Benioff prophesies the post-client/server world

Benioff prophesies the post-client/server world

Summary: Marc Benioff continues on his quest to vanquish the client/server model, calling for the world of software developers to convert to a multitenant, on demand platform.

5 Marc Benioff continues on his quest to vanquish the client/server model, calling for the world of software developers to convert to a multitenant, on demand platform. At least he has been consistent over the last several years in his message. In the process of demonstrating progress in extending's ecosystem and introducing AppExchange OEM, Benioff showed several on demand AppExchange applications, running within's platform, ranging from word processors and spreadsheets to complex procurement systems and data integration services.


Benioff was trying his best to provide evidence of his prophecy--that no application category will be untouched by the on demand model. The evidence is piling up in his favor. He then veered into an anti-Microsoft rant, saying how he can't wait to get rid of his Microsoft Exchange servers and applications. Google's Writely sharable word processor beats Microsoft Word, Benioff said, pushing credulity. He is not unbiased on this topic-- mashup, the Writely document store is replaced by's. He also declared that doesn't want to write word processors, speadsheets or VoIP applications, but wants others to help extend on demand into other applications categories.

For many users, the Web Office suite is alive and well--check out Richard McManus' post on the topic--but for others Microsoft Office still has legs, even if they are somewhat tired and transitioning to a Live platform at the same time.

Benioff's vision is that will be the databank (currently 10 terabytes) and workflow engine  for millions of customers, pushing the data out to every kind of device and integrating and mashing up with any kind of application. You can't argue with the vision or progress so far. The question over time is how many generations his ecosystem will survive...


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  • You'll pry thick clients from my cold, dead hands!

    Benioff appealing to developers to convert to an application model that's gotten better but still is difficult to construct and is based on a kludge? He's got his work cut out for him. For the most part the only reason I develop web apps. is that's what employers pay me to do. If I had my druthers I'd develop thick client apps. almost exclusively. If a customer wanted web deployment, I'd say, "you got it!" I'd deploy the client over the web.'s difficult to find a job doing that. So back I go to saving session state (sigh).
    Mark Miller
  • Trust me!

    Your data is safe WITH US! We will handle your SOx issues for you!

    Client/server was never really implemented correctly, so I can understand the frustration with it. Either people spent their time developing for CLIENT or for SERVER and neither the two shall meet! But this guy is throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

    Connectivity concerns and Data security concerns will keep Benioff from realizing his (warped) dream .
    Roger Ramjet
  • Here's a thought for you Benioff

    If you could allow me to KEEP my data, and your service just USES it - MAYBE I might be interested. But if you want to keep it on your own servers - forget it.
    Roger Ramjet
  • Mr Benioff is right on! Now how about SaaWS

    This brillant entrepreneur is right on in philosophy. Now, who cares where the data is, step away from the control button. Can we please entertain the thought of Software as a Web Service? Can someone at Salesforce start the notion of a decoupled user interface and offer a web services enabled ASP model? If you do, you will have the Fortune 500 at your door. Feel free to email me at - David Jemeyson
  • Holding Data Ransom

    1. So what Mr. Benioff is saying is that the first time your late with a monthly payment, your data is held ransom and you're shut down as a business? SMBs can't survive that.

    Even if you keep your data access, you lose the use of ANY AND EVERY business application you rely on that hosts so you're still screwed.

    2. What if a Terrorist decides to take out their datacenter or access points - a serious possibility in this day and age? Centralizing the data and applications for multiple businesses just makes it easier for it to be hit.

    3. While the way it's being delivered has changed, thin-client is NOT an up-and-coming technology. It is a return to the 60's. It was superceded by fat-client technology for a REASON! Fat-client offers advantages in security, management, computational power, and ownership. The dis-advantage is that it is usually more expensive, although not by much in the long run as I can depreciate the cost of both my hardware and software, but not a monthly rental fee. Not to mention upgrades and subsequent fees are MY choice. If office 97 still works great for me, I don't <i>have</i> to change.

    "Software-as-service" is just a veiled attempt to curb licensing problems and guarantee a steady income to the service provider by holding your business ransom.