Marc Benioff of SalesForce.com, who normally enjoys delirious fawning by the mainstream press, is taking it in the shorts for misleading clients on the actual costs of its new SOA (Service-Oriented Architecture) based product, IntegrationForce.

According to Benioff, IntegrationForce will allow clients to develop their own applications in-house and connect them to SalesForce CRM. Critics charge that creating the in-house apps and connecting them will cost far more than it would to just get a fully integrated system in the first place.

The critics are right. First, it makes no sense to separate CRM from the other needs of the enterprise. Second, SOA solutions make sense for connecting two systems only when it's easier to connect them than it is to integrate them onto the same platform, something which is far from true with IntegrationForce.

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