Salesforce.com and VMware have announced a partnership to jointly deliver, sell and support a new enterprise Java cloud called VMforce.
VMforce, which is to be formally launched at an April 27 event in San Francisco hosted by the CEOs of the two companies, will bring together the technologies, expertise and communities of the two leading cloud computing companies driving the tectonic shifts in the information technology industry, said Ariel Kelman, vice president of Force.com marketing at Salesforce.com.
Mitch Ferguson, senior director of alliances for the SpringSource division of VMware, said with VMforce, the more than 6 million enterprise Java developers, of which 2 million define themselves as users of the Spring framework, will have an open path to cloud computing. Now, CIOs and IT departments will be able to leverage their existing programming skills and investments in Java applications, and take full advantage of the Force.com platform to build “Cloud 2” enterprise applications that are social and work on any mobile device in real time, the companies said. VMforce will simplify how enterprises and enterprise Java developers can harness the economics of cloud computing without compromising the flexibility, control and choice they require, Kelman said.
“Enterprise Java developers, welcome to Cloud 2,” said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of Salesforce.com, in a statement. “This fundamental shift incorporates cloud computing, real-time collaboration and mobile devices like the iPad to meet the new needs of the enterprise. Now, in partnership with VMware, we are delivering VMforce and bringing Java to Force.com so enterprise Java developers can create powerful new innovative Cloud 2 apps.”
“Companies are looking for solutions that deliver the benefits of cloud computing while leveraging existing resources, expertise and infrastructure,” said Paul Maritz, CEO of VMware, also in a statement. “By creating a dramatically simplified solution for modern application development, VMforce is a significant step forward in offering our customers a path that bridges existing internal investments with the resources and flexibility of the cloud.”
“In essence, we’re announcing VMforce, the world’s first trusted cloud for enterprise Java developers,” Kelman said. “This provides Java developers with a simple and trusted path to the cloud. And it’s a technology only Salesforce and VMware could deliver.”
Ferguson noted that VMforce will be jointly delivered by Salesforce.com and VMware, combining Java, Spring and Force.com, all running on VMware vSphere. He said SpringSource and Salesforce.com started talking last spring about the value of bringing enterprise Java to Force.com.
VMforce will include:
- Spring Framework: VMforce will use the Spring Framework, the leading Java development framework that is backed by VMware’s SpringSource division. Spring makes it easy for developers to build powerful enterprise Java apps, increasing development productivity and runtime performance while improving test coverage and application quality. VMforce will also use the SpringSource Tool Suite, an integrated, tested and certified development environment offering the most complete set of Eclipse-based tools for creating Java apps.
- SpringSource tc server: VMforce applications will run on the tc Server runtime, the Enterprise version of Apache Tomcat. tc Server is a wildly popular lightweight application server optimized for virtual and cloud environments.
- Force.com Chatter Services: As the world migrates toward Cloud 2 social and mobile applications, developers will be able incorporate collaboration services from Chatter in their applications. These prebuilt services include profiles, status updates, groups, feeds, document sharing, the Chatter API and more.
- Force.com Development Platform and Services: Since VMforce will run on the Force.com platform, developers have access to prebuilt business services that can be configured into their apps without requiring any custom coding. These services include search, identity and security, workflow, reporting and analytics, a robust Web services integration API, mobile deployment and more.
Moreover, developers using VMforce will get the benefits of the proven Force.com relational database, including automatic scalability, high availability, auto-tuning, backup and disaster recovery, Kelman said. And VMware’s vCloud technology automatically manages the Java stack that powers VMforce applications, freeing developers from the cost and complexity of managing hardware and software. VMware’s vCloud technology will on-ramp the Java application onto the cloud, automate the wiring of the application to the Force.com database, and manage the underlying vSphere virtualization platform. VMware’s new vCloud App Core will orchestrate and manage both the underlying VMware vSphere layer and the application runtime layer, including the Spring Java framework and tc Server, he said.
VMforce will run on Salesforce.com’s global cloud computing infrastructure, which handles an average of 250 million transactions daily from more than 72,500 customers, Kelman said.
“What we’re doing is bringing in the ability for Java developers to leverage Eclipse and the SpringSource Tool Suite to build apps and drop them into a cloud environment,” Ferguson said.
VMforce will support standard Java code: POJOs (plain old Java objects), JSPs (Java Server Pages), Java Servlets and more through the popular Spring Framework, Ferguson said. By building enterprise Java apps with Spring, companies will be able to easily port enterprise Java apps onto VMforce or vice versa.
Meanwhile, both Salesforce.com and VMware officials said VMforce will first appear as a developer preview in the second half of 2010, and pricing will be announced at that time.