Entries in Heroku (8)


How Heroku is Transforming Salesforce's Culture:

When Apple, Google, or any other big tech company in the industry acquires a startup, its culture usually vanishes into the big host. It could've easily gone that way for San Francisco's Heroku when it was acquired by the CRM giant Salesforce for over $200 million a couple of years ago. Left to maintain its own culture of yoga ping ball leadboard, Heroku has flourished under Salesforce. But what's more intriguing is that Heroku is exerting influence on its parent Salesforce!

But this has all been according to the plan, according to the COO of Heroku, Oren Teich, after surviving what he calls, "a $2.3 billion acquisition disaster of epic proportions" when Sun Microsystems acquired his former employer Cobalt Networks back in 2000. This time, Teich wanted to make sure things were entirely different when Salesforce approached them about the acquisition. "We negotiated a lot with Salesforce to keep Heroku's culture intact and thanks to that, the retention rate is obscene," he said. But the key to Heroku's culture, Vibe Managers (office managers with flare) have caught Salesforce's attention.

Vibe Manager Sharon Schmidt's duties have ranged from organizing bar outings for the team to finding an old TV to go with the vintage furniture in the office. "When we were acquired by Salesforce, there was some discussion of whether a Vibe Manager was too abstract and confusing for the employees, and if it could scale with the company.." Schmidt noted. "..It turns out that no one wants to see it go and now Salesforce wants to put Vibe Managers in their offices." The suits at Salesforce wouldn't comment on Vibe Manager becoming part of their culture, but it's a good question to ask whether Vibe Managers will actually survive under the decidedly unhip company --Salesforce. 



Salesforce's Heroku to host Java!


Salesforce’s Heroku cloud service is a platform for hosting development languages, primarily web-oriented languages, such as Node.js, Scala, and Ruby. Now, Heroku is expanding to serve as an enterprise development platform by hosting Java!

“[Salesforce and Heroku] remain separate clouds, but the area of overlap between them is increasing,” said Jesper Joergensen, Senior Director of the Heroku Enterprise for Java. So how much will this cost? The COO of the Heroku business unit under, Oren Teich, said that the Java platform will be priced at $1,000 per month per production app.

Does this mean devs will have to adapt to a new environment for development?

Java devs who want to use the development platform will be able to use the Eclipse workbench with its open source integrated development environment. “You don’t have to change any of your preferred methods of development,” said Joergensen. 


The Cloud Kingdom

First things first, let me get this out of my system... OMG THREE DAYS UNTIL DREAMFORCE!

Ok all clear. Back to our regularly scheduled programming.

I think it's a good idea to check in about once every month or so and really take a look at where Salesforce is as a company. By really analyzing what stage the company is in regarding it's development, I think it's possible to make some predictions about it's roadmap and where it will actually end up. Salesforce has been involved in a number of interesting moves in the past 2 years, including being named Most Innovative Company by Forbes, acquiring Heroku, and acquiring Last year, a huge stir of excitement was created through these acquisitions. Yet, more than a year later, Salesforce has yet to see much profitability from either.

Right now, the huge money-maker for Salesforce is still their CRM side. Salesforce is taking in about 90% of their profits between the Sales Cloud and the Service Cloud, which at this stage of the game is leaving a lot of people scratching their heads. Why hasn't Marc Benioff innovated a way to finagle more monetization from his huge acquisitions? When will we see the changes? And most importantly, will we like them when we do?

There is no question that Heroku and have brought quite a bit to the table. A completely new PaaS for app development can only be good news for the Salesforce AppExchange and adding to their extensive repertoire of cloud based platforms really enhanced the power of the overall brand. But at the end of the day, where is Benioff going to take it? I think it's safe to say that we won't see an abandonment of any one cloud sector. CRM is highly profitable, and the companies huge initial investment in other cloud industries indicates that it plans to make itself comfortable and stay awhile. The question is, when all of Salesforce becomes streamlined, what is this cloud monster going to look like? It's a little daunting to think about how much of the cloud they can control, but it's also sort of exciting to think of an all-encompassing cloud solution. My crystal ball says it's going to be great, but hey, I've been wrong before.


Matsumoto Joining's Heroku

Programming legend Yukihiro "Matz" Matsumoto, creator of the Ruby programming language, has decided to join's Heroku PaaS company. This move is exciting in many respects, not least of which is the huge boost in geek-swag Heroku will feel after adding Matz to the staff.

Matz was enthusiastic about the move because Heroku is "committed to openness and developing Ruby further. I want to make the Ruby development experience even richer, more natural and more productive than ever for all Ruby developers.”

Over the past 12 months, has expanded it's development project of Heroku and and has attracted over 380,000 developers worldwide. Having so many different languages on so many different platforms - Ruby on Heroku, Java on VMforce, or Apex on - allows to be competitively diversified. The opportunity to churn out a huge amount of code, culturing an innovative spirit, and employing an open-minded company strategy are just a few of the many reasons that the development community has flocked to And it's working! According to CEO Marc Benioff, the Salesforce community is now managing over 1 billion lines of code.

There are exciting times ahead, I can't wait to see what the future holds!



Analyst firm Forrester Research ranked as the number one platform-as-a-service (PaaS) provider in a recent report.  This is exciting news for those of us working with the development environment.  (FYI, Microsoft came in second place.)

Interestingly, Forrester’s report highlighted as a concern Salesforce’s recent acquisition of Heroku, the web development platform based on Ruby on Rails.  When the acquisition was announced, many folks questioned the value of adding Heroku to the Salesforce family.  I for one have not used Heroku, but it seems like it’s in line with the strategy of becoming more a PaaS company rather than an SaaS company.  Not sure why Forrester would be concerned in this sense.  Perhaps it’s an issue of not being focused enough.  Thoughts?


Cloudstock Sessions Online

I have been reading about developing with Heroku and came across a few recorded sessions from Cloudstock '10 that have been helpful. Now, I am listening to a session titled, "Introduction to Heroku and Platform as a Service" which starts out covering some basics of server vs. cloud that were a review but it also covers information on the Heroku add-on options for developers, working with constraints of the different platforms, differences and commonalities between languages, scaling, etc. Click here for the recorded session if this interests you.

There are over 60 sessions to choose from. Here's the list with a brief description of each. I bookmarked the entire list to refer back to until Cloudstock '11.



Cloud Computing Categories

SaaS-Software as a Service (like

PaaS-Platform as a Service  (like Heroku)

IaaS-Infrastructure as a Service  (like Amazon's AWS)

Over the span of 2011, your company might find itself cloud-hopping across the three categories. Each is a complicated space in and of itself, with its own look at what is happening in cloud computing. Let's take  a quick look at each:

SaaS-Web applications that deliver functionality to end users. Customers  of SaaS companies are generally able to create their own integrations with other systems. This flexibility allows for companies to customize their process as never before. Customers of these SaaS companies are writing custom code--or apps--to add functionality. One end result of this capability is increased reliance and loyalty to the SaaS provider.

PaaS-Delivering a platform for the deployment of applications puts these companies in the business of using as well as deploying APIs.

IaaS-The cloud based model removes hosted servers and secure tunnels and interfaces from the picture. The shift is to API calls to increase storage or CPU.

Will ___-as-a-service continue to change the landscape--interfere with "the way it has always been done?" It seems  the model is on the upswing and consumers and companies are set to benefit if they are willing to adjust.   Interesting tools are starting to pop up that will compare costs of cloud providers. Cloud Marketplace services. Companies will also be able to take advantage of new services selling ready-to-use data, such as Windows Azure DataMarket.  It's going to be an interesting year of new ideas.

 Here we go, 2011.


Platform, Platform, Platform

If we were attending a convention focused on Real Estate, we would hear the mantra "Location, Location, Location" but since we are at Dreamforce 2010, we are hearing "Platform, Platform, Platform!" Of course, not just platform, but Cloud Platform. This is the focus and the hype of Dreamforce 2010 and all of 2011. Thirty thousand attendees showed for the latest news from Salesforce. The anticipation is over, the announcements are made and now it is time to watch and see how it plays out. is not new to innovation or big announcements and this year is no different. Focused on the developer, adding and Heroku to the Salesforce arsenal is a great move.  This instantly broadened their offerings to developers, giving new and existing Salesforce customers the ability to expand beyond Apex and write applications in Java or Ruby.  I read one blog that called it the "wedding of the year"! 2011 will provide some interesting insight into this merger and what becomes of it. The possibilities of new products and new capabilities are intriguing.