Why Salesforce.com and Force.com are Different from One Another

Salesforce.com and Force.com remain key drivers in the CRM segment. These business applications serve a wide variety of needs in today’s business world and while they are similar in several ways, they do have key differentiators at play too.

A brief introduction

Force.com and Salesforce.com are often ambiguously described, leading one to be confused about the actual definition or purpose. Force.com is a cloud based platform that has led to the seamless running and functioning of over 240,000 social and mobile applications. Numerous enterprises have gained social recognition, due to Force.com, as it has helps enterprises to put most of their processes into automation.

Even though closely linked with each other, Force.com and Salesforce.com have their independent features, structures and purposes. Executive turned entrepreneur, Marc Benioff, who formerly worked with Oracle, founded Salesforce.com in 1999. This enterprise cloud computing organization is celebrated for its innovative and groundbreaking product ideas.

Functionality – Force.com and Salesforce.com

When it comes to Customer Relationship Management systems and business applications, Salesforce.com is the pioneer in creating a collaborative and interactive environment between a company and its customers and among the employees of an organization. Force.com is considered a collection of tools that eases the customization and creation of employee interface apps at the speed of lightning. And that’s not all. Enterprises can now create and build apps for Human Resources, Information Technology, Sales and Marketing, Operations, Finance and Accounts, etc.

Prominent Features that stand to differentiate both applications

When discussing what differentiates Force.com from Salesforce.com, a few prominent features surface ahead of the rest. Along with their differences, both Force.com and Salesforce.com have their own pros and cons too, especially in relation to a business’ specific needs. The consideration and analysis of each of these helps enterprises narrow down their choices, when creating various applications.

1) Scalability

Most enterprises instinctively rely on Force.com due to its ability to aid the creation and deployment of various social and mobile applications. Force.com can capably handle an increasing amount of work load and also possesses the ability to enlarge itself in order to accommodate any aggregate work. The advantage that enterprises gain from Force.com is that due to its existence as cloud based platform, enterprises do not have to purchase or invest in any kind of hardware or software, and their business applications can run smoothly and effectively with the benefit of data scalability, automated back-up and tuning.

2) Cost-Effectiveness

Salesforce.com can enhance the performance of an application, while simultaneously reducing its infrastructural costs. Salesforce.com harbors a proprietary development language that some enterprises are not comfortable migrating to. However, those who do choose to migrate to Salesforce.com not only benefit from its reduced costs, but also obtain IT processes that are seamlessly efficient. Most enterprises rely on Salesforce.com, due to the readily available CRM that eases their business functionalities. They find it more convenient as they have to pay less for more.

3) Pre-built Applications vs. Customized Applications

Salesforce.com is a company that offers pre-built applications with the use of a proprietary development language. These applications are created under various cloud applications, such as ‘Sales Cloud’, ‘Service Cloud’, etc. Salesforce.com is considered a leader in the creation of CRM systems. On the other hand, Force.com is a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that enables enterprises to design and build their own applications as well as customize or modify the standard applications. Another major breakthrough is that all apps built under Force.com are instantly compatible with mobile devices. This means that employees in an enterprise can access information at the touch of a finger, while they are on the move.

4) Licenses and Limitations

As an enterprise, if you were to purchase a Force.com license, you would not get CRM.  Instead, you get a platform that will aid the building of your own application or CRM. On the other hand, if you were to purchase a Salesforce.com license, you would get a pre-built CRM functionality that allows you to make modifications or additions based on your requirements. A major limitation that you may come across is when you intend to downgrade your license. It is easier to upgrade your license at any point of time. But downgrading your license involves a lot of development tasks and data transfer. Hence, Salesforce.com doesn’t permit enterprises the downgrading of license facility. The procedure for upgrading your license can be done at any time, however, for downgrading a license you would need to wait until the contract period ends.

5) Underlying Frameworks

Force.com works with the help of some major frameworks that include programs and software such as:

– Apex:  Apex is a programming language similar to Java that you can use for creating and developing your applications

– Visualforce: Visualforce is used in the creation of UI (user interface) applications

– Custom Objects: These also go by the name Database.com. These are mainly used for data storage

Salesforce.com simply runs on the Force.com platform, although some reference sites claim that most of Salesforce.com is not built on the Force.com platform, except for a few sections and fragments.

Given the above differences, Force.com and Salesforce.com are, to a certain extent, technically interchangeable. The variances between the two are considered more for the purpose of marketing and come into play when a business’ specific requirements are considered.

Image Credit: Ashley Coombs on Flickr

Author : Stanley Anto Date : 26 Feb 2015