Salesforce.com Adds Portal Tool Kit to CRM Package

Salesforce.com'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—Salesforce.com 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 Salesforce.com 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.

Salesforce.com 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 Salesforce.com applications, such as the ability to make outbound calls directly from within Salesforce.com 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.

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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.

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John Pallatto

John Pallatto

John Pallatto has been editor in chief of QuinStreet Inc.'s eWEEK.com since October 2012. He has more than 40 years of experience as a professional journalist working at a daily newspaper and...