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Appirio Builds Salesforce To Gmail Link

The developer of an on-demand application built atop has added data portability.

Appirio, developer of an on-demand application built atop, has extended the app's reach to Google Gmail, where it can display project or customer information in an email message.

The application, Professional Services Connect, moves data from one cloud source into another.

"A package built on has been extended to Google. It's more than synching an address book... You can use CRM data from Salesforce inside of your Google Gmail," said Ryan Nichols, head of cloud strategy and sourcing at Appirio.

The 200-employee Mountain View, Calif., start-up was one of four firms selected to demonstrate at the recent Cloud Connect 2010 conference in Santa Clara. Nichols said the firm is a "server-less enterprise," using online software to run its business and gain experience in how enterprises will use the cloud in the future.

PS Connect, updated last month, was added to the Google Apps Marketplace on March 9. PS Connect can extract relevant information from business applications and import it into Gmail and other Google applications, allowing a mailbox to become a data integration point. Nichols said it is increasingly possible to run a services business making use of only software applications found on cloud platforms, and connecting them through emerging linkage software, such as PS Connect.

"Every product we build is built on someone's cloud platform," he said. PS Connect was built on top of Google's App Engine and written in Java. Google App Engine runs two languages, Python and Java.

PS Connect is the latest application in a broader Appirio suite, PS Enterprise, which is priced at $45 per user per month. runs both Salesforce applications and custom applications built with Salesforce's Apex business logic language and Visual Force user interface components.

Nichols joined Appirio from SAP's corporate strategy group in the office of the CEO, where he helped formulate SAP's approach to the Japanese market.

"We are excited to see Appirio's long held vision for connecting clouds take a big step forward," said Scott McMullan, Google Apps partner lead. PS Connect uses Gmail contextual gadgets and the Google App Engine platform to deliver business application data into Gmail.

"Software vendors like Appirio are helping us build a rich ecosystem around Google Apps," McMullan said in March.

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