On Friday, Salesforce.com announced the release of the Java Spring Development Kit for Force.com and Database.com. This means you now have an easy way to connect all of your Spring based Java applications to the Force.com and Database.com platforms. This is great news for developers who have existing Java applications they need to tie into the Force.com platform, or developers who need to build applications that are potentially larger than the native Force.com environment can accommodate.
While I am a big fan of the Force.com native development platform, there are some types of applications that it isn’t well-suited for. Examples of this are applications that require a lot of processing or those that have very large amounts of data to process. Governor limits are inherent to the multi-tenant architecture, but often can be too restrictive for these types of applications.
With this new SDK, you can use the Database.com platform as your database for your Java applications. This is the same database that your current Force.com applications use to store their data. When you plug your application in the Database.com platform, you will instantly have access to all the current data in your organization. This is much easier than writing complex integrations to tie separate databases together using web services. Since your applications are native Java and use the Spring framework, they can be deployed on any platform that supports Java. This includes cloud-based platforms like Heroku and Cloudfoundry.com as well as internal environments and hosted environments.
Another very nice feature to mention about this is the built-in security model. With Database.com, you get Force.com’s native authentication and authorization functionality, which means the application you are building isn’t concerned with setting up and maintaining these components.
I haven’t had a chance to use this new SDK yet, so I can’t vouch for its performance or ease of use, but I am always excited to read about new ways that make developing large scale integrated applications easier. I look forward to using this new SDK in the near future and plan to share my thoughts.
In order for the cloud to work, integration to existing systems, and future ones, must be made as easy as possible. While we are still in the early stages of cloud applications, developments like this are a step in the right direction. There will be more information on Database.com coming out during Dreamforce this week, so stay tuned.