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Salesforce.com announces assault on the enterprise database market

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7th Dec 2010
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Earlier this year, Oracle staked its claim to the Cloud market in opposition to Salesforce.com; now Salesforce.com is returning the favour with a move on the enterprise database market.

On day one of the Dreamforce conference in San Francisco, Salesforce.com announced Database.com, an enterprise database designed for the Cloud. Database.com has been part of the wider Salesforce.com offering for the past eleven years, enabling Salesforce.com to boast it has more than 87,000 customers already. But now the database will be offered as a standalone product.

"We see Cloud databases as a massive market opportunity that will power the shift to enterprise applications that are natively Cloud, mobile and social," said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, Salesforce.com. "For the first time, we are making Database.com, the database that is proven and trusted by our 87,000 customers, available as an open, stand-alone service to accelerate the creation of these new apps."

Database.com combines the typical features of enterprise databases, such as user management, row-level security, triggers, stored procedures, authentication, a relational data store and file storage. But Benioff argues that Database.com provides many benefits over client/server databases. Developers can write their applications in Java, C#, Ruby, PHP and other languages and run their apps on any platform - Force.com, VMforce, Amazon EC2, Google AppEngine, Heroku or Microsoft Azure.

“Our industry is reinventing itself,” commented Steve Fisher, EVP Technology at Salesforce.com. “At the core of transformation is the technology that manages our data. This is changing for the first time since introduction of client server. In the world of the Cloud, the old model makes no sense.  You go to the Cloud and it just works. You need to rethink from the ground up. If it is not multi-tenant, it is not Cloud Computing. We need to re-architect the database from the ground up so that it manages itself, it scales itself, it even upgrades itself - it just works. A Cloud 2 database. 

“This is an enterprise database at the core of which is the proven relational model. All data in Database.com is ready for search. It is programmable. But most importantly Database.com is designed to talk to other systems through built-in API. And it's a Cloud database – no hardware, no software, it scales, it just works.” 

Benioff sees the Cloud database market as a major opportunity. "There is a shift going on in the $21.2B database systems marketplace," agreed Donald Feinberg, vice president and distinguished analyst, Gartner. "We’re seeing a rise in popularity of Cloud enabled database management systems (DBMSs) that remove the complexity of software and hardware, and deliver automatic scalability, tuning and back-up. To truly see adoption in the enterprise, however, Cloud enabled DBMSs need to support both the speed, ease and elasticity of the Cloud as well as the relational, security and transactional features required by enterprises."

Salesforce.com is partnering with Informatica to enable data integration between traditional on premise database and the new Cloud generation. "The platform shift to cloud, mobile and social applications will continue to accelerate," said Sohaib Abbasi, chairman and chief executive officer, Informatica. "These modern applications require the next generation of Cloud databases and Cloud data integration."

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