RealTime IT News

SaaS Meets SOA With Help from Salesforce

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- As part of its first developer conference for a still-unreleased programming language, Salesforce.com announced plans to integrate its Apex language and on-demand Web services with service oriented architectures (SOA) .

Salesforce.com  customers have been able to produce Web services for some time, but Salesforce SOA will allow them to consume Web services as well for the first time.

Salesforce SOA will use Web services to bring in workflow or processes from outside applications or systems from legacy applications, thus bridging Salesforce.com applications with data from order entry, sales or billing systems. It will also allow calls to external services from the likes of FedEx, Hoovers or Yahoo.

Executive vice president Parker Harris cited a study from the Aberdeen Group that said 77 percent of companies surveyed have yet to see a payback for their SOA investment. Harris blamed traditional software vendors like SAP, Oracle and Microsoft, for the problem.

"This is a very big investment people are making because these vendors are making it hard. These vendors are not making it any better. They are just selling more software. We believe there is a better way," he said during a keynote speech here.

But first, developers will need the Apex programming language, which is due in December.

Separately, Salesforce.com announced the AppExchange Venture Network, a new initiative designed to help entrepreneurs and venture firms build successful on demand and Software as a Service (SaaS)  companies.

The network will provide technology and operational education, business strategy and networking forums for entrepreneurs, ISVs and venture capital partners. It will supplement Salesforce.com's efforts with its San Mateo-based incubator, where the company is guiding 50 start-up firms in their efforts.

In highlighting the ecosystem Salesforce.com is trying to build, one of the guest speakers during the keynote was Glenn Wilson, president of CRMFusion, a six-man operation in Canada that will report $2.4 million in revenues this year on essentially on product, DupeBlocker, which prevents duplicate entries into Salesforce.com applications.