Salesforce's Development Platform Gaining Traction


While Salesforce's on-demand CRM and salesforce automation application remains the company's flagship product and cash cow, the success the company is seeing with is bringing CEO Marc Benioff closer to fulfilling his ambition of making Salesforce the pre-eminent supplier of cloud computing development technology.

In a keynote speech Thursday, Benioff bragged about how widely is being adopted by ISVs and businesses. He also dissed competitors such as Oracle and the annual maintenance fees they charge for their software products.

IT departments have built and deployed 135,000 custom applications on the platform, Salesforce said, as have more than 10,000 Web sites that have generated 170 million page views, according to Salesforce. More than 200,000 programmers have joined the development program.

And the ecosystem keeps expanding. At Dreamforce software vendor CA said it had struck an alliance with Saleforce under which CA is taking Salesforce's in-house development tool, known as "Scrumforce," and selling it as CA Agile Planner. That means that programmers can undertake development projects on using Agile development methodologies, according to David Hurwitz, CA solutions marketing vice president.

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The move will expand the use of Agile development for cloud computing, Hurwitz said. "Our thinking is that the definitive, scalable Agile development tool has yet to be created. And we think this is it."

Salesforce also unveiled a partnership with BMC Software, which will offer its Cloud-based IT service management tools on the platform.

All this came the same week that Microsoft, at its Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles, was providing details of its upcoming Azure cloud computing development platform.