As an introductory post of the salesforce series this article intends to start from the basic question outlined by the heading of this article – What is salesforce?
Salesforce is an on-demand, web based platform that allow people to develop & host custom applications. Force.com (that’s what salesforce calls its platform) allows developers to build and deliver any application without any other software (other than a web browser). There is no need of a database, no need for any SDK to be installed on the local machine. The application once developed is available for access online immediately – therefore eliminating any need of hosting software servers & hardware. Read more about Platform As a Service nature of Salesforce here.
Salesforce also provides CRM solutions off-the-shelf to its customers that require zero development. These applications are ready to use and are extremely popular. These CRM applications are easy to customize through drag and drop click tools and therefore can be used with equal ease by small as well as huge organizations. A lot of organizations world wide have trusted salesforce for managing their sales & customer data for improved customer service, partner management and better visibility into sales pipelines.
Salesforce also provides an on-line marketplace called Appexchange; where people can buy/sell & deploy ready to use pre-built salesforce applications that can run on Force.com platform. This allows companies and individual developers to build applications that they can sell to prospective customers. salesforce.com also manages & encourages a huge developer community at developer.salesforce.com [DFC] which allows various tools to help developers build their applications.