Salesforce.com creates a platform on demand for developers.
SAN FRANCISCO-Salesforce.com is
introducing DevForce, an on-demand platform that will support developers using
its Apex programming language.
The idea of this "platform as a service" is to provide a
comprehensive cloud computing architecture that will allow enterprise
developers as well as developers for ISVs and SIs (systems integrators) to
create applications without the need for software and hardware client/server
The cloud-based platform encompasses a set of features intended to help
developers create business applications, including the ability to create
database applications on demand, a workflow engine for managing collaboration
between users, and a Web services API for programmatic access along with mashups
and integration with other applications and data.
Adam Gross, senior vice president of developer marketing for Salesforce.com,
explained that the cloud-based application environment is intended primarily to
help ISVs and other partners create applications for the Salesforce.com
"It's intended to make the platform as a service more approachable,"
Gross told eWEEK.
The principal features of the platform include a metadata API that lets
developers programmatically create and manage the code and metadata that those
applications are built with; an IDE (integrated development environment) for
managing development tasks; a sandbox for testing and training; and a code-share
function allowing developers to collaborate more easily.
Gross added that the metadata API is the most significant addition to the
Salesforce.com ecosystem since the introduction of the data API in 2003, which
allowed Salesforce.com customers to produce Web services.
The metadata API "gives you access to the Apex code [the language used
to develop applications on top of the AppExchange platform], it gives you
access to the schema, so now you can move the metadata in and out of the
system," he said.
Gross also told eWEEK that Salesforce.com is introducing utility computing
capabilities for its customers. Rather than charging customers on a per-seat
basis, as it does for its SAAS (software as a service) offerings, the company
will allow customers to pay for certain applications on a per-log-in basis.