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I have some questions with respect to getting started with developing a website for our customer's customers on the Force platform. This site will need to read/update from/into Salesforce backend as one of its main responsibilities. The questions are as below:

  1. If I have multiple developers working on a web application called XYZ, simultaneously on the same code base, using the Force.com platform then is Partner Developer Edition the only way for team development or is there an alternate way? Perhaps using the Force IDE and a local SVN repository locally to merge code and then using one Force.com license to upload the merged code into Force environment?
  2. Im assuming an ISVPartner can leverage access to both the editions (Partner Developer Edition (Super-sized DE org) and Partner Test Environment) at the same time. Can I use both the editions and sandboxes (how many and what type) simultaneously without additional costs?
  3. Is it possible to implement multi-tenancy in Single Org model or is Multi-Org model the only way to achieve it?
  4. Is it right to assume that with force.com Embedded License option, application will be distributed on AppExchange and installed by customers in their own Org?
  5. Do we need to go through security review process for any application developed on force.com platform? Or it is only required if we need to distribute the application on AppExchange? What are the kinds of charges to be considered?
  6. Once development is complete and XYZ is deployed, can visitors without a SF login create non SF accounts for themselves on my XYZ web application? (These are not SF accounts, but accounts created for the sole purpose of my XYZ application.) . What kind of charges (pay per user) do we incur in this case? US$15 /user/month? Or a % of net revenue?
  7. Is it possible & legal to access multiple organization SF CRM data from application developed using Single Org model? Eg. Is it possible to have users from different orgs login to our site XYZ but using their own SFDC accounts?
  8. I think it is possible to build hybrid application (which integrates with any cloud service provider e.g AWS) using force.com Embedded License for AppExchange via Web services. Am I right in this understanding?
  9. Should I go with Single org or Multi Org route if I dont want one customer's data to be viewed by another customer?

I did not want to break this question into 9 different posts as I feel these are common questions that anyone would need answered to be able to make a decision. Do reply if you know even one answer or can point to specific links to increase my understanding on one or more of the points mentioned above.

Thanks.

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Wow, lots of questions. Let me see what I can say:

  1. If I have multiple developers working on a web application called XYZ, simultaneously on the same code base, using the Force.com platform then is Partner Developer Edition the only way for team development or is there an alternate way? Perhaps using the Force IDE and a local SVN repository locally to merge code and then using one Force.com license to upload the merged code into Force environment?

I have worked with both of these suggested methods of multi-coder development projects. Just working directly on the org is the easiest, but you run the risk of having changes lost and gone forever. The versioning with the IDE and repo is a pain to setup and maintain, but at least you do have better control.

  1. Im assuming an ISVPartner can leverage access to both the editions (Partner Developer Edition (Super-sized DE org) and Partner Test Environment) at the same time. Can I use both the editions and sandboxes (how many and what type) simultaneously without additional costs?

You can use them together. Here are the resources you get from the partner orgs: http://wiki.developerforce.com/page/Partner_Development_%26_Test_Environments

  1. Is it possible to implement multi-tenancy in Single Org model or is Multi-Org model the only way to achieve it?

You need to stick with Mutli-Org or rethink the business need you're trying to solve.

  1. Is it right to assume that with force.com Embedded License option, application will be distributed on AppExchange and installed by customers in their own Org?

See this forum post for the difference between the AppExchange and the license: http://boards.developerforce.com/t5/General-Development/AppExchange-vs-Embedded-License/td-p/121643

  1. Do we need to go through security review process for any application developed on force.com platform? Or it is only required if we need to distribute the application on AppExchange? What are the kinds of charges to be considered?

Only required if you intend to list and distribute on the AppExchange, and the fee ($300) only applies if you intend to make it a paid app.

  1. Once development is complete and XYZ is deployed, can visitors without a SF login create non SF accounts for themselves on my XYZ web application? (These are not SF accounts, but accounts created for the sole purpose of my XYZ application.) . What kind of charges (pay per user) do we incur in this case? US$15 /user/month? Or a % of net revenue?

Salesforce makes it money from paid user account licenses, so yes, you will need to pay per user. You can probably create your own authentication system within the app to bypass it, but they will probably give you a hard time about it if they find out.

  1. Is it possible & legal to access multiple organization SF CRM data from application developed using Single Org model? Eg. Is it possible to have users from different orgs login to our site XYZ but using their own SFDC accounts?

This might help you on retrieving data from multiple SFDC orgs: http://wiki.developerforce.com/page/An_Introduction_to_Salesforce_to_Salesforce

  1. I think it is possible to build hybrid application (which integrates with any cloud service provider e.g AWS) using force.com Embedded License for AppExchange via Web services. Am I right in this understanding?

Sure, SFDC offers a REST and SOAP API to intergrade with any external systems.

  1. Should I go with Single org or Multi Org route if I dont want one customer's data to be viewed by another customer?

Single-Org. SFDC offers an insane amount of security options to ensure that each user in the org is only exposed to the information they are allowed to see.

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I would have answered more of your questions but the earlier answer by Scott VonSchilling covered most of it. All I have to add is...

1. If I have multiple developers working on a web application called XYZ, simultaneously on the same code base, using the Force.com platform then is Partner Developer Edition the only way for team development or is there an alternate way? Perhaps using the Force IDE and a local SVN repository locally to merge code and then using one Force.com license to upload the merged code into Force environment?

You can use the Force IDE combined with a local repository to do as you're describing. The way we did it at my company was to do as you've described but we had our own Developer Edition instances that we worked on that our Force IDE pointed to. Then we would check our changes in to the local repository to push them up into the main "source of truth" Force.com organization. You can do that push and code verification step on a routine basis fairly easily if you setup continuous integration.

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I would contact one of the sales reps for your questions regarding pricing as an ISV. Salesforce has two models depending on the direction you are going; ISV or ISV OEM. If you are developing an app as an add-on to Salesforce orgs that utilize the core Salesforce objects like opportunities, forecasts, etc. and listing on the appexchange then you will pay a different % than if you are a ISV OEM in which you have a app that does not use these objects and your intention is to sell a custom app. If you are an ISV OEM and your customers do not have a current Salesforce account and they only want to purchase your app, and not utilize the Salesforce sales app then they will not have to purchase a separate Salesforce license. Salesforce will make there % off what they charge you per license you sell for your app. There is an approval process to go through to be approved as an ISV, so I would plan for this since getting approved and going through security review will take several months. When you talk to a rep they will send you the paperwork you will need to get started.

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