Salesforce has announced data-integration capabilities for customers who do business with each other
to share hosted data.

Dubbed Salesforce to Salesforce, two customers of the hosted software vendor can share CRM-related information such as sales leads. It requires both parties to subscribe to Salesforce's services, but the vendor believes demand will be driven due to the size of its subscriber base – which, it claimed will reach 1 million this month.

The firm said that many businesses still interact through cumbersome means, for example by emailing Excel spreadsheets to each other.

Salesforce said the new tools – at least conceptually – have been incubating for a long time. Platform, Enterprise and Ultimate edition Salesforce customers will be able to initiate a data-exchange connection

Denis Pombriant, managing principal of Beagle Research in Stoughton, Massachusetts, said the new capability was "much more important to business processes than anything application-oriented per se."

He added that its goal is reminiscent of past efforts by partnering companies to integrate their mainframe computers, but could prove much less expensive.

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