Cloud Computing Platform As a Service

Cloud computing applications branch out well beyond CRM. Salesforce.com customers are building more apps, and building better apps. All with less cost and less hassle, thanks to the Force.com cloud computing platform. Developers everywhere are using Force.com for business application development, creating cloud computing applications like enterprise resource planning (ERP), human resource management (HRM), and supply chain management (SCM). The Force.com cloud computing platform is the fastest way to get from idea to app. It’s about more innovation and less infrastructure. It’s about running your business in the cloud.

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Application development on a cloud computing platform

The Force.com cloud computing platform is radically changing the way that IT departments and developers think about cloud computing applications and business application development.

Force.com offers an extremely powerful, scalable, and secure cloud computing platform. You can develop, package, and instantaneously deploy applications without any infrastructure.

With the Force.com cloud computing platform, you never need to think about hardware again. The Force.com platform architecture provides an integrated architecture that lets you concentrate on building cloud computing applications, rather than infrastructure. Assemble cloud computing applications with clicks, components and code, and then instantly deploy them to the salesforce.com infrastructure.

 

Application integration with a cloud computing platform

Application integration tops the list of important IT goals. After decades of acquiring diverse technologies, integration presents not only a difficult and elusive IT challenge, but an opportunity to align your business with strategic goals and gain competitive advantage.

The Force.com cloud computing platform includes a comprehensive family of technologies built on top of the Force.com Web Services API that dramatically reduces the effort associated with integrating cloud computing applications.

Force.com boasts proven integration with any enterprise application or system, including SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, and other third-party solutions. No more broken integrations, intricate technology dependencies, or vendor lock in. For partners, Force.com Connect means they can deploy a single, pre-integrated version of their cloud computing applications for all salesforce.com customers.

From pre-integrated cloud computing applications to custom integration solutions, the Force.com cloud computing platform offers five mix-and-match approaches to meet the organizational, technical, and user needs of each customer.

  • Native ERP connectors. For pre-built integration between your cloud computing applications and Oracle and SAP systems, you can use native connectors built by salesforce.com.
  • Integration middleware. For additional integration solutions for cloud computing platforms, check out the Force.com AppExchange marketplace. Here you'll find pre-built connectors and the services of more than 25 integration technology partners.
  • Developer toolkits for cloud computing applications. For building custom integrations and maximum flexibility and choice, the Force.com cloud computing platform supports all major business application development environments and tools.
  • Mash-ups. For the easiest and fastest way to add pre-integrated functionality to your cloud computing applications, check the Force.com AppExchange. With hundreds of components and applications, you can integrate with the click of a mouse.
  • Native desktop connectors. For rapid integration between cloud computing applications and Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Notes, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft Word, salesforce.com provides native desktop connectors.

Customization and cloud computing applications

Because your company works like no other, salesforce.com makes it easy to modify or extend your cloud computing applications to work the way you do. The Force.com cloud computing platform offers tools for “no compromise customizations,” to make it possible to create both fast and easy customizations, as well as deep customizations to meet just about any need. Based on a philosophy of keeping simple things simple and making complex things both possible and accessible, the Force.com platform provides two paths to customization success.

  • Point-and-click configuration for cloud computing applications. The Force.com platform makes it easy to modify the functionality of cloud computing applications to meet your unique requirements. Working with the metadata framework and a series of simple point-and-click wizards, you can design custom user interfaces and modify the structure of the data model and the cloud computing applications’ business logic.
  • Customize with code, just like you would in business application development. Although point-and-click configuration is the fastest and easiest way to customize, some functionality is beyond the constraints of a metadata framework. For such cases, developers can create needed functionality in open-ended development environments, using toolkits for most of the common programming languages, or Apex Code, the language of the Force.com cloud computing platform.

Regardless of the level of customization you need, you’ll reap all the benefits of the cloud computing platform, including fast, easy, safe, and automatic upgrades for your cloud computing applications—with all your customizations intact.

Cloud computing applications for business

Business application development has never been easier, thanks to the Force.com cloud computing platform. And because one size most certainly does not fit all, there are several options for creating cloud computing applications, depending on the developer’s experience and preferences.

  • Business application development can be as easy as: point, click, create. Unique to the Force.com cloud computing platform is a point-and-click approach to creating cloud computing applications. Programming knowledge is no longer necessary to create new cloud computing applications. With just a Web browser, business users, administrators, and developers can define the metadata that results in the “blueprint” for an application, including the data model, objects, forms, workflows, and more.
  • Use your favourite language for business application development. When you need to integrate with other systems or create mash-ups with external services, developers can use the Force.com Web services API in combination with toolkits for the most popular development languages—including Java, VB.NET, C#, .NET, or open-source languages—to create highly visual and interactive cloud computing applications. By using the Force.com API, developers can directly access all data stored in their Force.com cloud computing platform applications.
  • Want to speak our language? With the Apex Code programming language, developers have the most granular control ever to create almost any kind of cloud computing application and to do everything from customizing objects to creating new buttons to writing completely new applications from scratch. With Apex Code, entire new behaviors and business logic can be developed with code that runs directly on the Force.com cloud computing platform. Developers are freed from having to own or manage servers and infrastructure, and they get the same power and flexibility to create cloud computing applications as salesforce.com’s own R&D staff.
  • The optimal user interface for cloud computing applications. Visualforce gives customers the power to design virtually any user interface for cloud computing applications. Using the powerful logic and workflow intelligence provided by Apex Code, Visualforce offers the flexibility to meet the requirements of applications designed for many different types of users on a variety of devices. Now you can create and deliver any user experience you can dream up for your cloud computing applications.

Business application development on the Force.com cloud computing platform is the best of both worlds: it’s fast without forcing developers to give up the flexibility they need to create enterprise-quality cloud computing applications.

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