Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Salesforce.com Launches Database.com, Your Database in the Sky

Today, as it get its Dreamforce conference underway in San Francisco, Salesforce threw open the doors to Database.com, aimed at giving software developers a database that’s designed for the cloud.

As luck would have it, Salesforce.com has long been running on what’s now called Database.com, and the company describes it as one of the world’s largest enterprise databases, containing 20 billion data records and serving up about 25 billion transactions a quarter.

Salesforce’s plan calls for Database.com to be a standalone product in 2011. And it will be free to get started. Developers will be allowed to write applications in pretty much any language they’re comfortable with including Java, C#, or PHP, and they can run them wherever make sense for them including on Amazon EC2, Google AppEngine or Microsoft Azure. It’s also mobile-ready: Apps can run on Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android or Research In Motion’s BlackBerry.

The opportunity is potentially huge: Research firm Gartner estimates that companies spend more than $20 billion a year on database software, which implies that they also have to spend on hardware on which to run it, people to set to configure and maintain that hardware, and so on. Salesforce excels at giving companies reasons to dispense with costly hardware and software that they run on their own systems. Database.com could have a similar effect.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work