Salesforce Leaps Onto Cloud 2 As Its New Platform

At Dreamforce, Marc Benioff has been hailing the dawn of a new era for SaaS and new tools to match

At Dreamforce,’s annual user conference in San Francisco, CEO Marc Benioff unveiled the second phase of the company’s application development platform He also announced that the Chatter business social networking platform will be provided for free.

Force.com2 marks what Benioff called a move to Cloud 2 applications, which he described as being social, mobile and real-time. The Force.com2 platform has four basic elements: Appforce, Siteforce and VMforce and ISVforce

Force Goes Beyond Application Development

Appforce is an application development environment designed to deliver departmental packages quickly. The environment is designed to be easy to use and with little training a user can construct forms, customise reports and use visual symbols to design business processes.

To open up the platform further for developers, has moved to buy Heroku, a platform-as-a-service provider that is based around the Ruby programming language. Heroku already claims over 105,000 apps and rising as the company climed to have added 2,600 applications last week alone.

For website building, Force.com2 uses Siteforce which, like all of Salesforce’s software as a service (SaaS) offerings is an on demand service.

Real-time mobile applications can be created in Java using VMforce and ISVforce brings together a variety of services, which includes automatic upgrade to keep applications compatible as Salesforce develops the Force.com2 platform. It also covers the software marketplace AppExchange and a real-time console for monitoring customer activity.

Benioff also announced the launch of which is an online database that can be accessed anywhere by any device. Programs can be developed using the site’s tools.

One of the major changes is the removal of charges from Chatter 2. At Salesforce’s Cloudforce UK conference, Benioff expressed his surprise at the way users were taking up the social networking environment. He also said that, because it was business focused, it not only allowed easier communications and collaboration within a company but allowed managers to see who were the major contributors to business innovation.

Now the application is free to Salesforce customers, he expects a bigger take-up.

He also announced an analytical tool for Chatter that will automatically highlight the achievers within accompany so they can be singled out for praise, or some other reward, to mark their contribution.