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Google and salesforce.com – Like Peanut Butter and Jelly

Jason Ouellette

Today, salesforce.com and Google announced a new toolkit to link Force.com applications to Google Apps. Now, Appirio already has five commercial applications that connect Google Apps and Salesforce.com. That’s more than any other vendor, and three of our apps – Calendar Sync, CRM Dashboards, and Doc Search – rank in the top ten of all AppExchange downloads.

In the “old world” of on-premise software, this new toolkit might be viewed as a threat to Appirio’s product portfolio. If any developer can now easily link up Salesforce.com and Google Apps, who needs Appirio’s products?

In truth, though, we think it’s great. Appirio was involved in early usage and validation of the new toolkit. We embedded it into a cool new Visualforce demo that will be shown in the keynote address of today’s Tour De Force event in Santa Clara, and augmented our current product offerings with it. Our viewpoint is that basic connectivity does not, by itself, hold intrinsic value, but it’s an essential ingredient in creating value.

My former employer, webMethods, made hundreds of millions of dollars essentially by connecting SAP and other ERP systems to one another, sitting on top of the basic connectivity provided by the vendors. By providing this toolkit, salesforce.com and Google will make it easier for innovators to build new and powerful business scenarios that weren’t possible before.

With just a few lines of code – six, to be precise – we were able to bring Google calendar data onto a custom Visualforce page (view demo).

We’re seeing lots of steps towards integrating the cloud. Salesforce orgs can now connect to one another, via S2S, announced earlier this year. Appirio connected salesforce.com with Amazon S3 via our Appirio Cloud Storage product. In the on-premise world, ubiquitous connectivity really wasn’t possible. But in the SaaS world, on the Internet, information can be connected in a scalable way, allowing even small ISVs to create commercial-grade innovative solutions. We hope other vendors’ SaaS platforms, either directly or through partners like Appirio, will bake in basic connectivity to one another. This lets us focus on solving problems that have vexed developers in the enterprise for years.

The rapidly increasing web of links among major SaaS vendors is starting to create a business-specific version of the “World Wide Computer” Nick Carr talks about in The Big Switch. If all of your business applications, living in the cloud, could freely collaborate, their collective intelligence would begin to outstrip what any single system could deliver.

About Appirio

Appirio

Appirio is a global cloud consultancy that helps customers achieve results in weeks, not years by harnessing the power of the world’s top talent. Appirio’s 600,000 member [topcoder] community and crowdsourcing platform, combined with the company’s business and technical expertise, have helped 700+ enterprises confidently use technology to increase innovation and transform business. Founded in 2006, Appirio is a trusted partner to companies such as Apria, Coca-Cola, eBay, Facebook, Japan Post Network, L’Oreal, NetApp, The Four Seasons and Virgin America.

2 Responses to Google and salesforce.com – Like Peanut Butter and Jelly

arrowpointe says:

I think this would be great for your apps. Having a toolkit doesn’t mean that expertise is still not needed. It is! A toolkit is just that, a set of tools. It still takes a craftsmen to work well with them and deliver quality.

I think you should update your existing Contacts & Calendar apps using the new functionality. I really want to use your apps, but won’t give up my Salesforce user/pwd to a third-party. I know you are probably handling it securely, but it’s still an issue with me.

Given your options, you don’t have another choice. However, with this new toolkit, maybe you do? Could your Contacts and Calendar apps be re-written all in Apex using this new toolkit and authenticate a different way?

I think the issue around you needing usernames/passwords is less an Appirio issue and more of a Salesforce issue. A new authentication scheme is needed to handle this scenario for partner apps.

Ryan Nichols says:

Hi Scott, thanks for the comment. We absolutely plan on enhancing our existing apps using this functionality, and do believe that these capabilities will help make our applications even more secure. We’ll keep you posted!

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