Not content with software as a service, Salesforce.com is now talking up the idea of the 'platform as a service' with the introduction of the developer code Apex in its Summer 07 release.
The multiple sandboxes included in the release allow developers to place data in the production environment, make changes and test it without affecting everyday workflow, until it is time to make a permanent change to the application.
"Salesforce.com and software as a service revolutionised CRM. Now platform as a service and Apex Code stand to revolutionise how customers build and deploy apps," said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of Salesforce.com. "Customers can write code that runs on our servers. It's programming without software. Better yet, it's the end of software."
Other features in the release include:
* Salesforce.com Sandbox, a tool that allows companies to create a duplicate copy of their Salesforce development environment so that testing, training and development scenarios can be run without interrupting the production use of the application.
* The Salesforce Customer Portal allows companies to personalise the portal with their own brand for different users, roles and companies.