With Force.com Still Unpopular Among Many Web Developers, InternetApplications.com Counters the Critics

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Officials at InternetApplications.com respond to the complaints, claiming much of the criticism stems from a misunderstanding of how to use Force.com.

There is a plan for every budget out there. ... It gives you the opportunity to scale for your business needs, and pay only for what you use.

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Officials at InternetApplications.com say that as Force.com receives criticism from Web developers, they disagree with the complaints, claiming the criticism stems from a misunderstanding of how to properly use the cloud platform for custom app development.

Cloud-based services provide computing functions and storage via the Internet. According to InternetApplications.com, developers have criticized Force.com for its use of the Apex programming language and limits to the type of apps the platform can be used to create.

Here are some of the complaints:

1.    The Apex coding language is proprietary to Force.com.

Force.com requires all applications be coded using the Apex language. App developers have complained that the proprietary language is a risk because developers would need to recode their apps when moving to a different platform.

But the proprietary nature of the Force.com system allows for shortcuts during Web application design that let programmers produce apps quickly when compared to older development stacks, InternetApplications.com President Ben Lyne said.

“Apex is the world’s first on-demand programming language. It was created specifically for expressing business logic and manipulating data. It is simple, powerful and is easy to learn due to its Java-like syntax,” Lyne added. “Being tied at the hip to a language is true of any platform, whether you’re coding in C# or PHP. Apex works side by side with the latest Web languages such as HTML 5, JavaScript and CSS, just like any other language.”

InternetApplications.com spokesman John Gifford agreed.

“Apex saves a lot of time and it’s simple,” he said. “You can compare it to any other app development language out there.”

According to Lyne, Salesforce.com, the company that owns Force.com, also offers a platform called Heroku that allows for the creation of apps in many standard, open development languages.

2. Force.com is too expensive.

Force.com’s app development license costs between $15 and $75 per user per month. Many developers complain that the price cuts too far into their profits.

“There is a plan for every budget out there,” Lyne countered. “It gives you the opportunity to scale for your business needs, and pay only for what you use.”

The most popular Force.com license is the enterprise version, which costs $50 per user per month.

“Force.com licenses are comparable in price to many monthly website hosting plans,” Gifford said.

3. The platform is too limited.

App developers criticize Force.com for being too limited in its functions and use. Critics claim too much time is spent writing code to fit those limitations. But according to Force.com, these limitations help ensure that coding does not monopolize shared resources, which could impact the experiences of other users.

“All cloud-based services have limits on what you can do,” Gifford said. “Google places a limit on how much storage space is in their Gmail service, Dropbox has limits on their storage space as well. Force.com places limits on data use and storage but these limits can be instantly scaled to fit any type of demand.”

4. The platform is limited in the complexity of apps it can create.

App developers criticize Force.com for limitations to the type of apps it can be used to create.
“Salesforce.com offers a variety of cloud-based services that are meant to work together,” Lyne said. “You can use Heroku to write more intensive background processes that store and present the data with a Force.com user interface.”

The user interface is the visual part of the app seen by the consumer.

Salesforce.com offers more than 15 different platform services that interact together.

“Salesforce.com has a full suite of tools including Force.com, Database.com and Heroku that allow you to build just about anything without limitations,” Lyne said. “You’re not limited if you are using the whole set.”

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