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Salesforce.com Bridges Gap with SharePoint and OneDrive Files

Salesforce.com on Wednesday unveiled its new Salesforce Files Connect product, which is designed to bridge its cloud-based CRM services with file repositories from other companies, including Microsoft.

Salesforce Files Connect is immediately available for Microsoft SharePoint 2010, 2013 and SharePoint Online, while support for Microsoft OneDrive for Business will arrive in February, according to the announcement. It is free to use with SharePoint Online and OneDrive, which are both cloud-based, but costs $7 per user per month for on-premises SharePoint.

A connector to Google Drive is also planned for release in a few months.

Microsoft and Salesforce.com entered into a partnership in late May that is aimed at integrating their respective offerings. While the two companies have a longstanding rivalry in the CRM space, they also share significantly overlapping customer bases. At the time of the partnership's announcement, the companies said they would enable OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online as integrated storage options for the Salesforce.com platform.

In Thursday's announcement, Salesforce.com claimed to be the first to create a repository that natively integrates CRM content and files among popular enterprise file stores. Salesforce Files Connect provides a simple method of browsing, searching and sharing files located in various repositories, according to Salesforce.com.

The company described two simple use cases. One would enable a sales rep to attach a presentation on OneDrive for Business to a sales lead in the Salesforce.com CRM app. The second would allow a service representative to pull FAQ content from OneDrive for Business running in the Salesforce.com Service Cloud app.

The connector supports federated search to query repositories simultaneously from any device and lets users attach files to social feeds, groups or records, enabling them to find contextually relevant information in discussions running in Salesforce Chatter. The tool is also designed to enforce existing file permissions.

For customers and third-party software providers wanting to embed file sharing into their applications, Salesforce.com also is offering the Salesforce Files Connect API.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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