Friday, September 14, 2007

 

Use The Force

Considering George Lucas is going to be speaking at next week's Dreamforce conference, the title was inevitable for a post about what Salesforce.com has going on.

I'm of course very interested in seeing more about how Salesforce Enters Custom Application Market With Force.com -- I've been using Salesforce.com as part of my job for a while, and I've generally been a fan of the tool, and a believer that they can replace things that might live in a Microsoft Access database today, and many of the small little databases and applications that exist in most organizations.

Obviously, a big question is the total cost of ownership -- people are used to buying software once, and then maybe upgrading every few years. And with the rise of more and more open source software, much software can also be done for free.

There's always a bit of a lock-in -- but there's always a degree of "lock-in" for a lifecycle of a process, and converting from an old system to a new system is hard -- and every new system will become an old system in time. Even something like an open-source system like Linux will lock you into regularly having a Linux expert around.

I'm especially intrigued to see that in some of the promotional materials that have already started to leak out about force.com that we're seeing the "not-ready-for-the-Enterprise" iPhone used as an input device. That may be attaching itself to a technology sexy device -- but part of me would expect to see a BlackBerry as a more logical front end.

And I suspect the same tools that they're demonstrating will also work with the BlackBerry -- perhaps taking over their existing Mobile applications, in the same way that I expect that Google Gears could replace the offline edition as well.

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