Aims to Simplify CRM Customization

Latest sforce application server allows developers to create apps that address company's specific processes

Latest sforce application server allows developers to create apps that address company's specific processes

San Francisco — November 12, 2003 —, a provider of hosted customer relationship management (CRM) solutions, took advantage of its user conference here this week to roll out version 2.0 of its "sforce on-demand application server" offering, promising easier customization for CRM systems.

The solution provider describes sforce 2.0 as "the world's first platform for creating, hosting and executing client/service applications." "Sforce 2.0 allows developers to customize, integrate and extend the user interface, business logic and data model to support their specific business requirements," said in a statement.

With the new solution, developers can define custom objects specific to their needs, use new controls to extend user interfaces in response to specific requirements and take advantage of a new enterprise Web services application programming interface (API) that makes it easier to use such development environments such as BEA WebLogic, Borland JBuilder X or Microsoft Visual Studio.NET.

The result, said, is that companies can more easily and less expensively create CRM systems that meet their specific business requirements. "With sforce 2.0, enterprises can leverage the benefits of an on-demand application server to create custom solutions tailored to their specific business requirements," said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO,

New sforce 2.0 features include:

  • Sforce controls that allow developers to use popular development environments to create and extend user interfaces with active custom content and new forms. Sforce controls are deployed to and managed by sforce, eliminating the need for additional servers, said.

  • Custom objects, which can be customized to match specific business needs. For example, to capture product return information, a custom object can now be created in sforce specific to that business process. A Web services interface is automatically created for all custom objects, making them available for back office integration via the sforce 2.0 Web services API.

  • The sforce 2.0 Web services API features the introduction of a new SOAP/WDSL-based API that makes an enterprise's full data and business process model available within all various development environments. In addition, a new partner API is available to ease the creation of solutions deployed across companies.

  • The sforce Object Query Language introduced in sforce 2.0 simplifies the querying of objects through the API via a familiar SQL-like syntax, the solution provider said, adding that this feature can simplify coding and improve performance by supporting cursors and other concepts in a Web services compatible fashion.

  • Workflow controls that can be developed to trigger business rules and automate processes, create escalation and routing rules, and automate responses for handling online inquiries from multiple sources.

The sforce 2.0 on-demand application server is being automatically delivered to more than 8,000 customers and 110,000 subscribers via the Winter 2004 release.