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CloudForce 2010

A inventory application created in real time with in this breakout session

For the past few years I have attended this annual afternoon event by which is usually held at the Buckhead Westin.   As always this was an impressive first class event with food, drinks, give-aways, informative keynotes, and breakouts on the latest Salesforce technologies.  Every year I learn something new and leave feeling  freshly inspired and encouraged about cloud technology in general.  As usual the event was packed with 300-400 attendees.

The keynote always starts out with a definition of cloud computing…(1) multi-tenant, (2) pay as you go, (3) realtime, and (4) auto upgrades and then provides an update on Salesforce statistics in terms of growth and customers. Salesforce now has grown to 72,500 paying customers,  all without traditional marketing…basically word of mouth.  Salesforce is ISO 27001 certified for those who worry about security in the cloud and boasts three global data centers…east coast, west coast, and Singapore.

Basically Salesforce wants to take the best of the consumer web and bring it to their customers. To meet this goal they are rolling out a new service called Chatter Collaboration Cloud, with a very facebook like feature set and designed into all of the Saleforce products. Like Facebook Chatter has a “wall” containing update posts from people, objects (like documents), events, and even Salesforce entities like Contacts.  Chatter is currently in beta and will be available to all customers free of charge later in 2010.

Besides free food and beer/wine give-a-ways included three books, “ for Dummies“, “Service Cloud for Dummies”, and “Behind the Cloud: The Untold Story of How Went from Idea to Billion-Dollar Company-and Revolutionized an Industry.”

Ok this year I really am going to take my new found inspiration, along with my workbook, “Building your first cloud app in 30 minutes,” along with my free developers account, create a fantastic application, and add it to AppExchange,’s online marketplace for applications built with Or maybe I’ll just return to this same event in 2011 who knows. Rocks

Yesterday (Thursday April 5th) I attended a nicely done seminar/reception at the Westin Buckhead by There must have been several hundred attendees at the 1:30pm keynote which provided a good overview of Salesforce, APEX, and AppExchange. After the keynote there were several breakout sessions; one for beginning/potential customers, one for experienced customers, and another for developers focused on the new on-demand (SaaS) APEX language. I attended the APEX seminar for 2.5 hours where I received a good introduction to Salesforce customization and programming techniques. Salesforce is like many of the new Web 2.0 companies offering a unique and innovative value proposition to customers and partners. It is more of a platform where many types of applications can be created by development partners and then offered to customers via AppExchange, an “eBay like” space for selling/exchanging applications. Of course most of the applications are functional extensions of Salesforce CRM or are complimentary to CRM in some fashion. But they don’t have to be. Since Salesforce offers a free developer account I have signed up and plan on trying my hand at creating an APEX application. I predict Salesforce could potentially dominate the CRM market, and apparently so do many large corporations such as DuPont, Cisco, Panasonic, Avis, and United Way just to name a few Salesforce customers.

All attendees received two books, “Salesforce for Dummies” and “AppExchange for Dummies.” And the reception with open bar and lots of munchies (butterfly shrimp, crab cakes, steak on a stick, etc.) was super nice.

Thanks Salesforce!