Salesforce Targets Integration

A battle brewing in the business applications market is boiling down to two sides: on-premises versus on-demand software., an on-demand vendor in San Francisco that racked up $500 million in revenue in the third quarter of fiscal 2007, is looking to better delineate its integration strategy by announcing Nov. 27 ApexConnect, a family of integration tools designed to help users more easily integrate applications with third-party software.

The concept with ApexConnect is that any application will maintain connections with legacy software, Web services and other on-demand applications during and after an upgrade, given Salesforce.coms multitenant architecture and the ApexConnect tools.

The ApexConnect suite includes about 25 AppExchange partner integration offerings that link to common back-office applications, as well as custom integrations with the Apex APIs. Apex is Salesforce.coms proprietary programming language; AppExchange is its integration and development platform. Apex Connect offers prebuilt integrations to SAP R/3 and Oracle 11i ERP (enterprise resource planning) applications, as well as to Microsoft Office and Outlook and IBM Lotus Notes.

Finally, ApexConnect offers something called ConnectOut, an on-demand outbound messaging API that lets Salesforce.coms services talk to other applications.