Salesforce, which will have a flurry of announcements in the coming days with its annual Dreamforce user conference coming up next week, gave us a teaser ahead of the show, launching the Salesforce App Cloud today.
The App cloud is an offshoot of the company’s Salesforce 1 platform, designed specifically for enterprise crowd. It has several components including Heroku Enterprise, Force.com functionality and Lightning, the new platform that powers the updated CRM tool announced at the end of last month.
It also provides new shared identity, data and network services designed to make it easier for customers to build connected apps on top of the Salesforce platform. By now, we know that companies have been built on top of the Salesforce platform, whether we are talking about SteelBrick, Apttus or FinacialForce.com (to name but a few), but companies can also build custom apps on Salesforce aimed internally or externally, depending on their needs.
Salesforce, taking a page from the IBM playbook is also offering an educational component called Trailhead, which provides a way for developers and IT administrators to better understand how to use the growing suite of Salesforce developer tools.
This is a pretty significant update, says IDC analyst Al Hilwa. “This is an important announcement for the Salesforce platform which includes key new features and also a new learning tool focused on building out the developer ecosystem. With App Cloud, Salesforce is integrating Heroku a bit more deeply with its its force.com traditional model-driven application platform,” Hilwa said.
All of this is designed to drive Salesforce’s mobile development strategy, he said.
“With this, and the recent Lightning announcements centered around mobile development, Salesforce continues to evolve its capabilities for enterprise app development. Mobile application development is a hot area of enterprise investment today. Going forward, I expect Salesforce to keep working on integrating capabilities across Heroku and the Salesforce1 platform.”
All of these pieces will be generally available on a rotating schedule with some pieces available in the Fall and others coming on board in Q1 next year.