By Jack Vaughan
How does cloud computing change development strategies for integration? The answer to the question is still a work in progress. A guide, however, may be found in Force.com. SalesForce.com was perhaps the earliest cloud player, building-out its whole company as a Software-as-a-Service offering, and launching one of the first Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offerings in the form of Force.com.
While SalesForce.com has fairly recently expanded its cloud portfolio to support open source oriented software in the forms of the Java Spring and Ruby-on-Rails frameworks, Force.com, with its proprietary Apex language, represents its flagship offering.
A good window into building cloud application integrations takes the form of a recent book: Development with the Force.com Platform: Second Edition, by Jason Ouellette. SearchSOA.com spoke with Ouellette at the time of the release of the first edition of the book for a podcast entitled ”Developing in the cloud with Force.com PaaS.” The story focuses on Apex as a language for writing business logic in a multitenancy setting.
We spoke with Ouellette again recently on the release of the second edition of his book. As can be expected in high technology, a lot has changed in the two years since the first edition. Ouellette said the Force.com platform has been improved in terms of JSON and REST API support; social media support in the form of Chatter components, feeds and APIs; and Batch Apex support added since the first edition.
SalesForce.com pioneered multitenant cloud computing, and, as such, had to solve some resource issues. SalesForce.com set governor limits to ensure fair treatment of applications from different customers. The number of records that can be queried at one time, the amount of memory used by code, the size of messages sent between Force.com and external hosts – all these matters are ”governed.”
Some individuals have likened aspects of cloud computing architecture to architectures of mainframe days. Certainly the governor limits discussed here recall the golden ears of batch computing. With Batch Apex, Ouellete told us, Force.com allows you to keep long-running data-intensive processing tasks within the Force.com platform.
Related Force.com information