Springs its new release

With a public offering expected any day, announced its latest release, Spring '04, which features new customization capabilities and tabs.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Customization, once believed to be a weakness of on-demand CRM, has, in a few short months, become...'s rallying cry. The company announced Monday its product release, Spring '04, claiming it to be the "world's most customizable CRM."

Building upon the customization APIs available in the Winter '04 release, the company detailed its customization suite Studio and application platform sforce 3.0. Both are available immediately to the 9,500 worldwide customers.

Peter Gassner, senior vice president, demonstrated the usefulness of Studio in customizing objects, tabs and pages to fit any terminology, industry or business environment. But it was the ease of customization that most impressed users.

"They can customize without programming or proprietary tools," said Cliff Bell, CIO of Phoenix Technologies, Milpitas, Calif.

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With Studio's point-and-click simplicity, customization is now available to administrators instead of just developers, according to the company. The release of sforce 3.0 also promises to provide more customization options through improvements to the Web services API and advancements of custom objects.

The Spring '04 release also includes three new tabs, products, contracts and solutions.

In addition to the customization capabilities of Spring '04, new to this release are Lotus Notes support and offline PDA editions. These join Microsoft Office and Outlook as desktop applications that are fully integrated with

Pat Sueltz, executive vice president of technology, marketing and systems, said that is "democratizing enterprise applications."

A recent implementer of, Mark Goddard, vice president of Operations at Payment Processing, Inc. of Newark, Calif. agreed.

"We are initially rolling out to the sales people, but soon we will give everyone access to it," Goddard said. "We chose because we wanted to use it as a decision guide."

Meanwhile, also announced a new group of partners for the Spring '04 release that signal an expansion of accessibility to The new partners include: Visible Path, a New York-based developer of Relationship Capital Management (RCM) platforms; WebEx a provider of real-time Web meetings; Logitech, which designs, manufactures and markets personal interface products; BlackBerry by Research in Motion, a wireless enterprise solution; IBM WebSphere; InsideScoop, a provider of data quality management solutions for; and Vettro, a designer of mobile applications specifically for

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