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DreamFactory - a Rich Internet Application platform for Salesforce.com

When I talk about Rich Internet Applications is usually something around what Microsoft or Adobe have done or OpenLaszlo's open source RIA solution. But I recently got a tour of DreamFactory which is a new kind of Rich Internet Application platform that is focused on Salesforce.com but also runs on other platforms.
Written by Ryan Stewart, Contributor

When I talk about Rich Internet Applications is usually something around what Microsoft or Adobe have done or OpenLaszlo's open source RIA solution. But I recently got a tour of DreamFactory which is a new kind of Rich Internet Application platform that is focused on Salesforce.com (it also runs on other platforms). I wasn't very familiar with the Salesforce platform though I've heard a lot about it and I know there is a substantial community developing applications on the platform and making a lot of money in the process. DreamFactory, while building applications, also created an entire RIA platform from scratch for other people to build applications on. It's an interesting approach and one that seems to be working quite well.


DreamTeam - written on the DreamFactory Platform

DreamFactory is packaged as plugin for IE and Firefox on Windows and Safari, IE, and Firefox on the Mac and runs in the browser just like Flash or WPF/E. They have even built an IDE that runs in the browser so that you can create interfaces for your Salesforce applications right from the browser and skin them as needed. I saw themes that match all of the major operating systems and they add a high level of polish which is superior to most of the Salesforce.com applications out there today and really helps differentiate applications.


The DreamFactory IDE

The development environment has had a lot of effort put into it and they've focused on making it both accessible and easy to use. The scripting environment enables use of VB or JavaScript. You can code in either to add functionality to the components so that both JavaScript developers as well as VB developers can quickly build applications with a small learning curve.

The Salesforce.com angle is the most interesting aspect. They've essentially created an RIA platform that is custom tailored to integrate seamlessly with the Salesforce.com infrastructure. They are showing that a very targeted platform can be a big success. The lack of richness for most Salesforce applications makes their product stand out. For others building applications on Salesforce it is a very good solution that makes the already valuable Salesforce platform even more robust.

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