The Heroku unit of Salesforce.com wants to make it easier than ever to invoke its platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environment. At the company's ExactTarget Connections conference this week, Salesforce.com announced Heroku DX, a set of services that includes tools that make it possible to deploy code in the Heroku environment with the click of a button.
Salesforce also announced that in addition to exposing more analytics services to developers, it is adding support for the open source Postgres database.
Adam Gross, vice president of products for Heroku, says Salesforce is making a concerted effort to make deploying applications in the cloud much simpler. Gross says that’s critical because the applications being deployed in the cloud are now more likely to be disruptive. Taking their cue from any number of startups, large enterprise organizations are trying to find the fastest way to make new classes of applications available, he says. Often referred to as a system of engagement, these applications now have the highest priority inside the enterprise, Gross says.
To fuel the development of those applications, Salesforce has chosen to make available an implementation of Postgres that provides a layer of compatibility with Oracle databases. Some organizations may opt to run production applications on Postgres, but Gross says Salesforce is seeing a lot of demand for Postgres from organizations that want to develop applications using a free database that can then be deployed on top of an Oracle database once the application goes into production.
Heroku has built its application development reputation in the cloud largely by providing a PaaS environment that is simple for developers to invoke, largely because it eliminates much of the complexity associated with having to deal directly with infrastructure-as-a-service. The degree to which Heroku can maintain that reputation going forward as more PaaS environments become widely available on other cloud platforms will largely depend on how automated the deployment process can become. In effect, Salesforce is betting that the developer experience will allow it to trump all other clouds in the race to attract application workloads to its cloud.
The degree to which developers continue to dominate the cloud computing decision process is, of course, debatable. Internal IT organizations are increasingly exerting more control over the cloud. But for the moment developers continue to take the lead in selecting cloud computing platforms, which is one reason so many organizations wind up having to support multiple cloud computing platforms.