Salesforce.com on Monday announced three products designed to ease integration of on-demand applications with customers' own in-house solutions.
ApexConnect, ConnectOut and ConnectOracle will be available in early 2007, the company said.
ApexConnect is a connectivity solution based on the company's Apex software. ConnectOut is an on-demand outbound messaging API that cuts the time systems spend polling other systems to look for changes in data.
And ConnectOracle, an application-specific product, is for connecting Salesforce.com with Oracle 11i. As well as integrating with Office, Outlook, Lotus Notes, and ConnectSAP, ConnectOracle will enable customers to integrate Salesforce with their back-office Oracle 11i database. The connector will provide support for synchronising account information between Salesforce.com and Oracle 11i and reduce the time, expense, and effort required to integrate the two systems, said Salesforce.com.
The success of Salesforce in attracting users of other systems is a key to its success, said Salesforce.com chief operating officer for sales, Phill Robinson. "We process 3.7 billion transactions a quarter on our server," he said. "1.8 billion of those are other people's transactions," which come through other systems integrated with Salesforce.com via an API. "That shows the appeal of using our on-demand software."
That appeal went way beyond the simple on-demand CRM model, Robinson said. In ApexConnect the company had "the first multi-tenanted solution of its kind", said Robinson. He was backed up by chief executive Mark Benioff.
"ApexConnect is a multi-tenant aspirin for the headache of application integration that today's CIOs have inherited from their predecessors," said Benioff. "Single-tenant vendors are a major source of integration pain as they continue to force upgrades that quickly break customers' existing integrations. Multi-tenant integration with ApexConnect is designed for customer success on The Business Web."
Multi-tenanted solutions mean that, among other features, the application does not have to keep polling users and remote servers to check for updates. If things change, the remote systems will notify the server. This can help in saving transaction and communications costs and in cutting down the workload on servers.
ConnectOracle will cost $12,000 for an annual fee.