SAN FRANCISCO: Salesforce.com has taken the wraps off the next version of its Force.com application development platform, adding web site, Ruby and Java app development services.
The software-as-a-service specialist talked up five additions to Force.com 2 at its annual Dreamforce event in San Francisco.
One of the most interesting of these is Siteforce, a new tool for building web sites without the need to code.
George Hu, executive vice president for platform, marketing and corporate development at Salesforce, said that Siteforce is aimed at firms frustrated with technology that cannot keep up with fast-changing business requirements, such as marketing messages. It will give them a "revolutionary way" to build and update web sites, he explained.
Siteforce lets users drag the original web site into a content management system (CMS), and edit it directly from there. Users get a view of how the web page actually looks, rather than a separate CMS interface.
Hu showed how users can drag a new image onto the web page and resize it from there, as well as editing text.
"If you want to change the copy, why take it through the web department, why not let business users do it?" he said.
Another of the Force.com 2 apps, VMforce, is now in private beta with 100 customers. VMforce is designed to put Java apps, especially those built with the Spring framework, into the cloud.
Although the intention for VMforce is to encourage more cloud-based enterprise app development, one Java developer told V3.co.uk that VMforce would have limited uses.
"If I was building something specifically for Salesforce or a general internet site, then it would be a strong consideration," he said.
"But if it was for an internal enterprise application or any sensitive data, it would be a big hesitation, mainly because of security reasons."
He added that Amazon Web Services and the Google App Engine would be alternative choices for developing a public app, "but I think most companies aren't ready to put their data in the cloud yet".
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