October 18, 2006

DIY-web going solo

Posted in salesforce programming apex at 10:48 am by jayfresh

I’ve been interested in the DIY-web for a while now, by which I mean sites where you can create your own applications rather than just content e.g. JotSpot (http://www.jot.com), CogHead (http://www.coghead.com) and others. When you look at what DIY-publishing did for the web, in the form of blogs and wikis, it is very exciting to think about what will happen when DIY-app creation becomes as easy and mainstream as publishing is now.

I am writing this post after reading about Salesforce.com’s announcement of their Apex programming language, which in theory will give developers unlimited access to the resources and capabilities of the AppEx platform, letting them create native AppEx apps.


This is interesting not because it will make things simpler, but because it shows that Salesforce is serious about positioning the web and its AppEx platform as a development platform of choice. Instead of people saying that they write Javascript or .Net or Java applications on the AppEx platform, they will just talk about writing Apex applications.


I’ve just watched a couple of demos of some of the things you can do with Apex. The language looks very complex (it looks a lot like Java), so this is definitely not a step in the direction of simplicity. However, because the language is well integrated with the platform, any package of functionality can be exposed as a web service or via the API. This means that developers can build in their own widgets or tools that can become part of AppEx applications.

They are keeping a very close eye on your Apex usage metrics , which would put them in a good position to charge for usage if they wanted to.


Note the under construction message at http://adnsandbox.com/, which is where the Apex presentation movie is held.  Is Salesforce constructing a web-based development environment, a la Laszlo Explorer (http://www.laszlosystems.com/lps-3.0/laszlo-explorer/)?