ETech – Building Applications Without Software

Adam Gross, Marketing, Salesforce.com
Salesforce.com, have 200K subscribers across 13K customers, sforce is their on demand web services API for enterprise customers.

What are applicatios? Generally, how we get computers to do useful things. Abstaction makes it easy for us to build apps. It would be most efficient to use assembly language but we don’t because it’s harder than other methods which abstract that complexity.

How we abstract stuff – 80’s saw windowing with the Mac; 90-s with virtual machines (java, .Net); 00’s with interpreted scripting languages like Perl, Python, PHP. Take HTML. It’s insanely inefficient (wastes bandwidth but it doesn’t matter anymore with Moore’s Law), it’s declarative (easy to use) proven by how many sites out in the world are HTML based versus com/VB or other app languages.

Utility computing: Web 2.0. Phase 1 – on demand web services eg. Sforce web service API is now responsible for 20% of salesforce.com activity (page requests); eBay API is responsible for 40% of listings. Phase 2 – on demand app dev (how you program a web site independent of any applications). One example is My Yahoo where you are creating an applications, what the analog for a enterprise app. Salesforce calls it a on-demand-stack.

Gave a demo where he changed the underlining data model of a Salesforce app by simply pointing and clicking via a web UI (very My Yahoo-esque). It’s a declarative model. There’s no procedural logic in place. This is really a set of abstractions above jsp and SQL. Allows people to build sophisticated applications without knowing anything about programming languages. The website is a platform.

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