Now Lets Companies Build Both Apps And Sites In The Cloud

Salesforce .com’s platform to build and deploy enterprise applications, ,has rolled out a new capability, called Sites, that lets companies build and run their applications for internal use as well as public use on cloud computing platform.

Salesforce says that advantage of Sites is that companies can quickly deploy, scale and run applications and sites in real-time without having to deal with software or hardware hassles. The new feature lets companies build a database with established privacy settings, create public sites with a variety of programming languages, including HTML, JavaScript Flex and CSS, access analytics, register domains and more.

Salesforce has been testing this in a pilot program for 85 companies, including the American Red Cross, Crocs, Dell, and Starbucks. Sites were built for these enterprises for e-commerce, recruitment, distribution and inventory management, ticketing and scheduling, Facebook apps and social networking. For example, Starbucks recently launched a volunteer site to engage customers in finding volunteer work off of Sites. The site, which was only built in 4 weeks, has a database of volunteer opportunities around the country.

Salesforce is also announcing a free edition of, giving small businesses and entrepreneurs a budget friendly way to use Salesforce’s platform. The company originally announced the Sites capability last winter, signaling Salesforce’s ambitions to expand’s cloud into hybrid applications that span both internal enterprise customers and the customers of those applications. Not only is the Sites feature a new business channel, but it’s a way to further Salesforce’s presence in the enterprise (which is already significant). And it’s a way to remain competitive in the fast-growing cloud computing space.