The Herokuacquisition is about the next decade for Salesforce.com and its transformation into a platform company, said co-founder Parker Harris at a media lunch yesterday.

For the rest of the world, there is a different view about the news. There are plenty of congratulations but the acquisition is not overwhelmingly supported.

James Lindenbaum, co-founder of Heroku said they were convinced that Salesforce.com would be the right partner as its focus is on being a platform company. Lindenbaum acknowledges that developers may have concerns.


RedMonk’s James Governor says that Salesforce.com and Heroku share some similarities. He calls Salesforce.com a billing engine across a bunch of servers. Heroku is Ruby on a billing engine.

What else comes of this? Let’s take a look at the ecosystem. Heroku runs on Amazon Web Services. Will Heroku continue to run on AWS? For now, the answer is that nothing is changing. Governor points out that Salesforce.com will find some value in tracking the volume of data from AWS. That volume comes from the 105,000 apps that run on Heroku.

This is a significant deal. It puts Salesforce.com into a new space. It points to the acceptance of Ruby. And it shows how powerful developers have become. Governor calls them king makers. That’s pretty much right on.

Engine Yard is another Ruby platform. Engine Yard CEO John Dillon told us that Ruby is the language of the cloud:

What this means for PaaS and cloud computing:
Ruby is THE language for the cloud. If you are building apps, and you are building on the cloud, you have to build with Ruby. This deal validates it again, just as the VMware deal did. However, both Salesforce.com and Heroku’s multi-tenancy approach is the wrong way to go. We believe virtualization is a better value for any type of company that builds applications.

What this means for Ruby on Rails developers:
No respectable developer wants to be on Salesforce.com. This could drive even more developers to Engine Yard’s open platform.

What do you think?