Salesforce.com to Offer Hosted Development Tools: One of the inevitable problems with using an application service provider for your core business apps is that eventually you’re going to want to do more than they offer, and this presents problems. How do you get at your own stuff? A lot of ASPs have “export” features, but batch exporting and importing is a mess. So, it’s web services to the rescue:
“Enterprises that use Salesforce.com now will be able to use sforce to build tighter connections to other applications in their environment via Web services like XML, WSDL and SOAP. But Salesforce.com is also positioning sforce as a way for enterprises as well as software vendors to build their own applications as services.”
Apparently you can use your remote data at SalesForce.com as a data store for internal apps, just as if your data was local. This is the future. I’m convinced that eventually your local apps will just be glue between a bunch of remote apps.