Salesforce.com, Google Let Force.com, App Engine Share Data
Salesforce.com and Google return to the integration grist mill. This time the SAAS enterprise applications vendor and search engine giant are enabling programmers to move data between the Salesforce.com Force.com and Google App Engine cloud computing platforms. The scheme may not be a big moneymaker, but it's the latest step along the path to greater interoperability in Web services, bolstering an ecosystem designed to leave Microsoft's on-premises world in the dust.Salesforce.com and Google have created a bridge between their companies' cloud computing application development platforms that will let programmers pull data from either platform and use it to create richer, more useful applications.
The two companies plan to introduce Force.com for Google App Engine at a Cloudforce event in New York Dec. 8, Ariel Kelman, senior director of platform product marketing for Salesforce.com, told eWEEK. Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff and Tom Stocky, director of product management at Google, will discuss the latest collaboration between the two companies at the event.
With the new integration, App Engine programmers will be able to add enterprise data from Force.com to their consumer-oriented applications for gaming or social networking. Conversely, Force.com programmers will be able to add social networking data and features from App Engine applications to their CRM applications.
"It's about building applications where different parts of the application are being served by different cloud computing platforms," Kelman said.
To be clear, this doesn't mean applications created on Force.com will run on App Engine, or vice versa. Simply, Force.com for Google App Engine is a mashup of SAAS (software as a service) or cloud-based programming platforms, with Force.com on the enterprise data side and App Engine on the consumer side.
For example, Kelman showed eWEEK how Salesforce.com customer Harrah's Entertainment, a major provider of branded casino entertainment, used code from a slot machine game application built on App Engine to reach into a customer loyalty database built on Force.com to sign customers up for an event.
When the next Harrah's sales representative logs in and clicks on the customer name, he or she will see that the customer has qualified for an event. The idea is to make the site that runs on Force.com stickier and more interactive for users, using the fun gaming tool from App Engine, Kelman said.
In other examples, e-commerce applications from App Engine can be tied to order management and CRM databases that run on Force.com. App Engine also features an application called packagetrackr. Thanks to Force.com for Google App Engine, customers can log on to their Salesforce.com accounts and see orders and shipment status from packagetrackr.