unleashes Unlimited

In a departure from its traditional upgrade schedule that usually coincides with the change of seasons, Monday announced Unlimited Edition, a product line that will sit above Enterprise Edition.

Unlike the Enterprise Edition which limits to 10 the number of custom applications -- a combination of either home grown or those built on the Salesforce AppExchange platform -- that can be plugged in to, the new product will enable organizations to plug in an unlimited number of third-party or custom-built applications.

In addition, the Unlimited version will accommodate 2000 custom objects and give each user 120MB of storage, as opposed to the Enterprise Edition which has a limit of 200 custom objects and 20MB of individual storage.

Any custom object can have up to 500 custom fields, including workflow rules and business processes, according to George Hu, senior vice president of applications at Salesforce. com.

However useful the expanded scalability of the new product is, the real hook for the enterprise is the addition of a free version of Sandbox and the support and administration program being made available, according to Denis Pombriant an industry analyst with Beagle Research,

Platinum Support and Administration gives each company using Unlimited a single point of contact. That customer service representative will be assigned only a handful of customers to support and will be on call for both support and application administration chores, according to Hu.

"The Platinum support representative will even do customizations for you, change business rules, add and delete users, and do whatever administration tasks you need," said Hu.

Pombriant said for the enterprise to be comfortable with hosted applications and be willing to shift to a SaaS [Software as a Service] paradigm, it is imperative that this level of premier support is available for IT.

Sandbox, Salesforce's test bed environment for evaluating pre-production customizations, is the other key to attracting larger customers, said Pombriant.

"It will provide the same kind of professional test environment that IT has behind the firewall. IT has come to take that for granted," Pombriant said.

Unlimited Edition will ship as of March 6, and will be priced at US$195 per user, per month.

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