The news about Salesforce.com’s acquisition of Heroku, a platform-as-a-service provider for Ruby on Rails applications, is yet more great validation that Ruby on Rails is quickly entering the enterprise environment as a viable Web development framework. Heroku powers over 100,000 Rails-based Web applications, and together with Salesforce.com, the company is going to bring the Rails community closer to enterprise developers and customers. This is also great for the open source community, which Rails is part of, and further validation of the important place open source technologies deserve within the enterprise software stack.
All the cool kids on the block, including Twitter, Groupon, 37Signals, and, of course, SAManage, are using Ruby on Rails to deliver agile development processes, and shorten the time it takes to innovate and offer new capabilities to their customers. For us, Ruby on Rails allows us to quickly respond to our customers’ needs and deliver the solutions and capabilities they require, at a fraction of the time they were used to with traditional software. And trust me, our customers appreciate it.
This is also a big boost for the Rails developer community, as enterprise acceptance is key for the long term success of the Rails framework. And no one better understands how to bring SaaS and Web applications to enterprise customers than Salesforce.com. We’ll see the oracle of SaaS (@benioff) put the best Web development framework into the hands of enterprise customers – an exciting evolution for Ruby.
This is a smart move for Salesforce.com. They want to ramp up their developer community around the new database.com and chatter offerings. So why not buy an already-established community like the one Heroku had already put together? They will likely add the Heroku platform and re-brand it as their new Force offering (perhaps the RubyForce?), and together with their VMforce Java-based platform, will now have a cloud offering that runs both Java and Rails. Pretty exciting stuff!