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Force vs Salesforce (vs linked?)


Hi, sorry, a totally newby question that I can't seem to totally fully answer.


I was and am totally sold on the salesforce idea.  It's fantastic for developping and maintaining contacts for a newsletter a friend and I have developped.  On the other hand, we want to take some of the data that would otherwise be in a PDF and have it as a nice online report and set of charts for subscribers to browse through or contribute to.


The latter of these seems like a thing with custom objects, user dependant dashboards, a site, and from what I can tell, developping or writing triggers on Salesforce is a no-go once you have a production account.  But then also has Contacts and Accounts so is just a better or more maliable version of Salesforce with less crm stuff and more ability to develop?  It would seem that it's cheaper but justifies that with the fact that if you want all that extra cool CRM stuff, you need to pay more for a CRM specific setup or alternatively develop it yourself.  Or have I misunderstood things?


I wonderred if they're two different but complimentary tools, like a cooker and chopping board, in which case is there a way that you're supposed to set to automatically sinc it's contacts with your seperate Salesforce account?  Then you have a CRM system to manage sales and a app/site for your contacts to be able to access if they're an account.   ?