Salesforce.com is adding a cloud-based database service for developers to its product lineup. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff will unveil the new Database.com application this morning during his keynote speech at the company's Dreamforce conference in San Francisco.
The database service will let developers build applications for use with any programming language, platform or device, said Ariel Kelman, vice president of platform product marketing, in a preconference interview.
Database.com will join Salesforce's current product lineup, which includes the Sales Cloud 2 CRM application, Service Cloud 2 customer service and support application, Force.com development platform and Chatter collaboration application.
"We think the next big area that's going to move to the cloud is databases," Kelman said. "On-premises databases just don't cut it."
Database.com is based on the database technology Salesforce developed to power its own on-demand applications and Kelman said the company is now making that available as a separate product. The system supports multitenancy and Web services, has automated upgrade, tuning and backup capabilities, and has built-in security, Kelman said. The database also has a built-in social data model and uses the REST (Representational State Transfer) API for Web services.
As proof of the database's scalability, Kelman said it was accessed 25 billion times by Salesforce customers during the company's fiscal third quarter.
While ISVs and other Salesforce partners can build and deploy applications on Force.com, developers must use that platform's Apex proprietary language and Visualforce syntax for building user interfaces in HTML, Ajax or Flex.
Because it's geared toward developers, the Database.com service isn't designed to compete with other Web-based data storage services such as Amazon Web Services' S3 (Simple Storage Service) or EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud), Kelman said. Applications running on EC2, in fact, will be able to access data on the Database.com.
Database.com will be generally available as a stand-alone service sometime in 2011. It will be free for three users and up to 100,000 records and 50,000 transactions per month. Beyond that it will be priced at $10 per month for each set of 100,000 records and $10 per month for each set of 150,000 transactions. Salesforce also will offer the Database.com Enterprise Services, a collection of user identity authentication and row-level security access controls, for $10 per user, per month.