Salesforce's Benioff: More APIs Will Spark Mobile Development Frenzy

Salesforce1, available as a free upgrade for existing customers, lets developers work with its CRM data, metadata, custom objects and apps more easily than they've been able to in the past, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said in a keynote Tuesday at the vendor's Dreamforce conference in San Francisco.

The hugely expanded set of APIs in Saleforce1 is going to make life easier for developers, Benioff said.

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"Building mobile apps is hard. You need more APIs available in your environment than ever before," Benioff said. "The software we build in 1999 runs great on PCs and laptops, but we need to be the Amazon of mobile devices."

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This will be good news for Salesforce's base of 1.4 million developers, which the company says grew 75 percent in the past year. Salesforce also claims to have signed up more than 250 ISVs to build apps on Salesforce1, with Dropbox, Evernote and LinkedIn already using the platform to build apps.

In his keynote, Benioff repeatedly hammered home the point that Salesforce data running on mobile devices will create business value for customers. Demos of Salesforce1 running on a Sony smartwatch and Google Glass were shown by Salesforce partners during the keynote.

Benioff, for his part, said he runs Salesforce from his iPhone. He's not the only one: In Salesforce's third-quarter earnings Monday, Benioff said GE Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt told him recently that he uses two iPhone apps every day to run GE, and one of them is Salesforce.

Salesforce1 is also built for the coming explosion of Web-connected devices, including things like toasters, cars and refrigerators that constantly collect data to optimize their operations. Benioff told Dreamforce attendees he's planning to use Philips' new Web- and GPS-connected toothbrush as part of what he described as an intense daily oral hygiene regimen. is riding high after its third-quarter earnings Monday, in which the San Francisco-based vendor reported its first billion-dollar quarter.

Benioff, on Salesforce's third-quarter earnings call, called it an "absolute monster quarter." Salesforce also said it's on track for $5 billion in revenue for fiscal 2014.