Force.com Advances Development On-Demand - InformationWeek

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Commentary
1/21/2008
02:29 PM
David Linthicum
David Linthicum
Commentary
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Force.com Advances Development On-Demand

As announced last week, Salesforce.com's Force.com Development-as-a-Service presents "a new set of development tools and APIs that enable enterprise developers to easily harness the promise of cloud computing."... This announcement is creating some excitement in the world of SaaS, SOA and application development.

As announced last week, Salesforce.com's Force.com Development-as-a-Service presents "a new set of development tools and APIs that enable enterprise developers to easily harness the promise of cloud computing. Providing full access to the database, logic and user interface capabilities of the Force.com Platform, Development-as-a-Service unites the productivity of development and IT collaboration tools with the power of Force.com Platform-as-a-Service."The announcement is creating some excitement in the world of SaaS, SOA and application development. Force.com Development-as-a-service offers a few native features, such as a metadata application programming interface for accessing database schema, user interface code, and business logic on the Salesforce.com platform.

When using this tool on demand, developers can also download from Salesforce.com "an application that enables development and deployment of software from an Eclipse-based integrated development environment." "Eclipse" is one of the popular open source development frameworks, and a good approach for Salesforce.com, since developers like to use what they already know.

When using this tool, developers can set up "sandboxes" on the Salesforce.com platform. These sandboxes are in essence a SaaS Application. The sandboxes will help developers build and test code prior to moving it into production. In other words, Salesforce.com provides protected development environments for development, testing, deployment and production. Moreover, Salesforce.com has also configured an API for integrating the development process within source code control management systems.

Developers will also have definitions of applications in their systems for sharing and collaboration with other developers. This lets developers use the platform of the Internet as a mega-development shop, sharing and coordinating with other developers that they know, or perhaps don't know. To facilitate collaboration, shared Salesforce.com code also supports Google's online repository called Google Code.

This is a huge deal in the world of SaaS. This product reflects how Salesforce.com is adding more sophisticated development tools to its platform and will continue to do so. The concept of development on-demand is something that developers will jump right into. Moreover, it's nothing particularly new; other SaaS-delivered development tools have been around for awhile. However, considering the reach of Salesforce.com, it's clear that this platform on-demand will be a major player. Indeed, this could be the destination for much of the application development in the future.As announced last week, Salesforce.com's Force.com Development-as-a-Service presents "a new set of development tools and APIs that enable enterprise developers to easily harness the promise of cloud computing."... This announcement is creating some excitement in the world of SaaS, SOA and application development.

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