Forbes has a nice article on why Louis Columbus and Alex Williams thinks Salesforce is Winning the Cloud Platform War. They have a lot of great points but one of the most telling is Louis’ focus on developers.
I’ve started to look at the developer area as the crucible or foundry for future apps. While the Cloud Expo shows how vibrant the partner ecosystem is, the developer area is where tomorrow’s apps are being coded today. The Force.com Workbook, an excellent reference for Force.com developers, was just released October 1 and DeveloperForce shows how far the developer support is matured in Salesforce. In addition a new Force.com REST API Developer’s Guide is out just last month.
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As another behemoth Microsoft knows, if you have the developers then you have a great way to grow. The same is true for Saleforce and I agree with Louis’ assertion that a good indicator is in the developers areas. He has several other related but telling indicators:
- Significant jump in the quantity and quality of developer attendees from 2010 to 2012. The depth of questions, sophistication of code samples, calls for more flexibility with governor limits, and better mobile support typified these years.
- Steady improvement to visual design tools, application development environment and support for jQuery, Sencha and Apache APA -0.02% Cordova.
- The steady maturation of Salesforce Touch as a mobile development platform and launch of Salesforce Platform Mobile Services. Launched in 2011, this platform continues to mature, driven by developer’s requirements that reflect their customers’ needs for mobility support. HTML 5 is supported and the apps I’ve seen written on it are fast, accurate and ideal for customer service. ServiceMax has created exceptional mobile apps including their comprehensive ServiceMax for iPad app on the Force.com platform.
- 2012: Rise of the Mobile Enterprise Developer. Salesforce’s enterprise customers in 2009 weren’t nearly as active as they were last year with questions on legacy systems integration and how to create web services capable of integrating customer data. 2011 was a breakout year in mobile app development with 2012 showing strong momentum on mobile web services development. I expect this year’s Dreamforce developer community to reflect the rapidly growing interest in mobile as well.
The article continues with a review of how others have built onto the platform in ways that add significant value and promise to cut down on time to market. It’s worth reading the entire article.