Salesforce is currently king of the mountain when it comes to CRM, dominating all of the top ten lists, comparison articles and so forth, and pretty much dominating the market on top of it. In an age where CRM is a core backbone of your company, operating the entire customer experience, well, it’s a good time to be a loved CRM design. One of the bigger selling points for Salesforce are apps like Salesforce XLR8, which add new features to Salesforce. With things like Salesforce XLR8, you can basically take Salesforce, which already simplifies powerful and effective tasks, and simplify it all yet further, or add whole new abilities to it, making it theoretically limitless in features. Some of these apps are redundant, doing things Salesforce already does, just with shiny packages. While most things on the App Exchange are well designed, weeding out those redundancies is important. In order to know if something is redundant, know what it really is. XLR8 is a financial overlay tool which integrates into Salesforce and adds a layered categorizing, sorting and representation framework for the data present within Salesforce’s tables. It’s a temporary further sorting that can be turned on or off, basically. So, you can now harness Salesforce’s power of integration of massive amounts of varied format data from lots of sources, and you can add custom sorting to it so it retains the integrity of that massive data retention, while letting it show it to you in ways that make much more sense. It introduces a concept called an entity, which is an organization or an individual, and it can encapsulate all records in Salesforce applying to its identification as you specify. This means that Salesforce can now track individual customers, home finances, business and enterprise finances, and personal finances if so desires, with sorting to delineate that. Does this program work? It works very well indeed, and it does exactly what it claims it wishes to do, and it’s easy to install and use. It’s very affordable, and it’s very powerful. The only problem I see here is in how they’re selling this to people. I don’t mean the sales plan, I mean the focus on the home and individual entities. Salesforce is great, and it’d work perfectly for that, but it’s entirely too expensive for anyone to be using it for that. It’s business software, as in medium to enterprise business scale. Perhaps this is a prelude to a personal use flavor of Salesforce which people will be using, and they want the framework proven before the launch. This is entirely supposition, as no such claims have been made by anyone at Force.com or elsewhere to support this. It just seems to me like a possibility, because they have to know their current plans are not viable for homes and individuals. It’d be cool. Maybe Salesforce XLR8 is a segue to that, but for now, this sorting and sifting system is excellent for actual businesses, and I’d like to see this modular re sorting become a standard practice in all query-based systems. I say this is a good design, I just have to wonder about that home finances motivation.