On demand CRM and application platform vendor Salesforce.com has unveiled what it claims to be the world’s first cloud-hosted database service.
Database.com, which is built on database software from Oracle, will allow customers to build relational databases in the cloud that support applications across end points including web sites and mobile devices, the company announced at its annual Dreamforce conference.
When it launches next year, Database.com will provide the back end for applications programmed in languages including PHP, Java and .NET. These can be run on the vendor’s own Force.com platform, or others including Amazon EC2 and Microsoft Azure.
During a Q&A session in San Francisco yesterday, CEO Marc Benioff said Salesforce.com had "seen tremendous demand from customers for database as a service". However, he admitted that the vendor was "like a start-up in [the database] industry".
Benioff said Database.com was "priced aggressively". Costs start from $10 per 100,000 records per month, and $10 per 150,000 transactions per month.
The Salesforce.com CEO refuted suggestions that a database in the cloud was inherently less secure than an on-premise counterpart, citing recent leaks of sensitive US government correspondence to the website Wikileaks as proof of this.
He also denied that the announcement of Database.com would put Salesforce.com on a collision course with database software giant (and Benioff’s former employer) Oracle, despite the fact that is hosted-version of one of its products. "I honestly don’t see us as a competitor with Oracle."
The Salesforce.com chief went on to criticise Oracle’s cloud computing strategy. A central part of this is its Exalogic Elastic Cloud hardware stack, which was announced in September. "The cloud is not in a box," Benioff quipped.
Benioff also hit out at US software rival Microsoft, which this week said it would offer cash rebates to customers willing to leave Salesforce.com for its own Dynamics CRM system. He claimed that the stunt was evidence Microsoft was struggling to retain its dominance in the enterprise software market. "Microsoft don’t want their cash cow exploded," he remarked.
At the Dreamforce conference, Salesforce.com also announced a new version of its software development cloud Force.com, and a free edition of its social messaging platform Chatter.