|By Maureen O'Gara||
|December 9, 2008 08:15 AM EST||
Salesforce.com, which used to be just a chi-chi SaaS house until it realized that identifying itself with cloud computing would make it even more fashionable, has expanded its alliance with Google. It’s come up with Force.com for Google App Engine, described as a new set of tools and services for application development in the cloud.
It mates the Salesforce Force.com widgetry with Google App Engine, connecting the two cloud platforms.
Both Salesforce and Google claim it will create "entirely new Web and business applications."
Under this new regime Force.com web applications get native access to Google App Engine's Bigtable data and App Engine programs can leverage the enterprise data stored in Force.com complements of Google favorite language Python.
Force.com for Google App Engine creates Python libraries that access the Force.com Web Services API from Google App Engine programs. They can call the Force.com Web Services API and query and manipulate data in the Force.com environment.
In return, developers using the Google Apps Engine get native access to Salesforce.com capabilities such as multi-tenancy, scalability, workflow, mobile, analytics, security, sharing models, user authentication and multilingual and currency support.
For end users it means a seamless user experience.
Force.com for Google App Engine leverages the existing relationship between salesforce.com and Google on mashups, AdWords, OpenSocial and Salesforce's touting of Google Apps.
First the pair linked Salesforce's CRM mojo with Google Apps then they released the Force.com Tool for Google APIs so third-party developers using the Force.com platform could access the data in Google Apps.
Some 5,000 salesforce.com customers reportedly use Google Apps today, more than 10,000 use Salesforce for Google AdWords and five of the top 10 most popular applications on the Force.com AppExchange marketplace come from Google-related partners.
Force.com also connects to Facebook and Amazon Web Services.
There is also something called Force.com Checkout, which is supposed to accelerate the buying and selling of enterprise cloud applications.
Customers can use Force.com Checkout as a single source for finding, trying, buying and deploying salesforce.com applications and partner-built Force.com applications via the Force.com AppExchange.
It's supposed to give Saleforce partners a cloud computing distribution channel to reach the enterprise when those companies buy from Salesforce.com, which will handle all the ordering, billing, invoicing, provisioning and account management.
Besides processing the transactions, Salesforce.com will distribute subscription fees to its partners.
Salesforce claims more than 40,000 application installs by more than 18,000 Salesforce customers in 75 countries via Force.com AppExchange.
Force.com Checkout is launching as a pilot program with 12 partners and 19 partner applications that run completely native on the Force.com platform and showcase the types and kinds of business applications that can be delivered in the cloud.
They include productivity tools from Appirio, compensation management from Callidus, financials and accounting ERP from Coda, non-profit constituent relationship management from Convio, fleet management solutions from Datasul, Salesforce CRM administrator tools from DrivEnable, order management ERP solutions from Glovia, staffing solutions from Jobscience, mobile expense reporting from Model Metrics, recruiting, real estate and customer reference tracking from Riptide, stakeholder risk management from StakeWare and financial relationship management from StraightThrough.
Salesforce.com customers won't be charged additional fees for using Checkout and its services will be free to partners until 2010.
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