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Salesforce invents a telephone book for corporate data

Rebrands Chatterbox as Files

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Salesforce has previewed a technology that makes Benioff's customer-loving cloud the central point for file discovery within an organization.

The Salesforce Files technology was announced on Thursday at a briefing in the company's Bladerunner-lite "executive briefing" center in San Francisco, where Salesforce Chatter manager Nasi Jazayeri and marketing maven Anna Rosenman outlined the product.

Salesforce Files hooks into third-party data repositories such as Sharepoint and Documentum and slurps the metadata associated with the files to create a telephone book for all the data within an organization. It is based on technology from Entropysoft, a "content connection company" that Salesforce acquired earlier this year.

It "allows you to store files locally within salesforce, sync files across devices [and] allows you to syncronise third party files," Jazayeri says. "At this point, really, the pain point is being able to access search, access files across corporate policies, and integrate".

Any permissions in the local data repository are preserved, and administrators retain full control of the files and file management, he said, stressing that Salesforce has no ambition to bring control capabilities into Salesforce Files.

"We don't want to break what you've invested in Sharepoint, we don't want to change those access controls," Rosenman said.

The implication of this is that Salesforce does not want to anger every single third-party document store company – fair enough.

"We are complementing your system of records, creating a reference to these files outside of Salesforce," Jazayeri says. "People did not want to replicate files."

While read-only for now, the company is working on putting edit capabilities into Salesforce Files as well.

The technology is compatible with systems that are compliant with Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS), Salesforce said, and we understand that Entropysoft had over 30 connectors at the time it was acquired.

The company expects Salesforce Files will go into general availability in February next year. It will be bundled in with other Salesforce products, such as Chatter, and will not be sold as a standalone product.

"In February, Salesforce Files will be compatible with any CMIS supported repository," the company told us in a statement. "We have native connectors for a good number of file repositories such as SharePoint, Documentum, etc. and we also have CMIS support for other repositories that we do not have native connectors for, such as home grown file repositories."

It does not have support for any services native to Amazon Web Services, such as Glacier, the company confirmed. At the time of writing, Salesforce had said it could not provide us with a full list of compatible services. ®

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