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Identifiying the uses of Perl, PHP, Python & Ruby for Salesforce

Hi everyone - I've been an administrator for awhile now but I'm looking to branch out and become a salesforce developer.  I understand the use cases of Apex and Visualforce, but I'm confused as to how perl, PHP, python, and ruby can be used with salesforce.  Can someone please give me some examples of why these languages would be used to interact with salesforce?  Any use cases would be great, thanks for the help!!


 Perl, PHP, Python & Ruby can be used to ingegrate with salesforce via the web services API.


You can build applications or sites in these languages and then use the API to read data or update data in salesforce. For example you could build a store locator in Ruby that pulled information live from salesforce.