Salesforce.com offers CRM-free product

With its Platform Edition, users can deploy on-demand applications from the company's AppExchange without buying an underlying CRM license.

Salesforce.com today took another step toward positioning itself as more than just a CRM company, offering up a new product for users without requiring a CRM license.

Under the San Francisco-based company's Platform Edition, companies can run multiple on-demand applications from the AppExchange, its arsenal of on-demand applications built by Salesforce.com and its partners, without buying a corresponding CRM license.

"Companies can extend their success with Salseforce.com across the enterprise," said Ariel Kelman, senior director of product platform marketing. "Now we're allowing the platform to be purchased independently."

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Under the Platform Edition, users can run applications on one Salesforce.com instance, with the same security model, data model and user interface. Additionally, the Apex DB allows users to create an on-demand database and use the Apex Web Services API.

There are currently about 575 applications on AppExchange, a majority of which are CRM-focused, according to Kelman. But some customers have built applications not aligned with the traditional

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