Salesforce.com expands its developer ecosystem

Date: January 22, 2011
Pages: 10
Price:
US$ 1,895.00
Publisher: Ovum
Report type: Brief Review
Delivery: E-mail Delivery (PDF)
ID: S8B62AC0685EN
Leaflet:

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Salesforce.com expands its developer ecosystem
Introduction

Salesforce.com is moving beyond software-as-a-service (SaaS) to assert itself as a key platform-as-a-service (PaaS) player. Its plans are well executed overall, although the company still has a lot to do. For example, it needs to boost its business intelligence (BI) PaaS services and PaaS-related marketplace services.

Features and benefits
  • The report helps you understand Salesforce.com's cloud computing strategy.
  • The report enables you to put the Heroku acquisition in context and figure out why it is a smart move.
  • The report provides you with details of the Database.com offering, which is an intriguing but so far rather expensive development.
Highlights

The Force.com PaaS offering, launched in 2007, was first used to make the company’s SaaS solutions stickier by allowing customers to expand these solutions with their own code. That is the reason only about 1,000 of the 185,000 applications it runs are publicly available. Force.com is now positioned as a more generic platform.

Force.com has only attracted about 310,000 developers. That is why Salesforce.com reached out to the Java community with VMforce in early 2010.VMforce is long in the making, though. That is why the company acquired Heroku, to reach out to the 1 million-strong Ruby developer community.

Database.com is part of a more generic cloud-based data services strategy. It should be underpinned by a much more structured and aggressive approach to BI/analytics. Its price is also too high to appeal to any but the most well-off individuals and organizations.

Your key questions answered
  • What is Salesforce.com's cloud computing strategy, and why is PaaS so important to the company?
  • Why has Salesforce.com acquired Heroku, and what will be the impact of this acquisition?
  • What is Database.com? How does it relate to other offerings such as Force.com and Chatter? Will it be successful, and why
?
SUMMARY

Catalyst
Ovum view
Key messages

DEVELOPERS ARE THE KEY TO THE PAAS KINGDOM

Salesforce.com does not intend to (directly) expand beyond CRM for now
PaaS will become the next big revenue generator
PaaS needs a developer-led positive feedback loop

HEROKU IS A SMART ACQUISITION

2011 IS GOING TO BE A PAAS YEAR

Heroku is a starting point
Salesforce.com needs to nurture the Heroku developer community

DATABASE.COM IS AN INTRIGUING BUT EXPENSIVE DEVELOPMENT

Part of a confusing combination
The first Force.com component to strike out on its own
More of a Siamese extension than an independent entity
A mobile/social focus to start
The foundation of a cloud-based data services strategy
Pricing is an issue
Heroku can help move Database.com off Oracle technology

APPENDIX

Further reading
Methodology
Author
Ovum Consulting
Disclaimer
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