A breakthrough: Salesforce.com will choose where to store its data

Small opening in sight at the leader of Salesforce.com online CRM. It would be possible soon to choose the place of storage of these data. An advance, still insufficient for companies who want to keep control of their information system.

SalesForce.com is one of the leading SaaS (Software as a Service) or software as a service . An offer based on its Customer Relationship Management software and which is now complemented by a platform for developing applications. So SalesForce.com also covers the PaaS (Platform as a Service) segment or platform as a service.

Lock-in and dependency

These are the two main features of this service. Once your data entered in the application, it will be expensive to extract them to integrate them into another solution. If the immediate and medium-term cost seems interesting, it’s simply because it does not include the cost of exit.

This entails that, you depend on your provider and changes it imposes on the software. No possibility of stopping the march ahead of the versions or delaying it. You lose control of your information system.

Opening start?

At the 2011 DreamForce High Mass held last week, Salesforce.com executive Marc Benioff launched the new fall back to work: the social enterprise. It is in the era of time companies must invest social networks to draw all the substantive marrow.

But more interesting , he announced the next arrival without specifying a date or modality of implementation of an offer named Data Residency . It must allow a company to store the data it wishes to assign to SalesForce.com applications in its own data center .

This is a small revolution in the world of “proprietary” online services, the customer is finally allowed to regain control over these data and their location. However, it is doubtful whether this concern is central to this decision.

It is more likely to remove a brake related to issues of security, compliance or legality that today could make companies prefer internal solutions.

Not enough yet

What Salesforce offers is reminiscent of the unhosted.org project that proposes to separate applications and data. A project that is much freer and more open to him.

However, if the data is more free, they remain trapped in the application that uses them. You can not get rid of your SalesForce subscription without losing almost everything. The necessary conditions that seem to me essential to go to the online services given by the TIO Libre are far from perfect.