Dreamforce: Salesforce-Oracle rivalry heats up with launch of Database.com

Dreamforce: Salesforce-Oracle rivalry heats up with launch of Database.com

Summary: Salesforce jumps into Oracle territory by bringing databases into its cloud ecosystem, launching Database.com at the Dreamforce conference


At the Oracle OpenWorld conference back in September, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff exchanged on-stage jabs as Ellison played up his company's push into Salesforce's territory: the cloud.

Later today, as Benioff takes the stage to kick off his company's Dreamforce conference in San Francisco, he'll announce his company's push into Oracle's territory: databases.

Today, Salesforce is launching Database.com, pitching it as "the world's first enterprise database built for the cloud." In a statement, Benioff said:

We see cloud databases as a massive market opportunity that will power the shift to real-time enterprise applications that are natively cloud, mobile and social. For the first time, we are making Database.com, the database that is proven and trusted by our 87,000 customers, available as an open, stand-alone service to accelerate the creation of these new apps.

It's yet another push into the cloud and another way for companies to save money and free resources. Salesforce argues that developers will be able to now spend their time building the applications that make the companies stronger and more competitive instead of managing the hardware and software.  Oracle, by contrast, launched the Exalogic, a "cloud-in-a-box" piece of hardware that, at a starting price of $1 million, can put quite a dent in CAPEX budgets.

Previous coverage: Salesforce’s Benioff: “Clouds aren’t in a box” Oracle’s Exalogic box: Cloud washing at its best?

Salesforce's Database.com, which will be available as a standalone service in 2011, will be free for 3 users and up to 100,000 records and 50,000 transactions per month. Beyond that, it will be priced at $10 per month for each set of 100,000 records beyond the first 100,000 and $10 per month for each set of 150,000 transactions beyond the first 50,000. That's the price for basic services, which includes database access, file storage and automatic administration.

Database.com Enterprise services will be priced at $10 per user per month and include user identity, authentication and row-level security access controls.

The openness of Database.com, with the ability to use any programming language for any device, is developer-friendly, while the pricing, without the massive investment of hardware that might be too much or not enough for a company's needs, is CFO-friendly. For the CIOs, the elasticity of the cloud, the automatic upgrades, backups and disaster recovery are all big plusses.

But what about security? There's still that lingering concern, especially as company's take into consideration the sensitivity of the data in their databases. The company notes, in its announcement:

Database.com is proven and secure. More than 87,000 customers have been using it for more than 11 years to store their most sensitive data. Database.com benefits from the security of salesforce.com’s global service delivery infrastructure, offering SSL, single-sign on, identity confirmation and anti-phishing tools. It also provides secure access, including user and role-based security and sharing rules and row-level data security. Database.com has also received some of the most stringent security certifications in the industry, including ISO 27001, SAS 70 Type II and SysTrust.

Topics: Security, Enterprise Software, Hardware, Storage

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  • Maybe the US Gov't should sign up.

    It might be more secure than what they currently seem to be using. ;-)
    • RE: Dreamforce: Salesforce-Oracle rivalry heats up with launch of Database.com

      @Economister Remove the users/admin's who have access to support and yeah - I would be willing to bet it pretty darn secure...
  • RE: Dreamforce: Salesforce-Oracle rivalry heats up with launch of Database.com

    Database.com hasn't launched yet so I don't see how it could have achieved those security certifications yet. It's parent company, salesforce.com, might have achieved those certifications for another service it offers, but probably not for database.com.

    And let's not forget that salesforce.com's security breach when they were subject to something as 'sophisticated' as a phishing attack and emailed customer usernames and passwords to an untrusted third-party.

    This article would have been better had it compared database.com to competing services such as Amazon's S3 and Microsoft's SQL Azure.
  • RE: Dreamforce: Salesforce-Oracle rivalry heats up with launch of Database.com

    I wonder what the latency would be if an application is hitting it from a distant location? I think Windows Azure tries to keep the apps its hosting and the data it hosts pretty close on a per customer basis. I wonder if database.com will allow the user to specify what region the database should reside in.
  • RE: Dreamforce: Salesforce-Oracle rivalry heats up with launch of Database.com

    Presumably this thing is based on Oracle DB, right, since that's the DB used by Salesforce's CRM app? If so, Benioff is basically just expanding his role as one of Oracle's biggest resellers. The game here will be to see who gets to keep the lion's share of the margin - the manufacturer or the reseller?
  • Worlds first cloud database?

    I would say SQL Azure beat them to the punch.
  • RE: Dreamforce: Salesforce-Oracle rivalry heats up with launch of Database.com

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