Real-time collaboration inside and outside the enterprise
Salesforce.com has unveiled a raft of updates to its product line to push ahead with what it calls the social enterprise.
At its Dreamforce event being held in San Francisco, CEO Marc Benioff revealed updates to its Chatter social network as well as the launch of an HTML5 app that pushes data out to mobile devices.
Starting with its Facebook/Twitter-like Chatter service, salesforce.com has added real-time capabilities so users can see when their contacts are online and available and chat to them via instant message, without leaving the Chatter feed. Users will also be able to screen-share, pushing the platform towards the online meeting market.
The company has also announced that it is extending Chatter beyond the enterprise by enabling users to invite people outside of their organisation into their network, such as customers or partners.
Users will be able to created secure, closed Groups that customers can join, so there is no chance of people accessing the information is they are not supposed to.
Salesforce.com has also unveiled Chatter Connect, which opens the service up to custom and third-party applications. This is designed to enable developers to integrate Chatter with their applications, such as intranets and portals. Chatter for SharePoint aims to integrate those two services together, salesforce.com said.
The updates to Chatter will be available later this year, the company said.
As well has social media salesforce.com is also going all-in on mobile devices. The company has unveiled touch.salesforce.com, which is a version of its primary applications optimised for touchscreen devices such as iPads and iPhones.
Built on HTML5, touch.salesforce.com will eventually by expanded to include apps built on the Force.com platform, the company said.
Building the service on HTML5 gives salesforce.com the benefit of being able to push it out to many different devices rather than having to write native applications for different platforms, such as Apple, BlackBerry and Android, although the firm will not be abandoning its current range of device-specific apps.
"We will continue to develop native OS applications but for enterprise applications HTML5 is the way to go as it works across all devices," Tim Barker VP, EMEA marketing at salesforce.com told CBR.
The company has also announced that Heroku will be opened up to Java developers, having previously been used for Ruby on Rails, Clojure and Node.js, and will add further languages in the future. Salesforce.com acquired Heroku in January 2011.