Salesforce.com stages its Dreamforce 2012 conference and exhibition this week in the shadow of downtown San Francisco's hip vibe and bracing ocean-facing climate.
The company has drawn what is claimed to be 70,000 attendees and over 350 cloud-centric companies together under one roof for this event. On a stage soon to be occupied by arch-rival Larry Ellison for Oracle Open World in two week's time, Saleforce CEO Marc Benioff is this week preaching his social enterprise gospel to a messianic army of employees and paying attendees.
Benioff asserts that his firm was born on in the virtualisation space and his famous 'No Software' tagline still buys him media miles. "We achieved our market position by being born on cloud, but we are being reborn 'social'," he states in a book due for publication soon.
This transition to social virtual enterprise spaces is where Salesforce envisions all company's should be. The firm's collaborative Chatter tool works much like Facebook or email, but is designed to be open and collaborative rather than static. It works by creating "open groups" which employees can create and use as discussion forums so that the data within them can be analysed at a wider level across the business.
Salesforce for developers
The company appears to have a healthy programmer-facing approach and it runs an extremely busy developer channel at the Dreamforce event.
Key among the technologies receiving an update here this week is a Heroku, a cloud Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that resides under the Salesforce.com main brand
Heroku Enterprise for Java is a newly launched service designed to build and run Java applications in the cloud. The firm's big claim with this launch is that Heroku Enterprise for Java allows programmers to create mission-critical Java applications "in minutes instead of months", as well as move their apps to a continuous delivery model.
"Java is the most widely adopted language in the enterprise, with millions of Java developers building and maintaining Java applications worldwide. Traditionally, creating these applications has required piecing together both a range of development and runtime infrastructure tools--such as source code control systems, continuous integration servers, testing and staging environments, load balancers, application server clusters, databases and in-memory caching systems," said the company, in a press statement.
According to Salesforce.com, "This painstaking process typically extends application building and deployment by months, taking developer attention away from their core focus of app development. With Heroku Enterprise for Java, for the first time, enterprise developers can get a complete Java solution in a single package, provisioned with a single click."
Heroku COO Oren Teich suggests that enterprise developers have been looking for a better way to easily create innovative applications without the hassle of building out a back-end infrastructure. He now says that with Heroku Enterprise for Java, developers get all the benefits of developing in Java along with the ease of using an open, cloud platform "in a single click" at any time.