In a move that will open up new vistas for application developers, Salesforce.com, which now styles itself the enterprise cloud computing company, today expanded its global strategic alliance with Google.
The on-demand CRM firm has announced the availability of its Force.com platform as a service (PaaS) for the Google App Engine application development platform, which lets users develop applications in the cloud.
The tie-in will leverage the already strong connections users make between the two platforms. “Five out of the top 10 most popular applications on AppExchange take advantage of both Google and Salesforce,” Adam Gross, Salesforce.com’s vice president of developer marketing, told InternetNews.com.
Developers can now download a Force.com library into Google App Engine, and this will natively appear in the App Engine environment, Gross said.
“App Engine developers will have access to the capabilities of Force.com within the App Engine environment, and will be able to take the consumer oriented Web 2.0 applications that are the center of gravity of App Engine and connect them to the capabilities of enterprise oriented applications in Force.com,” he said.
Tom Stocky, Google’s director of product management at Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), added “Bringing together Google App Engine and Force.com will foster the creation of new Web applications and further demonstrate the power of the Web as a platform.”
Force.com for Google App Engine provides a means to leverage Python in a scalable cloud environment and interact directly with the database, workflow and logic capabilities in Force.com. It also lets developers create Python libraries that let App Engine applications read and write to Force.com using the Force.com API.
Also, App Engine developers will get access to Force.com services and capabilities, including mobile technology, security and sharing models, analytics, user authentication, multi-language and multi-currency support.
According to Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM), more than 5,000 of its customers use Google Apps and more than 10,000 use Salesforce for Google Adwords.
Today’s announcement follows on Salesforce.com’s unveiling of tie-ins with Facebook and Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) last month at Dreamforce 2008, its annual user conference, held in San Francisco.
“App Engine helps round out the open cloud integrations between Amazon, Facebook and Google, all available to Force.com developers,” Gross said.
Salesforce will continue to look for opportunities to team up with cloud hosting providers who provide platforms as a service using multitenant technology, Gross added. That may not be too subtle a dig at Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), which recently announced Azure, its own cloud venture.