If you have had Salesforce.com for any length of time, you may have realized that it is limited in certain ways. There is no question that Salesforce is incredibly customizable with just a point and a click, but sometimes the system is just not designed to do exactly what you want.
Being the worldclass company that they are, Salesforce has anticipated the need of their clients to extend the functionality of the system beyond what can be configured with the setup menu (called Declarative Configuration). They extend this functionality with Visualforce which is built on a language called Apex.
Visualforce allows a developer to write custom functionality in Apex that executes on top of the Salesforce system. Meaning, it resides on the internet - or, "in the cloud" as everyone likes to say these days. The power of "cloud computing" is that from the user's perspective, only a browser is required to access your business applications. From the developers perspective, one you develop the Apex it can be uploaded to the Salesforce.com servers. They store it, the back it up, the serve it. For the company who needs it's functionality, this situation is ideal. You can cut IT expenses significantly with Visualforce and Apex development rather than traditional server based development.
The Apex Visualforce system provides the developer with all of the programming resources to query Salesforce.com, perform custom functionality on Salesforce data, save those results, and display them in a meaningful way. Custom interfaces are a powerful part of the visualforce system. Technically, Apex is the underlying code and Visualforce is the system that makes it possible to build a user interface. Triggers are also written in Apex. A Trigger is code that executes when a record is saved and takes some kind of custom action - another great way to extend Salesforce functionality!
We've done hundreds of apex visualforce development projects and triggers for our clients since the release of Visualforce a few years ago. We have really been able to experiment with its functionality and our developers have learned how to develop quickly and inexpensively. A key requirement placed on us by our clients is low cost. We typically deal with small to mid-sized companies where development costs are a critical issue. They need the functionality, but they can't afford traditional development costs. Visualforce and Apex development works so beautifully for these kinds of clients because we can produce exactly what they need with minimal expense.
On our website at: http://www.snapptraffic.com/VisualforceExamples.html you can see examples of many of the projects we have done. We highlight these on the website to show some of the possibilities. Most of these projects can be done by a developer in 10-20 hours, so at our rates that means that the typical custom apex development project can be completed for less than a few thousand dollars. Almost any company can afford that.
If you would like to discuss an idea that you have for a visualforce project for your salesforce.com system, give us a call (800-422-6490) or visit www.snapptraffic.com. We'd be more than happy to discuss the possibilities and the likely expense - there is no charge to talk your idea through, we'd actually be glad to hear about it. If you use us for development, great, if not, that's okay, we hope you enjoy the power of Visualforce and experience all the wonderful things it can do for your company.