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Salesforce adds connector apps to Apex

New features of programming language to give customers more connections with other vendors' applications.

Salesforce.com on Monday unveiled several new features of its recently introduced Apex on-demand programming language.

The new features will be marketed via ApexConnect, an expansion of Apex, the Java-like programming language designed to enable customers to build their own applications or extensions to Salesforce's on-demand services. Salesforce debuted Apex in October.

ApexConnect will include on-demand enterprise applications such as ConnectOut and ConnectOracle--connectors that integrate the Salesforce platform with applications and services from other sources, including desktop applications and online services.

The ConnectOut feature, for example, is designed to notify customers' other applications, such as their middleware or message bus, when their Salesforce data has changed due to the addition of new customers or the closing of a sale. ConnectOut is scheduled for release with a Salesforce upgrade scheduled for later this year.

ApexConnect will provide connectors for applications such as Office, Outlook, Lotus Notus, SAP R3 and Oracle 11i. ConnectOracle, which offers a prebuilt template designed to speed the integration process between Salesforce and Oracle 11i, enables Oracle 11i customers to access their Salesforce front-office and back-office customer data.

Salesforce expects ConnectOracle to be available early next year, for an annual fee of $12,000, to users of Salesforce Enterprise Edition and Unlimited Edition. The company recently released its ConnectSAP for integrating Salesforce with SAP R3.

ApexConnect will also become a category on the Salesforce AppExchange, which serves as a marketplace for hosted applications from more than 230 partners.