Clouds aren’t always a bad thing as often they bring a much needed resource to a thirsty environment. Today I attended the Tour de force roadshow by Salesforce.com, an all day event focused on their new “on demand” cloud (PaaS) solution Force.com. Force.com is a high end version of the new cloud application builders like Quickbase, DabbleDB, Google App Engine, and Coghead where the entire application runs on hosted services and is accessed completely inside your browser thus eliminating the cost of buying and maintaining on-premise technology stacks like servers, databases, etc.
I like the Force.com byline of “Innovation not infrastructure” which makes alot of sense nowadays in this world of “always on” network computing. One issue I’m always hearing with regard to the cloud model is that of data security. “How can I trust someone else to keep my data secure?” Salesforce addressed this concern extensively citing customers in financial and healthcare industries using force.com (which is SAS 70 certified).
I’m always struck by the large numbers of people drawn to these Salesforce events. They are always packed. As usual for a Salesforce event this one was first class. Held at the downtown Hyatt they provided real force.com development books for each attendee…hands on labs….partner booths….keynote…and three different breakout tracks (1) force.com basics, (2) apex language programming for experienced force.com developers, and (3) SaaS startups based on the force.com platform. This 3rd track for startups was of particular interest. They paraded several startup software companies across stage with testimonials of bringing new products to market in record time (months not years) with little risk all based on the Force.com platform. Innovation not Infrastructure.
And I can’t forget to mention the nice lunch and post event reception with free drinks and yummy hors d’oeuvres.