Salesforce claims 110,000 business applications are currently running on top of Force.com which competes against Amazon AWS, Google App Engine and Microsoft Windows Azure in the cloud computing application development market.
Offering a limited, free version is a typical ploy by software companies to get users hooked, and then when they need more functionality they are forced to buy a subscription. Salesforce.com began this way with a free version of its SaaS CRM product. They’d get the VP of sales to sidestep IT and buy it for themselves, then they’re in, along with all the company’s data and nobody can get them out.
Force.com Free Edition offers:
- one custom app
- one website with up to 250,000 page views per month
- up to 10 custom objects (custom database tables) per user
- a sandbox development environment to test the app or site before deploying it
- basic online training
- a library of sample apps
Companies that need more than one app, or to support more than 100 users, or more than one website must upgrade to a commericial subscription to Force.com that begins at $25 per user per month.
For more on CRM check out Voices of CRM