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4/30/2007
07:17 AM
David Linthicum
David Linthicum
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Enterprise Platform... Now On Demand

As I began to discuss in my last post, we're now seeing SaaS companies move into the platform space, selling beyond enterprise applications into databases, application development, integration, and even operating systems, all on demand. Case in point is the Platform Edition release by Salesforce.com last week.

As I began to discuss in my last post, we're now seeing SaaS companies move into the platform space, selling beyond enterprise applications into databases, application development, integration and even operating systems, all on demand. Case in point is the Platform Edition release by salesforce.com last week."Salesforce Platform Edition heralds the arrival of salesforce.com as a platform company as well as an applications company," said Marc Benioff, salesforce.com chairman and CEO. "Customers can now easily extend the power, usability and success of on demand to every part of their enterprise. ISVs can deliver their applications to run directly on the Salesforce Platform Edition---allowing our customers to manage and share all of their information on demand."

So what's new? An on demand platform supports multi-tenancy. In contrast to single-tenant counterparts, multi-tenant platforms share a single, common infrastructure that is centrally maintained. Individual customer deployments are unique, separate and secure within this multi-tenant platform, but they run on a single code base that is shared by all users and upgraded simultaneously. Features of the Salesforce platform include:

• Salesforce ODOS: Salesforce On-Demand Operating System. • Salesforce DB: Provides the ability to create any database on demand. • Salesforce API: The Salesforce Web services. • Salesforce Builder: Meta-data-driven application development model that lets you define applications as declarative "blue prints," with no code required. • Salesforce Code: Extends the Salesforce Platform with the ability to write code that runs on salesforce.com servers. • Salesforce Analytics: Salesforce Platform Edition includes the same analytic functionality found in Salesforce.

Clearly, the notion of enterprise architecture is changing quickly. What was once a concept of technologies and interconnections existing within the firewall is morphing into something that's more dynamic and valuable to those who build enterprise architectures. Now companies can leverage key enterprise resources on demand. This technology has the potential to increase efficiencies and innovation, while at the same time reducing costs.

The use of an on demand platform has emerged with the notion of Web 2.0. Indeed, we are seeing a quick shift in the use of Web resources within the enterprise. This is largely driven by the use of service-oriented technologies and approaches that let existing systems both consume and manage services that are Internet-delivered, as well as emerging on-demand platforms for hosting and managing enterprise processes, integration and development services. Moreover, these systems are able to expose services to other consumers on the Web.

The notion of an enterprise architecture built on an on-demand platform presents key technology and business drivers that make this approach compelling for enterprises both large and small. Moreover, enterprise architects can migrate over to the on-demand platform as needed and without disrupting existing enterprise IT operations. The more processes, data, applications and services moved to the on-demand platform, the more value the enterprise will realize over time, if you ask me.

Application integration and service oriented architecture expert David Linthicum heads the product development, implementation and strategy consulting firm The Linthicum Group. Write him at david@linthicumgroup.com.As I began to discuss in my last post, we're now seeing SaaS companies move into the platform space, selling beyond enterprise applications into databases, application development, integration, and even operating systems, all on demand. Case in point is the Platform Edition release by Salesforce.com last week.

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