When Salesforce rolled out its software development platform, Force.com, last year, we called it a “game ender” for several other startups helping people create and deploy applications as web services.
Among these was LongJump, which has enabled businesses and individuals to create web applications using visual tools since early summer 2007. Today, LongJump strikes back at Force.com by adding a coding environment to its own suite of developer tools.
More technically skilled users can now create Java applications for LongJump using a special Eclipse IDE plugin or in-browser editor. The company is touting its platform as more standards-base than Force.com, which requires developers to use the proprietary Apex Code language, or Bungee, another platform-as-a-service provider (that incidentally appears to have hit a rough spot as of late).
LongJump will provide a sandbox area for developers to test their Java applications before deploying them into production. The platform also implements a reusable relational data object model that’s intended to save you time recoding when developing several applications.
Founder Pakaj Malviya claims the company is focused on providing developer tools for IT departments in particular, whereas Coghead targets SMBs and Bungee appeals to serious developers. Whether any of these startups can compete successfully against Salesforce, however, will have to be seen as the market matures.