Salesforce consolidated its various developer platforms and resources under one cloud service that aims to make it easier to user everything from Force.com to Heroku to its new interface dubbed Lightning.
The company's App Cloud will have one shared identity, data and network services architecture that will serve as the glue for building business applications.
App Cloud includes Heroku Enterprise, the Lightning user interface and Force as well as a learnings resource called Trailhead. App Cloud is also connected to Salesforce's AppExchange and will launch with an ecosystem of 2.3 million developers.
For Salesforce, the move was overdue. The company has a large developer ecosystem, but it was splintered among platforms. Enterprises also find it difficult to manage multiple environments for apps that are blurring together.
According to Kayne Burk, director of product marketing for App Cloud, the service will be able to address multiple use cases and connect various data points needed to manage customer relationships. "Customers were creating apps in silos and customers weren't getting a unified customer experience," said Burk. "App Cloud is fully connected. It's an evolution of the Salesforce1 platform. The secret sauce is shared services."
The general idea is to connect data between consumer apps, back-end systems and enterprise IT with shared identity, data and network services.
The moving parts of the App Cloud include:
Heroku Enterprise, which will address private spaces to connect Salesforce tools with legacy applications. Network, data and identity services will also be shared. There will also be regions to run apps in certain areas to meet compliance requirements. Dublin, Frankfurt, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, Northern Virginia and Oregon are initial regions in App Cloud. "Heroku has been known in the developer community, but with Heroku Enterprise we've added those trust and control services companies need," said Burk.
Lightning, the Salesforce user experience platform. A Lightning Design System and how-to guide with code is also available.
Trailhead, a learning environment that provides guides, how-tos and building blocks of code. Trailhead is designed for everyone from users to admins to data wonks and marketers.
App Cloud's Heroku components will launch in early 2016 and some Lightning resources will pilot in October with general availability in the first quarter of 2016. Trailhead will launch in October. Pricing for services to launch under App Cloud will be announced when generally available. Other services available now use consumption-based pricing.