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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 1813 - June 17, 2008 - ISSN 1539-5065    1 of 4

SalesForce.com's Adam Gross Keynotes at eBay DevCon

By Ina Steiner
June 17, 2008

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Adam Gross, Vice President of Platform and Developer Marketing for SalesForce.com, gave a keynote address at the eBay Developer's Conference on Monday on the importance of platform-as-a-service to the ecommerce industry. In an interview after the talk, Gross shared his thoughts with AuctionBytes about eBay's announcement made during the keynote sessions.

eBay announced details of Project Echo, in which it will allow third party developers to integrate applications directly onto its site (http://www.auctionbytes.com/cab/abn/y08/m06/i16/s01). Gross called the morning presentations at the DevCon exciting and said eBay's move to an open platform is part of an industry-wide trend. Called platform as a service, or cloud computing, the trend allows users and developers to create extensions and applications on and around websites.

SalesForce.com has a platform called Force.com and a directory of applications written for that platform called App Exchange (http://www.salesforce.com/appexchange). Gross said something readers might be familiar with is Facebook, which in the last year has changed how people think about social networking because of the many applications on Facebook built by third-party developers in addition to profile pages.

"I think the excitement at today's Developers Conference was the idea eBay sellers will now have access to a full set of applications that are written around the eBay platform." Just as Facebook and SalesForce users have access to added functionality through third-party programs, "eBay sellers will soon be able to enjoy a similar kind of invasion from the developer community," he said.

Gross referred to Infopia, which has built applications for SalesForce.com and is an eBay developer, and said Infopia integrates the two services. By having Infopia's customer support, order management and analytics application running inside eBay's Echo framework, sellers can experience that functionality more seamlessly, Gross said.

The seller audience and auction users should anticipate that in the coming years, their auction experience will be complemented with third-party applications much in the same way Facebook users' experiences are augmented and SalesForce.com is complemented by third party applications.

eBay's Developer Program is blogging the conference at http://developer.ebay.com/community/blog/, and AuctionBytes coverage of DevCon and eBay Live is available at http://www.auctionbytes.com/cab/ebaylive2008.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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