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Salesforce.com plays in the sand box

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14th Dec 2005
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Now you can try before you buy...says Salesforce.com. Or rather, try before you deploy.

Salesforce.com's forthcoming next version, Winter '06, will introduce the Salesforce Sandbox, a service that the company says will allow customers to create a test environment for trying out new customisations and developing add-on applications. Subscribers to the Salesforce Enterprise Edition will be able to launch a Sandbox system containing a complete copy of their organisation's production Salesforce.com database.

Customers will be able to delete and refresh sandboxes as needed to keep them in sync with any changes or updates made to the production environment. Companies will be able to have all their corporate data and configurations modeled in the sandbox environment, or deploy a configuration-only version that will not include any production data.

It's part of a push to encourage developers to use the AppExchange network announced by Salesforce.com earlier this year. This is also scheduled to go live at the same time as the Winter 06 release. AppExchange allows third party ISVs (independent software vendors) to sell their products as tightly integrated Salesforce.com add-ons. The exchange currently features 85 pre-built applications.

"We're seeing customers beginning to deploy Salesforce.com across the entire enterprise, not just for CRM," said Phil Robinson, Salesforce.com's vice president of global marketing. "Customers are customising and extending Salesforce.com, so they can build other applications that sit alongside it, and also installing applications out of AppExchange."

While AppExchange is intended to encourage a community of Salesforce.com-based third party applications, the company has no plans to allow third parties to host its own applications, as Microsoft and Sage Group currently do.

Salesforce.com’s Winter 06 release is scheduled for late January 2006.

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By tahoeob
15th Dec 2005 14:47

I would like to reply and suggest you also consider an article on the benefits of On-Demand software for the project management market. Projity is a strong proponent of the on-demand marketplace. We will be releasing Project-ON-Demand in January. This is a complete replacement of Microsoft Project. Project-ON-Demand has equivalent functionality, familiar user interface and our users can simply open the Project files directly. The transitional friction has been eliminated, we have over 125 companies from around the world using the beta.
It would be interesting for you to consider an article on the benefits of the on-demand ecosystem and how it can benefit the market. There are many quality on-demand solutions that are complete replacements for existing legacy applications. I would note: there is also a tremendous need in the project management community for an on-demand solution. Project-ON-Demand will add a critical component to the on-demand ecosystem. You could title it: "Who remembers the term "productivity" software?" I do think we have gotten away from this mantra. The Microsoft stack is like a bad joke: "it is software and is here to help you". The on-demand model is built on client success not upfront expenditures. The on-demand model is built on immediate productivity not installation, integration and upgrade cycles. Those are good for the customer and ultimately will bring productivity back to the industry vernacular!
I would also note how Microsoft recently announced "Office Live". However minimal the details around this announcement, it’s worth noting they still 'expect' you to have Office installed: "Microsoft executives emphasized that the new services are not replacements to the company's existing Windows and Office products, but rather additions. Office Live assumes customers have Office applications installed on their PCs." The Microsoft stack is already too complex and costly. Projity and the other on-demand vendors eliminate the unwieldy complexity and associated costs of enterprise software. Our slogan "Manage Projects NOT Software". In a nutshell, the value proposition for on-demand software extends from fundamentally better solutions delivered with affordable monthly subscriptions........ over large up-front enterprise licenses. Once again, the on-demand ecosystem is maturing and there are tremendous benefit for the market. Projity will be extending the ecosystem in January. Long live the on-demand model!

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