Archive for April, 2006

Platform Edition Licensing

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As is being proven by the hundreds of available downloads on the App Exchange, many innovative mashups and the stats about API usage, Salesforce.com is (becoming) equal parts platform and CRM application.

However, their licensing model is CRM application first and platform second. Today, you cannot purchase Salesforce.com licenses to utilize just the platform. Is this coming? What would it include? In my mind, it should include:

  • Very Important
    • Full access to the user & security components (users, profiles, public groups, field-level security, secure authentication, password generation, etc.)
    • Full access to Custom Objects, Custom Tabs, Custom Applications, S-Controls and Get/Share with the App Exchange
    • Sharing Rules (role hierarchy, including functionality to setup sharing rules for custom objects)
    • API Access
    • Reports
    • Ability to brand all system communication (welcome emails, notifications, etc.)
  • Somewhat Important
    • Activity Management
    • Notes & Attachments
    • Documents
    • Workflow
    • Email Templates
    • Sforce Data Loader
    • Dashboards

The ability to buy this kind of license should be self-service with no need to work through a sales rep. I can envision going to the Salesforce site to sign up for a Platform Edition org (a unique instance of the application), input my information (contact info, billing information, etc.) and I am in. The cost model could be based on user logins and volume (API calls or storage). Perhaps there are cost tiers with maximum thresholds on # of users and/or volume before you auto-move to the next tier. This would make it easier to manage and predict cost. Billing would take place automatically at the end of each month against a credit card or other payment service like Paypal.

If something to this effect is done, it opens Salesforce up to a whole new market. Gone is the limitation of having a CRM license to take advantage of the platform.

I would suspect that something like this is on its way, but I have no evidence to support this. Does anyone know anything about this?

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User Adoption Dashboard

User Adoption is a key success criterion for any Salesforce.com implementation. The metrics by which to measure adoption vary from project to project. My projects typically include some kind of Adoption Dashboard that is used to allow the admins and executives to get an overview of the activity taking place within the system. This is often as simple as measuring who is creating what records, what types of data is being created from a macro-system viewpoint and measuring this activity over a period of time.

I keep a few baseline Dashboards on my App Exchange account to use as a starting point on my projects. I would like to share one of them now and have made it available on App Exchange for anyone to download into their environment. I am planning on submitting this dashboard configuration to be public in the App Exchange directory, but I’d like some feedback on it first. You can get the dashboard by clicking the image below.

app_exchange_button_detail.gif

The dashboard contains a series of components that look at the data activity over the past 60 days (Leads Created, Accounts Created, Cases Closed, etc). It also contains 2 user lists: one for the number of logins per user over the past 7 days and another for the users that have not logged in over the past 7 days.

The dashboard should work within any environment as it only references standard Salesforce objects & fields. The Dashboard and its corresponding reports both go into folders called “User Adoption Dashboard from AppExchange”. The folders will be publicly accessible, by default. The Dashboard will be setup to run under the user that downloaded the app exchange package.

I am interested in your feedback on this. Please leave comments on your use of adoption dashboards/reports, reaction to the dashboard I created, ideas for other metrics to track in a dashboard like this, etc.

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