I am trying to understand the licensing issues on I would come across on Force.com for developing an application that will have its own data source and will also be pulling data from SalesForce.com via api/service. I have spent over a day researching this from various sites but most of them keep throwing up new things which don't really answer my questions and have got me asking more. IF anyone here has any insight into this that can help me understand the cost of development and maintaining a site using Force.com, so I can compare it with building an application ground up on say .Net or Java and hosting it on a different cloud provider, then please help me out. My questions are:
- If I have 5 developers working on an application called XYZ using the Force.com platform, how many Force.Com licenses would I need to purchase for such development work and of what type should those licenses be?
- Would I also need to buy separate SalesForce licenses if those developers need to fetch data from the SalesForce database through code written on Force.com?
- If I already have a SalesForce license then will my access to SalesForce be suspended if I convert that license to access Force.com for doing development work?
- Can I reuse those same licenses for the testing phase later or should I buy separate licenses for testing?
- Once development is complete and people create accounts for themselves on my XYZ web application, will they need a salesforce login to access the salesforce related data from their company network or can they still access it without?
If my XYZ web application doesn't access SalesForce's data then will my XYZ web application's users still need a salesforce or Force.com license to login into XYZ? eg: if I am build a simple application where I have no need to connect to salesforce at all. Its just a simple application for a restaurant showing our latest menus, specials of the day etc. a guestbook where my existing customers can login and leave feedback or book tables... or say new customers can register on the site and create accounts for themselves where they book tables at my restaurant. In such a case would each of these users also need a salesforce account so that they can create an account on my restaurant website?
If I dont use Force.com as my development platform, and I still need to access SalesForce data, how many licenses would I need to have? One per login created on my XYZ application or just one will do?