Why Salesforce.com bundled Force.com and Heroku together



Heroku is a PaaS offering for building next-generation cloud applications

Salesforce.com’s (CRM) Heroku is a platform as a service (or PaaS) offering that lets customers and clients build and deploy large online applications without involving hardware and software infrastructures that keep them going.

Heroku is designed for developers building customer-facing web apps. Heroku’s new version, Heroku1, is a tool for tighter API (or application programming interface) integration between the platforms and enables companies to deliver next-generation customer-centric apps.

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Heroku’s key customers include Facebook (FB), Urban Dictionary, MailChimp, TED, and Lyft. Start-ups like MailChimp—an email marketing provider—and Lyft—a ride sharing start-up—have built their web-based services on top of Heroku’s cutting-edge language support. So Heroku is considered an ideal for start-ups. But it’s not looked upon much as an enterprise tool.

Heroku’s success not only benefits Salesforce.com investors, but also benefits exchange-traded funds (or ETFs) such as the First Trust DJ Internet Index Fund (FDN), the Columbia Select Large Cap Growth ETF (RWG), and the First Trust ISE Cloud Computing Index Fund (SKYY) that have high exposure to Salesforce.com.

The above presentation shows how historical data moves from Force.com to an app deployed on Heroku and how Force.com Canvas integrates Salesforce and the custom app.

Force.com aimed at developers building employee-facing applications

Force.com is the company’s in-house developed PaaS. It’s a visual tool for creating and integrating applications on the Salesforce platform. Force.com’s focus is to help developers build employee-facing applications on top of data collected from the Salesforce.com ecosystem, including CRM and Sales Cloud.

What does their coming together mean?

Leveraging Heroku’s popularity, Salesforce.com has bundled it with its own Force.com to let customers take advantage of a best-of-both-worlds scenario. Combining together is part of the company’s Salesforce1 initiative to unify its cloud ecosystem into a single offering.

The new Salesforce1 platform brings together Force.com, Heroku1, and ExactTarget under a single family of cloud services that will help deliver apps that connect products, users, and next-generation experiences.

Combining Force.com and Heroku seems to create synergies

According to CITEworld, New England Biolabs—which makes and sells reagents and enzymes to life science laboratories—uses a combination of Heroku and Force.com to power “talking freezers” for research labs. It offers scientists a user-friendly, “app-like” interface for selecting and purchasing products that can report back to home base when products need to be refilled.


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