Salesforce.com Inc. is giving its customers an oft-requested new toy: a sandbox.

Salesforce.com’s forthcoming next version, Winter ’06, will introduce the Salesforce Sandbox, a service that enables customers to replicate their existing Salesforce.com deployments to create a test environment for trying out new customizations and developing add-on applications. With one click, customers will be able to launch a Sandbox system containing a complete copy of their organization’s production Salesforce.com database. The company announced the service on Monday.

Salesforce.com intends to charge customers for the feature, which is available only to users of its more expensive Enterprise Edition. Pricing is set at US$25 per month per user for a full Sandbox populated with the customer’s enterprise data, or $18 per month per user for a configuration-only version without data.

Salesforce.com hopes the Sandbox offering will encourage customers to test out offerings from its new AppExchange network, also scheduled to go live in its Winter ’06 edition. AppExchange, introduced in September at Salesforce.com’s annual user conferences, allows outside ISVs (independent software vendors) to offer their wares as tightly integrated Salesforce.com add-ons. Salesforce.com intends the network to give its customers fuller enterprise applications functionality than it offers directly through its sales- and service-focused system.

San Francisco, Calif.-based Salesforce.com is scheduled to release its Winter ’06 edition in January.



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