What Do You Get When You Cross Salesforce.com and Amazon S3?

April 7, 2008 Appirio

Narinder Singh

You get Appirio Cloud Storage for Salesforce.com, a new SaaS offering from Appirio that taps Amazon S3 to extend the storage capabilities of Salesforce.com. (We toyed with calling it SalAmaForce3 but didn’t really see that flying.)

Appirio Cloud Storage [press release] lets Salesforce.com users store more documents and larger size files – such as customer support logs, software patches or video presentations – directly through the Salesforce.com interface, at a fraction of the price of existing storage solutions. The new SaaS offering creates a secure integration with the Amazon.com utility storage service and provides the ability to store documents up to 1GB in size (200x current limits).

Feedback from our beta users shows that is has the potential to reduce existing Salesforce.com storage costs by over 80 percent while enabling them to get more mileage out of their on-demand applications. The service, available in three levels of monthly web-based pricing, can be purchased today on AppExchange or on www.appirio.com.

Connecting the Clouds: A Sign of More to Come

We’re excited not only about the service itself, but also what it represents. It shows where the industry as a whole can head – as the platforms mature, there is a substantial opportunity for ISVs to tie together the different clouds and provide offerings that extend and fill in the platforms themselves. In traditional enterprise application integration (EAI), packaged integrations were difficult to commercialize. The permutation of versions and customizations created and “n times n” problem, making it too expensive to create something “packaged” that appealed to more than a very small number of customers. But in the cloud, because SaaS providers commit to stable interfaces – Salesforce has maintained backwards compatability for more than a dozen revisions of its API – “integrating the cloud” can become a new class of solution.

CIOs and companies investigating this type of convergence must pick technologies and partners that “get” the nuances of the different platforms. Each platform has unique capabilities that make it appealing for different audiences and functions. For example, Amazon’s Elastic Cloud Computing platform (EC2), which provides enterprises with raw computing power, storage and database capabilities on a per transaction basis is great for developers and IT organizations who need to scale their computing capacity up or down. However, it doesn’t provide the sophisticated workflow, logic and presentation layers that Salesforce.com’s Force.com platform offers for developing and running custom-built applications. Phil Waineright wrote an excellent piece on ZDNet recently describing the different platforms and how they compare to give a flavor of the different options already out there. In addition, the security, performance and reliability requirements of large enterprises requires ISVs and partners who understand how to pragmatically apply these new innovations.

Today’s platforms will continue to evolve, and innovative companies will find new ways to bring them together. Appirio Cloud Storage is only one of the many products that Appirio will be offering in this camp over the coming year. Stay tuned!

Photo credit: MaxChu on Flickr

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