In past posts on Platform as a Service (PaaS) I have written about Heroku, a cloud based startup that delivers PaaS for Ruby developers. This month Salesforce.com has acquired Heroku for $212 million in cash. It is interesting to consider how this acquisition fits into the Salesforce.com Cloud Computing strategy.
When considering Cloud Computing, Software as a Service (SaaS) is an elegant application delivery model that Salesforce.com has mastered. For application developers, PaaS is a perfect solution, providing a zero administration, scalable delivery platform. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offers instantaneous provisioning of infrastructure in a cost effective, pay as you use model but requires the same level of support as on-premise infrastructure. Application developers have a choice for deployment of using PaaS or IaaS. PaaS is, for the majority, the preferred option for many reasons, primarily ease of use and zero administration (think security, patches, operating system updates etc).
PaaS has been dominated by two companies, Microsoft with Azure and Google with App engine. Heroku, also provides a solution, focused on Ruby developers. What is interesting is that Heroku is built on Amazon EC2 IaaS. With PaaS being so attractive to developers and organisations, it is a market that Salesforce.com are clearly keen to provide solutions for. I recently wrote about their Java PaaS offering, VMForce, in partnership with VMWare. Add to this the core PaaS Salesforce have for extending their SaaS and now via acquistition Heroku, Salesforce are now uniquely positioned to provide the cornerstone for hosting the next generation of applications developed using a variety of programming languages and tools, all with one common feature – exploiting to the maximum the benefits of cloud computing.
In summary, for software developers, the landscape for hosting and deploying applications is rapidly changing – for the better and Salesforce.com, via the acquisition of Heroku have positioned themeselves if not at the head, certainly towards the front of the queue of solution providers.
If you would like to find out more about how Cloud Computing can benefit your organisation, what the solutions from various PaaS vendors offer, how they differ, advantages and disadvantages, as well as gain hands-on experience, why not attend Learning Tree’s Cloud Computing course.