Tuesday, February 23, 2010

SFDC: CRM or XRM

Salesforce.com or SFDC, the term seems to be synonymous to CRM systems. Some people know that Salesforce.com is just another CRM tool, while others compare it with other (primitive) CRM systems and argue the statement. But, I believe that keeping all the capabilities of Salesforce.com and force.com platform, SFDC has moved a few steps ahead of CRM and can be called an XRM system (X = Any/Multiple).

By XRM, I mean a system which is just not inside the boundary of CRM but can fulfil/achieve more functionalities as required in Finance, Insurance, and HR etc.
All of you, who might have worked on Saleforce.com and especially the force.com platform and played around Apex and VisualForce must have realized the fact that apart from using standard Salesforce objects e.g. Account, Opportunities, Leads etc. (which are integral part of CRM system), we can now create a lot of other custom objects as per our need (Bank Transactions, Payments, Invoice, Invoice line items etc.).
Furthermore, with the power of Apex we can build custom logic for these custom objects and achieve the required functionalities.

Finally, with the coolest tool/feature/technology of Force.com "VisualForce" we can create really groovy and intuitive UI applications. I have myself created a few such applications which have all the custom functionalities and were catering to different business scenarios other than CRM. Furthermore, with the addition of Salesforce Sites feature, I believe it was another jewel in the crown. We can now expose all our functionalities to outer world with minimal efforts.
Following are certain applications built using Salesforce sites:-
Created by Me:-

Note: - To test it, perform the following:-
a) Click on Admin
b) Enter Username as "test" and password as "test1234"
c) Click on Login
d) Add/Edit/Update Pages and contents
e) Associate contents with pages,
f) Get back to home page to view the changes.


To view other sites created by others go to http://developer.force.com/sitesgallery
Do post you comments and share your thoughts on the same.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Development time in SFDC vs. .Net and Java

Well I suppose, it is the most sellable statement in SFDC's list of features/advantages of using SFDC over .Net and Java. Well, having worked on SFDC I believe that there is more to it.

SFDC is one of the most innovative platforms and gives us all (almost) what we need to develop enterprise level business applications. With a lot of out-of-the box functionalities and innovative On-demand platform, it is my platform well I suppose it is the most sellable statement in SFDC's list of features/advantages of using SFDC over .Net and Java. Well, having worked on SFDC I believe that there is more to it.

SFDC is one of the most innovative platforms and gives us all (almost) what we need to develop enterprise level business applications. With a lot of out-of-the box functionalities and innovative On-demand platform, it is my platform of choice for developing business applications. But, as I mentioned that there are hidden elements in SFDC development.

SFDC Configuration:- With Object relationships, Vanilla UI (default), Formula fields, Roll-up summary fields, Workflows, Approvals, email templates and many more out-of-the-box features, SFDC is a very rich platform. The features are easy to use and configure and lets us of choice for developing business applications.

SFDC Customization:- with powerful apex and Visualforce and awesome SOAP web Services its a truly class customization platform.

Myth:- Development in Salesforce is 5+ times faster than .Net or Java

Fact:- This is a contextual statement. In case the development is done using SFDC Configuration only, then offcourse I would say its 5 (or even more) times faster than .Net or Java. The deployment is seamless and you don't even need to worry about performance and security. But, when you get into realm of custom logic (Apex) and custom UI (visualforce), I have seen that it is not like that. It has to go through all the same stages and has to face same conventional issues.

So, I would say that development in SFDC is faster than that in .Net and Java but saying that it is 5 times is contextual based on how you choose to develop in SFDC.

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