, database.com, AppExchange, etc. PAC learned that Salesforce Platform Mobile Services will be an extension of force.com. -- From Apex to Open Java? -- The emphasis on open source signals that Salesforce may gradually move away from Apex, its proprietary Java-based variant, towards a more open Java environment. The development activity seen on Heroku may influence the transition to open Java for force.com in the future. Out of the 3 million custom apps developed on Salesforce’s platforms, 2.7 million were developed on Heroku, and 360,000 on force.com. This may indicate that the odds may be in favor of open Java versus Apex in the long term. -- Mobile Apps vs Traditional Apps -- Of the 3 million custom apps built up to now on the Salesforce platform, it is not easy to quantify the proportion of mobile apps. Salesforce used to look at this market in a holistic manner, partly because many apps have been developed for multiple-device / universal environments. The ‘Mobile Services’ offering should help Salesforce differentiate between mobile apps development and traditional application development, as mobile and non-mobile application experiences will diverge more and more. -- Pricing -- It is still an early stage for ‘Salesforce Platform Mobile Services’ and not all of its parameters have been clearly set. Interesting questions arise as to how/if the company will monetize mobile application development (e.g. would it charge for app development as in Heroku’s PaaS environment) and what revenue opportunities could Salesforce derive from ‘Mobile Services’ (e.g., charging for development and integration, charging for hosting and secure mobile app control/ management, etc). -- Channel & Services -- In order to get traction in the Consulting & Integration arena, Salesforce plans to support adoption of ‘Mobile Services’ with a dedicated training program for the channel. The program already features some of the strongest names in the SI space like Accenture, Capgemini and Deloitte. With such partners on board, Salesforce’s credentials in mobile app development should be reinforced with large enterprise clients. In addition, as these providers have a global presence, the message should get through in all relevant geographies.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user8388
Director of Operations at a tech vendor with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Popular
Salesforce Platform Adds Mobile Support
Salesforce, one of the leading SaaS and PaaS providers, today announced that they are extending their Salesforce Platform to add support for mobile app development. This is a natural development in Salesforce’s platform strategy. For a long time, I have been arguing that PaaS offerings should have support for social and mobile to be part of their platforms. This move by Salesforce is consistent with such an evolution and will help developers build mobile apps that are connected with data stored in Salesforce applications/platform. In today’s announcement, Salesforce talked about the technology as well as go to market strategy. Salesforce Platform Mobile Service includes: Salesforce Mobile SDK 2.0 – Offers a secure connection to data stored on Salesforce infrastructure, allows HTML5…

Salesforce, one of the leading SaaS and PaaS providers, today announced that they are extending their Salesforce Platform to add support for mobile app development. This is a natural development in Salesforce’s platform strategy. For a long time, I have been arguing that PaaS offerings should have support for social and mobile to be part of their platforms. This move by Salesforce is consistent with such an evolution and will help developers build mobile apps that are connected with data stored in Salesforce applications/platform. In today’s announcement, Salesforce talked about the technology as well as go to market strategy.

Salesforce Platform Mobile Service includes:

  • Salesforce Mobile SDK 2.0 – Offers a secure connection to data stored on Salesforce infrastructure, allows HTML5 apps to take advantage of device features like camera and provides libraries for authentication and secure offline storage. The SDK is available on Github.
  • Developer Mobile Packs – These are set of quick start “templates” that can help developers build mobile apps taking advantage of lightweight javascript frameworks and access the realtime data and Salesforce Platform using the REST API. The mobile packs are also available in Github.

Salesforce also made some announcement on their go to market strategy:

  • A partner program with leading system integrators like Aditi, Appirio, Deloitte, etc.
  • Mobile developer week events in 37 cities across the world and office hours using Google+ Hangouts

 Quick Take:

As I told in previous paragraph, this is a natural evolution for Salesforce Platform. You will see an unified strategy along these lines in the coming year or two. As enterprises embrace the mobile first philosophy, it only makes sense for Salesforce to offer seamless mobile development through their platform. Developers will love a more integrated and unified platform experience. On the negative side, they are using a proprietary platform. Unless, they take necessary steps to avoid lock-in, they will face the usual lock-in risks that are part of any hosted proprietary platforms (Note: hosted open source platforms doesn’t automatically avoid lock-in). Developers will have to weigh in the benefits (of being able to leverage the data in Salesforce applications in a seamless way) against potential lock-in risks.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user8367
Senior Architect at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
The Force.com Sweet Spot
When Cloud Sherpas helps a customer move to the cloud, we usually see the customer move in phases. Recently, we’ve observed a growing trend among enterprise companies, who — having seen positive results from an initial cloud implementation — give us a call a few months later, eager for advice on which areas of their business landscape to address next. We hear questions like… We’ve moved much of our Sales & Marketing functions to the cloud. Which other areas of our business should we now move to the cloud? I have a long tail of apps to deliver this year. Which ones will best leverage the strengths of the force.com platform? Our employees are demanding better mobile access and the ability to much more easily collaborate at work. How can we support them? As a Platinum…

When Cloud Sherpas helps a customer move to the cloud, we usually see the customer move in phases. Recently, we’ve observed a growing trend among enterprise companies, who — having seen positive results from an initial cloud implementation — give us a call a few months later, eager for advice on which areas of their business landscape to address next.

We hear questions like…

  • We’ve moved much of our Sales & Marketing functions to the cloud. Which other areas of our business should we now move to the cloud?
  • I have a long tail of apps to deliver this year. Which ones will best leverage the strengths of the force.com platform?
  • Our employees are demanding better mobile access and the ability to much more easily collaborate at work. How can we support them?

As a Platinum Salesforce.com partner and the world’s leading Google apps cloud service provider, we work with two of the biggest heavyweights in both business and cloud computing.

The article that follows focuses on Cloud Sherpas’ capabilities related to Salesforce.com, where many of our customers — and businesses, generally — begin their cloud journeys.

Like many members of our industry, I think it’s safe to assume that Sales Cloud and Service Cloud — Salesforce.com’s core CRM and Customer Service offerings, respectively — combined, serve as the gateway for many businesses to an even more extensive presence in the cloud.

Force.com, the world’s leading cloud platform for business apps, offers the infrastructure upon which both Sales Cloud and Service Cloud are built, and if you happen to be using either solution, Force.com may be the next logical destination on your company’s journey further into the cloud.

Force.com hosts more than 200,000 business applications from both Salesforce.com partners and independent software vendors.

For larger organizations ready to ‘make the migration,’ the smartest strategy is often to begin by first buffering inflexible legacy applications with a layer of dynamic cloud solutions that facilitate a more agile and collaborative business process than would be possible using a non-cloud-based solution. These ‘Volatile Applications,’ as they are sometimes referred to, give both users and ISVs the ability to adapt, scale and evolve quickly — a key selling point for building and hosting applications on the force.com platform.

Listed below are the four “sweet spots” we’ve seen for businesses using the force.com platform:

1. Sharing new or existing information with a wider audience

Force.com’s single platform and granular access control can be used to rapidly provide access to multiple user groups. Businesses can customize the level of access granted to any number of user types, allowing customers to self-serve by provisioning access to a comprehensive knowledge base, for example, while dedicating other areas of their solution to sales and service information accessible only to key partners and vendors.

2. Anything that needs to be mobile or collaborative

All apps that are built on Force.com have built-in features that leverage Chatter — salesforce.com’s cross-platform compatible enterprise collaboration tool —  and are thus available on most popular mobile devices.

3. Managing user-driven business processes

Process-oriented apps are a popular use case for force.com apps, as they leverage the business service layer of the force platform with workflow, approvals and custom code. Typical apps have covered Recruiting, Bug Tracking, Expense Management and Procurement.

4. Rebuilding simple ‘desktop’ apps

Force.com’s secure, reliable and scalable infrastructure allows for a much more organic approach to product lifecycle management. Unencumbered by native, platform-specific development requirements, businesses can leverage Force.com’s flexible Web-based platform to build — and build onto — any application. For example, say you and a few team members create a simple software application that serves as little more than a project discussion board but quickly grows into a central database for resources that would logically be available to all employees. In this scenario, on Force.com, it wouldn’t take much to take what started as just a spreadsheet and turn it into a robust, enterprise-ready, collaborative application for the whole organisation.

These are just a few highlights of the types of apps we see businesses creating with the  force.com platform.

Where have you found a sweet spot for the force.com platform?

Disclosure: The company I work for is partners with several vendors including Salesforce

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.