Partners Tap For Blitz Of On-Demand Offerings's newly branded "platform as a service" technology drew strong partner interest. Financial management software maker Coda announced "CODA 2go," an under-development application slated for a 2008 release that will offer customers a hosted accounting system able to create and manage sales orders and generate invoices. Later updates will add procurement management and other accounting functionality. Rival accounting software developer Intaact unleashed Inacct MAX, an updated integration link tying's CRM system to Intacct's accounting tools.

HR software developer Fairsail released a hosted tool for managing employee data such as performance reviews, job and skill descriptions, and staff development planning. The software comes in two versions, one an add-on for customers with existing deployments and the other a standalone for new customers using only Fairsail's tools, atop the hosting infrastructure.

Astadia Consulting launched six industry-vertical applications, including a higher-education tool that turns into an applicant-management system for the college-admissions process. Document management developer ShareMethods introduced ShareWiki, a new tool for collaborative group work on shared documents. Fledgling on-demand marketing software maker Marketo previewed its forthcoming on-demand system for managing marketing programs like pay-per-click campaigns, and Rally Software showed off software lifecycle and customer-feedback management tools.

Meanwhile, attacking opportunities from another direction, services firm Bluewolf announced its newly opened training center in New York City. The center will provide classes for both administrators and for developers looking to build around the on-demand platform.

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Other solution providers used Dreamforce to showcase add-ons to's core CRM functionality, the software used by most of's 900,000 subscribers.

Boomi and Pervasive Software each introduced integration tools to help users connect their systems to other back-office business applications. Marketing technology developer Aprimo released software to bridge its lead management campaign planning tools with customers' deployments, while Emovendo launched LeadVester, a Salesforce plug-in for scoring and qualifying leads. Open-source business intelligence software maker JasperSoft previewed Jasper4Salesforce PRM (partner relationship management), a tool companies can use to share analytics data and reports with channel partners.

This year's Dreamforce drew 7,000 attendees, and those at the show say the energy levels were high: "The expo floor was busy even at 5pm on day 2," said one analyst at the show. While saddles partners with high participation costs that climb into the mid-five-figures, many veteran exhibitors say the investment pays off. At last year's Dreamforce, ShareMethods landed a large account with a presidential campaign that uses its technology for national fundraising campaigns. The customer became one of ShareMethods' top-2 accounts.

"We're in positive ROI territory from that show, and we're still working the pipeline," ShareMethods CEO Eric Hoffert said in a recent interview.