Adds Portal Tool Kit to CRM Package

By John Pallatto  |  Posted 2005-04-12 Print this article Print
 's Summer '05 edition will include a new partner portal development tool designed to make it easier for subscribers to share information and applications with business partners.

SAN FRANCISCO— Tuesday previewed a new partner portal development tool and an updated version of its Sforce application-integration tool that are key elements of the Summer 05 edition of its hosted customer relationship management package. The Sforce Partner Portal Toolkit is designed to make it easy for companies to build Web-based portals that allow them to share information and do business with partners, according to Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff. The Java-based portal kit provides all the source code and components for rapidly building portals for sharing sales leads, business contacts, design documents, and specifications for products and equipment, Benioff said. also announced Tuesday that the company will release its major Sforce tool kits, including the new Sforce Partner Portal and its STAPI (Salesforce Telephony API) tool kit, as open-source code on its Sforce Sourceforge project Web site.
The STAPI tool kit allows customers to build telephony features into their applications, such as the ability to make outbound calls directly from within using the customers existing telephone switch. Benioff said Salesforce.coms overall goal isnt to grow its business by expanding its product line with individual applications to serve specific customer needs. Its goal is to give customers tools so they can rapidly assemble applications they need without heavy programming to serve their own organizations and to work with partners, he said. To read why customers are signing up for on-demand enterprise software applications, click here. Building online links with business partners used to be a complex process that required a lot of IT department involvement in building extranets or other secure portals to enable trading or information sharing. With the hosted-portal tool kit, businesses can build applications for project management, product development, customer information, scheduling, time tracking or any other need. Magma Design Automation Inc., a developer of electronic chip-design automation software, has become an early user of the portal tool kit so that it could build Web sites that allow it to share design and bug-tracking information with individual customers. The portal provides a way for Magma Design to keep up with all chip technology development that its customers are working with so its software development can keep pace, said Dave Brooks, director of CRM with Magma Design in Austin, Texas. Next Page: Tools for rapid response.

John Pallatto John Pallatto is's Managing Editor News/West Coast. He directs eWEEK's news coverage in Silicon Valley and throughout the West Coast region. He has more than 35 years of experience as a professional journalist, which began as a report with the Hartford Courant daily newspaper in Connecticut. He was also a member of the founding staff of PC Week in March 1984. Pallatto was PC Week's West Coast bureau chief, a senior editor at Ziff Davis' Internet Computing magazine and the West Coast bureau chief at Internet World magazine.

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