Salesforce, by far the dominant CRM platform for the enterprise today, is announcing a "next generation" of its immensely popular solution, offering up a more open and powerful development platform for the age of social and mobile.
Social networks, mobile apps, cloud computing and the emerging "Internet of Things" are what the Web is buzzing about, and it's now the focus of the Salesforce1 platform. The updated offering, which will be formally introduced at DreamForce (Salesforce's annual conference) this week, aims to consolidate these various Internet-based technologies into one unified service so that devs can build applications on the Salesforce platform.
In fact, SalesForce1 is focused almost exclusively on development. The platform leverages Salesforce's other platforms including Force.com (cloud computing PaaS), Heroku (cloud application platform) and ExactTarget (interactive marketing and digital communication), but Salesforce is touting Salesforce1 as more than just a rebranding and retooling of its offering. For example, Salesforce has released numerous new API feeds (10 times the amount they previously offered), along with new streaming and REST APIs, as well as 230 additional calls and methods.
The new platform also provides a new mobile application that offers a way to use Salesforce.com's applications, those they both built themselves or purchased from partners through the Salesforce.com AppExchange. The Salesforce1 platform is launching with 17 partners including Box, LinkedIn, Docusign, Evernote, Dropbox, and Concur to name a few. These enterprises will be using the platform to build mobile ready apps and use the SalesForce AppExchange marketplace to handle the delivery and marketing aspects of the app production process.
While the product has not been "officially" launched, all Salesforce.com customers will be upgraded to the new platform once it's been made available.