Salesforce Sites lets businesses build in the cloud

The new Sites technology uses the Force.com cloud platform to support customer websites and online applications
Written by Tim Ferguson, Contributor

Businesses can now build and run their external websites using technology from software-as-a-service company Salesforce.com.

Launched on Monday, Force.com Sites essentially uses the Force.com cloud platform to support customer websites and online applications.

As well as building websites, customers can also use other Force.com functionality such as analytics, programmable logic and workflow. The analytics technology means businesses can monitor the performance of the website and quickly make changes.

As Sites runs on Force.com, the applications and websites can be linked to CRM data already hosted on the platform.

Tim Barker, Salesforce.com's EMEA senior product director, told ZDNet UK's sister site, silicon.com: "The ability for data to flow from web to internal [systems] simply is something that companies have really struggled with."

"Those things have traditionally been really hard to do and require a lot of integration of different applications but, with Force.com, if you want it, you've got your CRM information ready to hand when you're building your website or web application," he added.

Prior to this week's launch, 85 companies including Starbucks and Dell were able to use Force.com as part of a customer preview programme, creating sites for a wide range of uses including ecommerce, recruitment, ticketing and social networking.

Force.com Sites is available for free to customers for up to 500,000 page views per month on the Enterprise Edition of Force.com and one million pages views for Unlimited Edition customers. Customer can pay £700 per month for an additional one million page views.

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