Force.com alternatives

Force.com
Force.com is the proven cloud platform to automate and extend your business and deliver the social enterprise. Force.com is an extremely powerful, scalable and secure cloud platform, delivering a complete technology stack covering the ground from database and security to workflow and user interface. Build the social, mobile apps you need to power your Social Enterprise.



Here are the latest news about Force.com:

2014 Salesforce ahead of Microsoft and Google on the Enterprise PaaS market


Analytical company Gartner published the new Magic Quadrant for aPaaS providers. What is aPaaS? It's the PaaS platform for Enterprise. I.e. these are cloud services for building and running business applications (but not games and social things). So, the first place on this market (with the big advantage) is taken by Salesforce with its platforms Force.com (now called Salesforce1 Platform) and Heroku. The second place goes to ... Microsoft with its Windows Azure. And the third place is occupied by Google with its Google App Engine. Other participants are crowded behind these three giants. Surprising is the absence of Amazon, which equipped its platform with PaaS tools for simple hosting of business applications.


2013 Salesforce launches Private AppExchange - the own App Store for your company



Usually Salesforce unveils a bunch of new products and news at the November Dreamforce event, but this year they decided to start beforehand. Over the last couple of weeks, they have already launched the single sign-on service Salesforce Identity, announced the death of Do.com and few days ago - released Private AppExchange - the private app store that any company can create for its employees. And, in this store company can "sell" employees not just mobile apps, but also web-based services and desktop apps. It can contain both privately-built applications and third-party products, taken from the public AppExchange. At first glance, it look like a useful thing only for IT administrator who can create a list of allowed applications, provide app access to certain employees, monitor their usage and pay for all licenses from single place. But it's also suitable for employees. For example, they can write app reviews, discuss app performance with their colleagues and troll the administrator if app doesn't work as it should.

Private AppExchange is integrated with the mentioned above SSO-service Salesforce Identity, so that app installation and launch - is as easy as installing app from Play Market or App Store.

For paid Salesforce Enterprise users this market is free. And for the rest - $5/month per user.


2010 Force.com 2 - already 5 PaaS platfroms


At the Dreamforce conference, Salesforce demonstrated one more time that now it's not so interested in CRM (it was mainly a subject for jokes) as in cloud platforms. Following the release of SaaS database Database.com, the company introduced another big Force.com feature - Heroku - the PaaS startup that Salesforce has recently acquired for $ 212 million. Heroku - is a cloud platform for developing and hosting Ruby-applications (Ruby - is a popular framework for developing Web apps, created by 37Signals). Heroku became one of the five PaaS-services included in the new version Force.com 2. And the new structure of the Force.com platform now looks like this:

Force.com 2
Force.com is backed by cloud DBMS Database.com. And developers, depending on their skills and goals, can select one of five options:

- AppForce - platform for rapid app development. It allows to build apps with 80% clicks and 20% code
- Siteforce - platform for creating and managing external websites. It also utilises mainly visual development tools
- VMForce - platform for building Java-based applications. Supports easy migration of existing packaged enterprise apps to the cloud
- Heroku - platform for building Ruby-applications
- ISVforce - platform for SaaS providers, where they can host and manage internet services, sell them at AppExchange marketplace

Recall also that Force.com provides tools for developing and hosting Flash/AIR apps and integration tools for Google Apps.
Force.com 2


2010 VMForce.com - cloud Java platform by Salesforce and VMWare

VMForce.com
Salesforce and Google are becoming less friends but more rivals. Following the start of the cold war between ChatterExchange and Google Apps Marketplace, the companies will soon compete on the cloud platforms market. Today, Salesforce and VMWare introduced the joint product - VMForce.com - the cloud platform for Java applications, which will compete with Google App Engine. Moreover, compared to VMForce.com, GAE would look like a toy. VMForce.com (theoretically) is the ideal solution for companies using (or developing) Java-applications. On the one hand it's the Force.com's infrastructure, which provides reliable, secure and scalable hosting, database, authentication, interface builder (Visualforce), business process designer, mobile access, integrated collaboration system (Chatter). On the other hand - it's the VMWare's ecosystem for Java applications: open-source Java Springs Framework and the runtime platform vCloud.

Existing Java-applications can now be ported from the local server to Force.com without any adoption. And besides all these tools for deploying Java-apps in the cloud, the developers get access to a vast customer base of Salesforce. They can develop independent cloud applications or Java-addons for Salesforce CRM.

Until now, developers couldn't create Java-applications on Force.com. Taking into account the huge Java popularity in the enterprise, VMForce.com will become the significant advantage for the cloud market leader. Recently Salesforce also launched the similar project to integrate the development environment Adobe Flash + AIR to Force.com.

Pricing for VMforce has not been established yet, and the offering will be available for a developer preview later in the year.