I'm starting out with force.com development, and I'm currently a little hazy about what the above terms all mean. Could someone give an overview, and if possible explain how permissions are defined on each one (if at all)?
User: a user is someone who actually logs in to Salesforce.
Account: an account, which normally represents a company and has child contact.
Role: a hierarchical group user in an organization who is used as a part of the sharing model. Users in higher roles have rights to see the records owned by users in lower roles. Users don’t belong to a role.
Profile: a combination of grants and access rights for a user. A user must relate to precisely one profile.
Owner: A user or group who owns a record. Record ownership amongst the role hierarchy controls who can see the record.