The two major trends transforming software right now are Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) and Cloud Computing / Software as a Service (SaaS or PaaS). These trends are driven by two needs:
- Full client capabilities, which allow software to perform optimally and increase usability
- Easy deployment, which allows developers to focus on business needs instead of building infrastructure
The combination of RIA and Cloud is the future of software because it provides full client capabilities and easy deployment. The chart below illustrates this in comparison to the other major software architectures (main-frame, client / server, and web).
In line with these trends Adobe and Salesforce.com announced today that they are working together to unite Rich Internet Applications and The Cloud. At the core of this announcement is a developer preview of the Adobe Flash Builder for Force.com tool. This tool enables developers to easily build intuitive user interfaces with Flex which connect to the Force.com cloud platform and Salesforce.com CRM data. These applications can be deployed either in the browser or on the desktop using Adobe AIR. When utilizing Adobe AIR, the applications can still function when users are disconnected. Later, when users reconnect, the changes are synchronized with Force.com using the LiveCycle Data Services synchronization engine.
Being able to connect Flex applications to Salesforce.com / Force.com has been possible (and easy) since I co-created what was originally called the Flex Toolkit for Apex. So while it has been possible to build Rich Cloud Applications for a few years, today’s announcement is significant for a few reasons:
- Adobe and Salesforce are now officially partnered together around Rich Cloud Applications
- Much better, officially supported developer tooling
- Much better offline data synchronization
It’s really exciting to see how the vision of Rich Cloud Applications is becoming reality!
If you’d like to learn more or try out the new tooling check out these resources:
- Get the developer preview and watch video demos
- Get inspired and see how it works
- Watch a video walk-through
Another great way to learn more is to sign up for a Webinar / Tech Talk that I will be co-presenting.
Let me know what you think about this exciting new partnership and developer tooling.