Get to know Salesforce: history, structure, benefits, cases
Salesforce is an American company, founded in March 1999 by Mark Benioff. The original idea specialized in the market of cloud CRM systems and providing access to them exclusively as a subscription service. Salesforce is currently the best PaaS solution for business. The platform is used by more than 150 thousand large companies, including Sony, Financial Times, Toyota, AWS, Canon, Philips, American Express, Western Union, Cisco, KLM, and many other world-famous brands.
Thus, the main target audience of Salesforce is large and medium-sized businesses.
Salesforce’s current development strategy is the acquisition of young and promising startups whose services are integrated into the company's product line.
There is an impressive list of companies. Let’s look at a couple of examples:
In 2010, one of the first Heroku cloud platforms was purchased. Heroku allows you to run the application in various languages - such as Ruby, Node.js, Java, and Python. As a result of this acquisition, several more products appeared, one of which is Heroku Connect.
Previously, Salesforce did not have an e-commerce solution. The industry leader at that time was Demandware. As a result of the partnership, Demandware was integrated into the platform as a separate cloud - B2C Commerce Cloud.
To date, B2C Commerce Cloud is used by Adidas, GAP, Lacoste, Loreal, Ugg, and other world brands.
Salesforce has its own marketplace (the same as Google Play), it is called AppExchange - it is a directory containing hundreds of cloud applications created by customers, developers, and partners of Salesforce.
As a rule, these applications are free and supported by Salesforce, meaning users can quickly and efficiently expand the set of necessary functions.
All Salesforce products are available to developers for customization according to the customer’s needs.
There is an ever-growing list of large companies that use the products on the AppExchange platform. Large companies are not limited to using only one product since the business does not stand still and is constantly developing, and with Salesforce, it is much faster and more efficient to meet the needs of the business. Here are some brands you may recognize:
So what does the Salesforce AppExchange platform provide?
1. All AppExchange products are reviewed and must meet specific security standards, thereby providing robust data security and safety, as well as high fault load tolerance when implemented.
2. Salesforce provides development tools within your Salesforce instance, nothing needs to be installed and configured, and the entire compilation process takes place in the cloud.
3. There are very good graphical tools for working with the database.
4. In Salesforce, a database is represented as objects. You do not need to configure anything and everything is ready to be saved to the database using Apex. Simply create a new instance of the object and save it using the special insert command.
5. Analytics provide the ability to quickly create various reports, graphs and combine them on dashboards.
6. In Salesforce, all internal functionality is available through REST API, which means you can perform operations and integrate Salesforce into your applications easily with very little tooling required.
7. As mentioned previously, there is a vast library of applications in the Marketplace.
8. Ready-made solutions. These are Applications tailored to a specific field of activity.
9. Flexible access settings. You have the ability to configure access to anything from a method in Apex to a field on an object.
The main advantage of this architecture is that it becomes cost-effective for the business. That's why the demand market for Salesforce developers is growing every day. Moreover, in many Java or C # companies, developers learn Salesforce, as this is required by the business. Why Java or C #? Because having knowledge of these object-oriented languages makes it much easier to learn how to develop on the Salesforce platform.
To summarize the above, many choose Salesforce because of the speed of business problem-solving, flexibility, convenience, and reliability. All this translates into significant cost savings. It needs to be said, though, that whilst these options offer huge benefits to large organizations, it could be prohibitive to smaller businesses. The platform cost is not insignificant, and it will be more expensive to hire Salesforce developers in particular, simply because there are fewer skilled resources in this field. So, you may need to think carefully and take into account all these aspects, before you decide to start using the platform.