Salesforce.com has revealed a new app cloud that will include Heroku Enterprise, Lightening and Force services. The customer relationship management (CRM) solution provider has ensured that the cloud shares data, a common identity and a network services framework. It has also added an interactive learning environment called Trailhead to the mix and hopes to woo developers with the offering.
Salesforce’s executive VP of App Cloud, Todd Nielson, explained that although App Cloud is being rolled out to chief information officers, it is also targeting developers. The previous chief of Heroku said: “App Cloud brings together all of Salesforce’s leading platform services, empowering IT leaders with an integrated, trusted platform to quickly build connected apps for every business need.”
As App Cloud develops, various functions will become accessible to users; for example, in early 2016 Heroku Private spaces, identities and regions will be rolled out. October 2015 will see Trailhead debut, whilst a pilot version of the desktop-based Lightening App Builder and Components with Lightening Experience will also arrive in October, preceding a general release during the first three months of 2016.
While Salesforce has become popular for many business types as a result of its success with sales and marketing-as-a-service apps, it has not ingratiated itself to many Microsoft, Web and Java experts over the years. In 2010 the company attempted to bring six million Java developers on board its Force.com platform by way of a partnership with VMware. Unfortunately, despite building a cloud where developers could log into the Force.com database, search, watch their workflow, analyse information and collaborate, the millions of predicted developers simply did not materialise.
In the same year Salesforce acquired the Heroku platform for $212m (£137m), but chose to keep the firm running as its own identity, even choosing to keep its branding in place. This firm has been successful in attracting large-name customers over the year, with Mr Nielson having created a name for himself when setting up and managing the phenomenally successful MSDN from Microsoft.
With Salesforce.com’s debut of Lightening on the horizon, it is an important time for the firm. The software replaces Salesforce’s static and refreshable HTML screens with a dynamically updated interface, and an app store that includes third-party integrations will also be available. Described by Salesforce as its most significant desktop interface update in the company’s history, Lightening started development back in 2013. Now, with the release less than one month away, it remains to be seen whether Salesforce’s time and efforts will be worth the hype.
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