A recent eWeek article adeptly articulated a cross section of the ‘wish list’ developers had for Apex, and their excitement regarding the platform itself. In this blog, we wanted to reorder the points (and our comments in the article) to ensure emphasis on the most critical point, the paradigm shift an on-demand platform represents; rather than the individual feature/functions wish list.
Salesforce.com’s Apex platform represents an inflection point for the industry. By providing the industry’s first on-demand platform, salesforce.com brings the advantages of on-demand to potentially every application developed by customers or ISVs.
Focusing on What’s Important
For most customers, building an application represents a significant undertaking. Often multiple selection processes have to occur before the actual application can even be discussed. A vendor/solution must be chosen for every horizontal gray layer (Hardware, Network, Database, etc.). In addition, for all of these layers, performance, administration, security and configuration management must be planned and integrated.
All of these activities detract from the act of creating an application that generates specific outcomes (business value). In fact, based on our experience, we would estimate that in certain cases the gray activities can represent up to 70% of the effort for the initial application. By leveraging Apex, customers and ISVs can focus 100% on creating an application that meets the business need.
Every capability Apex provides is unique because of its support of multi-tenancy. Its database-like capabilities (e.g. queries), application logic (e.g. workflows), and user interface is scalable across an entire customer base.
Predecessors originally focused on solving much more specific problems, Oracle’s PL-SQL provides a database centric approach, SAP’s ABAP focused on business logic. These vendors are now patching together other products/languages in hopes of eventually creating one integrated platform. Yet, even when these are completed, they will lack the ability to provide an on-demand multi-tenant platform.
Apex, like any technology ‘platform’ available today, has room for advancement. Yet, by providing a true on-demand, multi-tenant platform, it begins its journey from a fundamentally higher plane than its predecessors. It eliminates activities that do not directly contribute to creating business value and allows both customers and ISVs to leverage the benefits of on-demand. In the future, on-demand platforms like Apex will dominate the creation of most applications.