Making it easier to tie together different cloud-based applications is a key for making Software as a Service applications more popular, and Salesforce.com's latest expansion of its ongoing relationship with Google represents another step in the right direction.Basically, the deal extends the 6-month-old relationship between Force.com and Google Apps to include the Google App Engine development platform. According to Ariel Kelman, senior director of platform marketing at Salesforce.com, half of the top 10 applications on Salesforce.com's Apps Exchange are for Google Apps.
"We want to make it easy for developers to use Force.com services in Google App Engine applications." To do that, Salesforce.com has built a set of developer libraries on the Google App Engine designed to make it easy to "reach out" to data that lives in Force.com services. Specifically, the company said:
* A means to leverage Python in a scalable cloud environment and interact directly with database, workflow and logic capabilities in Force.com. * Force.com for Google App Engine enables the creation of Python libraries that when placed on Google App Engine, allow App Engine apps to read and write to Force.com using the Force.com API. * App Engine developers get access to Force.com services and capabilities including mobile, analytics, security and sharing models, user authentication, multi-language and currency support and more.
With the new announcement, "The consumer Web meets the Force.com platform," says Kelman. The idea is to use Google App Engine's consumer-style stickiness and interactivity on business Web sites and get people to come back to them and use them more often. For example, Kelman suggests, an interactive package tracker built on Google App Engine could tie into a order-management database on Force.com.
"We're very interested to see what developers will do with this," Kelman says.
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