Salesforce and VMware Open Cloud Java Platform

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Mark Benioff Salesforce.com Dreamforce 2012

Salesforce.com and VMware have teamed up to offer the cloud to Java developers

Salesforce.com and VMware are opening a cloud development platform for Java developers called VMforce, based on the Force.com custom application development platform and the Spring Java Framework from VMware’s SpringSource Division.

Having offered Sales Cloud application for sales people, and Force.com for custom business application developers, Salesforce teamed with VMware to offer Java developers a a secure, highly scalable cloud development platform. VMforce uses Force.com and the Spring Java framework, which is owned by VMware’s SpringSource division and is reputedly used by more than one third of the world’s 6 million Java developers.

VMforce will also include VMware’s vCloud technology that simplifies the management and performance of multiple enterprise applications on the VMware vSphere cloud operating environment. VMforce will also give developers access to Salesforce’s Force.com platform services including the database, workflow management, the Chatter social collaboration platform, search and application performance analytics.

Enterprise apps must move to the cloud

The IT industry is in the midst of another major technology change in which enterprise applications are moving into the cloud to serve a new generation of highly mobile devices, which now includes the latest tablet computers, such as the Apple iPad along with all the many Web-connected smartphones and mobile computers, said Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff (left).

Benioff said that the Facebook social collaboration application is the new paradigm for application development and that from now on most new and innovative enterprise applications will have social and collaborative features to serve the needs of enterprise work groups.

But this new generation of applications will be “deeply integrated” with the reliability, availability, scalability, and security features that enterprises demand to move with confidence into cloud computing.

Denis Pombriant, principal analyst with Beagle Research, which specialises in cloud computing and customer relationship management (CRM) market analysis, said that VMforce will likely appeal to a lot of enterprises that would like to have access to a cost efficient way of moving Java applications to the cloud.

“There is a heck of a lot of legacy code – Java code – good code, I think, that’s keeping a lot of organisations from migrating to cloud computing in a more aggressive way. In other words the cost of doing something about these legacy applications can be quite high,” Pombriant said.

VMforce “provides a very logical, inexpensive and seamless – or nearly seamless – approach to getting Java applications to run in the cloud,” he said.

It also looks like both VMforce partners, Salesforce and VMware, will get important benefits from the relationship. “I think Salesforce gets access to the Java community in a way it’s never had before.”

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