Salesforce.com announced on June 15 the release of the Force.com Free Edition, a stripped-down version of its cloud computing platform for the enterprise. By relying on cloud-based resources, Force.com clients can run Websites and build Web applications without an on-premises infrastructure.
Each client utilizing the free version of Force.com can deploy their newly built Web applications to up to 100 users. In addition, the free edition gives clients access to one Website with up to 250,000 page views per month, 10 custom objects/custom database tables per user, a sandbox development environment, free online training, and a library of sample applications.
The Free Edition, which will be initially available only in the United States, also includes one custom app; it can be found at this site. Regular Force.com pricing begins at $25 per user per month.
Force.com Free Edition will enable every company to experience success with cloud computing, Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of Salesforce.com, said in a statement.
Salesforce.com has been making several additions to its Force.com platform.
In May 2009, Salesforce.com and Google jointly announced Force.com for the Google App Engine, allowing developers to build Web-based applications using cloud-based infrastructure provided by both companies. The application allows developers to develop Web-based applications via real-time cloud computing resources, without needing to rely on on-premises infrastructure streamlining the development process, at least in theory.
Those Web applications will also have the ability to leverage enterprise data present on Force.com, as well as its mobile, analytics, security and sharing models. Salesforce.com clients can already download integrated applications from Force.com's AppExchange, or else build their own applications via the Salesforce.com cloud.
Salesforce.com has moved aggressively into the cloud computing arena, particularly with regard to the expansion of its SAAS (software-as-a-service) capabilities and its two cloud-based platforms, Sales Cloud and Service Cloud.
In a March 2009 presentation, Benioff had touted the ability of Force.com to rapidly build and deploy Web-based apps.
"We build a multitenant virtual machine that can execute your code," he said at the time. "You're writing it in Apex and in our system, and because of that we can build apps five times faster. The real-time workflow and approval have been built directly into the system."