In April of 2006, I blogged about the need for Salesforce to adopt a new licensing scheme to accommodate a license to the platform only. In that post, I described what I felt to be the necessary components of the platform in that licensing model.
I remember hearing people at Dreamforce mention that this could become a reality soon, but I don’t recall hearing anything specific about it actually being deployed. However, I am seeing some hints in the application now that it’s been upgraded to Winter 07 that elude to it being a reality.
- There is a field called License Type on the user record. This defaulted to “Salesforce” for all users (as far as I know). The Help explains that there are now 3 potential values here.
- Salesforce License: Designed for users who require full access to standard CRM and AppExchange apps
- Apex Platform Licenses: Designed for users who do not need standard CRM functionality. Users with an Apex Platform user license are entitled to use custom apps developed in your organization or installed from the AppExchange. In addition, they are entitled to use core platform functionality such as accounts, contacts, reports, dashboards, documents, and custom tabs.
- Apex Platform One Licenses: Designed for users who are entitled to use only one custom app developed in your organization or installed from the AppExchange. The app is restricted to five custom tabs. In addition, they are entitled to use core platform functionality such as accounts, contacts, reports, dashboards, documents, and custom tabs.
- There is a new standard App called Platform. This includes the Accounts, Contacts, Reports, Dashboards and Documents tabs.
- In the Company Profile screen, there is now a list of Licenses for your organization. A record exists for each of the 3 license types I mention above.
I cannot find very much information on how one can buy an org with Apex Platform Licenses only. The ability to purchase a platform-only license like this would be huge. It would obviously provide a platform for companies to build apps on even though they aren’t interested in CRM (yet). It would also instantly provide a very solid, configurable back-end to a web application. This would compete with the MySQLs, Oracle’s, etc. of the world. A benefit over those guys is that you have an instant user interface and robust reporting tools to manage your application’s database.
Does anyone out there have additional information on this licensing model? If so, what capabilities are included? Suppose this license type was added to the Salesforce.com’s edition comparison chart, how would it look?