Salesforce.com adds content management service

New CRM lets users share Microsoft Word documents, HTML pages, E-mails and audio and video files

Hosted CRM apps provider Saleforce.com Tuesday unveiled a new service for more easily creating and managing both structured and unstructured data.

The new Apex Content service is based on technology created by Koral, a San Francisco content collaboration software provider Salesforce.com acquired last month.

Salesforce.com officials said the new service can help users share Microsoft Word documents, HTML pages, E-mails and audio and video files easily through the enterprise. The company said the new offering expands its push into the Web 2.0 business. Last month, Salesforce.com unveiled AppSpace, an on-demand portal offering that is meant to function like a MySpace.com for corporations.

"Salesforce Content represents a decisive step towards our vision of managing all information on demand," stated Salesforce.com's CEO Marc Benioff, adding that it "will liberate customers from complex content management software like EMC Documentum and Microsoft SharePoint by extending the on-demand model and Web 2.0 innovation throughout the enterprise."

The new offering includes two major services: Apex Content, a document and file management framework; and ContentExchange, which lets users easily publish their content, tag it, and share it with other employees.

Developers can use Apex Content to create a variety of different applications to ease tasks like regulatory compliance or for clinical trials for end users. The service also includes a library feature that allows users to check in and check out documents, and lock them while they are being edited. It also can perform full text scans and create complex indexes of documents.

The ContentExchange tool lets users subscribe to certain documents, and if that document is updated, they'll automatically receive an alert. End users can also provide comments, rate certain documents and even provide recommendations.

Salesforce.com said that it plans to disclose the pricing and availability of the ContentExchange and Apex Content later this year.

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