Google and Salesforce.com
While I’ve been out of the office, Google has made some significant announcements. My colleague Ray Valdes has been writing about Google Wave and its secret sauce. I highly encourage you to go read his blog.
The announcement, in a nutshell, is this: There are now public Salesforce APIs that can be downloaded, and will work on Google App Engine (GAE). Those APIs are a subset of the functionality available in Force.com’s regular Web Services APIs. Check out the User Guide for details.
Note that this is not a replacement for Force.com and its (proprietary) Apex programming language. Salesforce clearly articulates web services vs. Force.com in its developer guide. Rather, this should be thought of as easing the curve for developers who want to extend their Web applications for use with Salesforce data.
A question that lingers in my mind: Normally, on Force.com, a Developer Edition account means that you can’t affect your organization’s live data. If a similar restriction exists on the GAE version of the APIs, it’s not mentioned in the documentation. I wonder if you can do very lightweight apps, using live data, with just a Developer Edition account with Salesforce, if you do it through GAE. If so, that would certainly open up the realm of developers who might try building something on the platform.
My colleague Eric Knipp has also blogged about the announcement. I’d encourage you to read his analysis.