Salesforce.com Extends Platform To Host Web Sites - InformationWeek

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11/3/2008
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Jim Manico
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Salesforce.com Extends Platform To Host Web Sites

Salesforce.com is broadening its cloud with a hosted service that lets subscribers build and run Web sites using its Force.com platform.

Salesforce.com is broadening its cloud with a hosted service that lets subscribers build and run Web sites using its Force.com platform.Force.com Sites, whose official announcement will be available via Webcast at 9 a.m. PST from the company's Dreamforce 2008 cloud computing conference, "is an aggressive effort by the company to extend its development and hosting platform more broadly across the Web, and expand beyond its roots in on-demand sales force automation software," reports InformationWeek. Developers will be able to build and publish to any Web site applications that run in Salesforce.com data centers, use the company's Visualforce UI construction tool to develop public-facing Web pages, and register a domain name. "Salesforce.com sees the effort as expanding the role of its Force.com platform in the bigger trend toward cloud computing," the article goes on to say.

Force.com Sites offers several key features, according to Salesforce:

  • Public Web sites and applications are directly integrated with your Salesforce organization, with no user authentication required.
  • The URL for each site can use your unique Force.com domain or your own branded domain.
  • Sites are composed of Visualforce pages. Visualforce is a complete framework for building and deploying custom user interfaces.
  • Syndication feeds give users the ability to subscribe to changes within Force.com Sites and receive updates in external feed readers.
  • Public access settings control which data objects and fields are made accessible to visitors.
  • Cache control allows you to increase the performance of your sites.

"There are a lot of people out there who struggle with the infrastructure demands," Kendall Collins, senior vice president of product marketing at Salesforce.com, tells CNET.

Force.com Sites is now available in developer preview; the service is expected to debut sometime next year. Salesforce has devised four subscription packages, and pricing depends on page views: According to NetworkWorld, a Group Edition subscription includes up to 50,000 monthly page views for a Force.com Site, while on the high end, an Unlimited Edition subscription comes with 1 million monthly views. When those levels are exceeded, charges kick in at $1,000 per month for up to 1 million more monthly views, or $3,000 a month for up to 5 million additional views per month, no matter which Salesforce edition a customer has.

What do you think? Should Amazon, Google, or Microsoft be worried?

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