Salesforce.com API provides programmatic access to an organizationï¿½s information and allows developers to implement custom functionality. The worldwide leader in on-demand customer relationship management (CRM) services. More companies trust their vital customer and sales data to salesforce.com than any other on-demand CRM company in the world. The Apex platform and API extends Salesforce and the AppExchange is a directory of on-demand applications.
The Force.com web services API allows users to create, retrieve, update or delete records, such as accounts, leads, and custom objects. With more than 20 different calls, the API also allows users to maintain passwords, perform searches, and much more.
The REST-based Bulk API is optimized for loading or deleting large sets of data. It allows users to query, insert, update, upsert, or delete a large number of records asynchronously by submitting a number of batches which are processed in the background by Salesforce.com.
The SOAP-based API, is optimized for real-time client applications that update small numbers of records at a time. Although the SOAP-based API can also be used for processing large numbers of records, when the data sets contain hundreds of thousands of records it becomes less practical. The Bulk API is designed to make it simple to process data from a few thousand to millions of records.
The Metadata API can be used to retrieve, deploy, create, update or delete customization information, such as custom object definitions and page layouts, for an organization using Salesforce.com. The Metadata API is intended for managing customizations and for building tools that can manage the metadata model, not the data itself.
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WWW-Salesforce is a PERL library that provides an abstraction layer between SOAP::Lite and Salesforce.com. This library provides a work around for SOAP::Lite's lack of support for complexTypes and limited document/literal encoding.
Restforce is a lightweight Ruby gem that wraps the Salesforce.com REST API. The gem comes well documented with code examples that cover most implementation procedures for accessing the REST API parameters.