Salesforce, Google Tout New Alliance

Salesforce's will integrate with Google apps, leveraging the functionality of Google App Engine's Java support. on Wednesday announced a new version of for Google App Engine that integrates with Google apps and improves on the previous effort.

The new release takes advantage of Google App Engine's Java support, announced last month.

The combination brings Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) apps, from calendar and Gmail to Google Checkout, to a platform that has enterprise software such as CRM, accounting, and contact center capabilities. It builds on a partnership between the two companies that began in 2003 with philanthropic causes and grew in 2005 with a mashup between Google Maps and CRM.

"Building on our work with Google, developers can now take advantage of increasingly powerful cloud computing capabilities in and App Engine resulting in better applications for consumers and the enterprise," said Mark Benioff, chairman and CEO of (NYSE: CRM) in a statement.

Features are numerous and include enabling the Google's apps to read and write to using the SOAP (define) API, an open source SOAP Web Service client, a getting started guide and a sample application.

For some developers, it's all about social networking, Ariel Kelman, senior director, told

"Take a recruiting app on -- that's a popular use case, by the way -- and take open social networking applications," he said. "Companies can leverage their employees' social network, letting them refer a job to a friend, and then if the friend takes the job, give them a referral bonus. Companies want to take advantage of what's going on with social networking."

However eager companies may be to use new social networking technologies, many also have legitimate fears concerning the security risks it poses.

Kelman pointed to the fact that Symantec and Cisco are customers as evidence of the platform's reliability. He added that the applications are built so that nobody who steals Facebook credentials can access a app.

The big picture, he said, is a mass migration to cloud computing. "Every area in the enterprise is moving to the cloud. It lets companies focus on innovation, not infrastructure," he said.

He claimed that developers love the cloud. "Cloud computing lets developers sit down and just think about the data model, the business model, and the user interface. They can build apps five times faster and at half the cost of .NET and Java because they don't have to set up the hardware and the test environment."

Because it's a platform, the people who built it cannot predict all the uses developers will find for it. "We're really looking forward to seeing what kind of apps you build that connect the and Google clouds together," said developer and evangelist Ryan Marples in a blog post.

Marples is at the Google I/O conference, where he presented today's announcement. He tweeted that he likes the conference, "code, geeks, and caffeine -- how can you go wrong?"

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