Java developers may have good news to celebrate today. Salesforce.com and virtualization giant VMware are partnering to launch VMforce, a enterprise Java Cloud platform to enable Java developers to build apps off of Force.com. Salesforce is leveraging the Java development framework which was acquired by VMware when the company bought SpringSource for $420 million. SpringSource provides a development platform for engineers to build enterprise Java apps.
The launch of VMforce is significant because it brings a mission critical deployment environment for enterprise Java apps in the cloud. Previously, Java developers had limited environments to deploy applications in the cloud. VMforce aims to provide a cloud-based application platform to the 6 million enterprise Java developers, including the 2 million members of Spring community. The offering allows Java developers to tap into Salesforce’s Force.com application, which provides a cloud-based platform to run and operate business applications. Developers can access the Force.com database, workflow, analytics, search, and Chatter profiles and feeds.
VMforce, which will use the Spring Framework the SpringSource Tool Suite, will allow applications will run on the tc Server, the Enterprise version of Apache Tomcat, and is optimized for virtual and cloud environments. And of course, VMforce’s platform will allows developers to incorporate collaboration services from recently launched Chatter in their applications. These pre-built services include profiles, status updates, groups, feeds, document sharing, the Chatter API and more.
And Since VMforce will run on the Force.com platform, developers have access to a host of other pre-built business services that can be configured into their apps without requiring any custom coding. These services include search, identity and security, workflow, reporting and analytics, a robust web services integration API, mobile deployment, and more. Developers using VMforce will also be able to tap into Force.com’s relational database, including automatic scalability, high availability, auto-tuning, back up and disaster recovery. VMware’s vCloud technology will manage the Java stack that powers VMforce applications and the underlying vSphere virtualization platform.
Salesforce previously didn’t allow for Java-based applications to be deployed on the Force.com platform, says Ariel Kelman, VP of Product Marketing for Force.com. Kelman says the aim of VMforce is to bring a trusted cloud platform for the millions of Java developers and accelerate adoption of the new offering. While Amazon Web Services offers a Java platform for developers, says Kelman, VMforce manages many of the complexities for enterprise developers, such as analytics, search and more.
Pricing for VMforce has not been established yet, and the offering will be available for a developer preview later in the year (pricing will also be announced at that point).