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Gabriel Corrêa de OliveiraGabriel Corrêa de Oliveira 

Force.com vs Salesforce branding

I am very new to Force.com and Salesforce.com, and I am having a hard time wrap my head around the platform.
The branding is very confusing to me.

Force.com is commercially presented as a PaaS solution; yet, new applications are created from within Salesforce, which is a CRM application.
Everything seems to stem from Salesforce, and brand new applications already contain CRM-related objects upon creation, such as Accounts, Opportunities, and so on. So, how does that make sense? What if I am not creating a CRM-related application? Why is the CRM application the center of everything?
Salesforce.com will refer to CRM application which come with the out-of-box functionalities like sales cloud, service cloud. As you mentioned Force.com or Salesforce platform is presented as Paas where you can able to build custom application not only for CRM related, you can able to build any applications like expenses tracker or any health care related application or Finance or HR application using this platform. If you look at the core architecture of salesforce all the the sale cloud or servic cloud is on top the platform which allows to make customization on that.

User-added image

Check this link to know more details - https://developer.salesforce.com/trailhead/starting_force_com/starting_understanding_arch

In the view of licenses
Lets take an example, I'm planning to build Health care application using salesforce platform. Now I don't need to purchase salesforce CRM licences which comes with the CRM functionalities (Account,Lead etc) which not going to play any role in my Health care application so now I will go for the salesforce platform/Force.com application licenses which doesn't have any standard objects(Account,contact etc) and also cost wise which is very less when compared to the CRM licenses cost. Check this link for cost details - http://www.salesforce.com/products/

Karanraj (http://www.karanrajs.com)
Himanshu ParasharHimanshu Parashar
Hi Gabriel,

Let's understand that in details.

Salesforce provides two types of cloud service one is SAAS (Software As Service) and PAAS (Plateform As Service).

Software as a Service is the most basic form of cloud computing. SaaS applications can offer powerful tools right from your web browser. apart from the Salesforce a good example of SaaS is Google Docs. Google Docs is a productivity suite that is free for anyone to use. Creating a Google account is free. All you have to do is log in to google.com/docs and you instantly have access to a powerful word processor, spreadsheet application, and presentation creator. These online services provided by Google are managed directly from the web browser and require zero installation. You can access your Google Docs from any computer or mobile device with a web browser. in the same way Salesforce provides CRM as Software that is why you see that as pre installed.

The second segment of cloud service is, Platform as a Service, provides developers with proprietary to make an application that will run in a same environment. While a developer is free to create any application they wish, the app is locked to the platform used for its creation. which you can create using Apex Code inside Salesforce.

One of the other examples of PaaS is Facebook. Developers can create specific applications for the Facebook platform using proprietary APIs and make that app available to any Facebook user. You can use there standard objects such as User, Group  etc.

That is why you see Account, Opportunity, Contact etc. while you setup new account.

Makes sense ?

Salesforce Certified Developer, Administrator, Service Cloud Consultant

P.S. If my answer helps you to solve your problem please mark it as best answer. It will help other to find best answer.

Gabriel Corrêa de OliveiraGabriel Corrêa de Oliveira
Thank you Himanshu,

I already had a very clear understanding of the differences between PaaS and SaaS when I wrote my original post. Nonetheless, I understand your point of view.

Alas, these explanations only make me think that Salesforce's PaaS and SaaS solutions are presented and marketed in a poorly organized fashion.

From a user experience standpoint, there is no clear separation of the management of Salesforce as a CRM application (a SaaS product) and the Force.com platform (a PaaS product). The PaaS solution is managed from within the SaaS product in a confusing way.
In addition, I think the comparison with Facebook is unfair. Facebook does not market their platform as a general purpose PaaS solution like Salesforce (as a company) does with Force.com. Developers who use Facebook's platform know that it is meant for social network applications connected to Facebook's social network, and not for general purpose enterprise data-centric applications.
Best regards,
Gabriel C. Oliveira
Himanshu ParasharHimanshu Parashar
Hi Gabriel,

my apologies for creating confusion, I gave example of Facebook to make you understand PaaS in general way regardless any industry.

Nonetheless when it comes to differenciation between PaaS and SaaS inside Salesforce it can be differentiated with edtion, As Karanraj explained you can simply opt Platform as Service which can be used to create custom app for your org.