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Salesforce.com and Adobe systems announced a significant new partnership which will formally add Adobe’s rich internet application (RIA) development platform to Salesforce.com’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform. “Adobe Flash® Builder™ for Force.com” is a jointly developed Eclipse-based integrated development environment (IDE), adding Adobe front-end development tools to the Force.com platform. A preview is now available to the Salesforce.com development community and a full version will be available in 2H2010.
“This announcement represents a key acknowledgement by Salesforce.com that most business users live on the ground, not in the cloud, and therefore offline scenarios have to be enabled for enterprise applications,” said Tim Hickernell, Lead Analyst for London Ontario based Info-Tech Research Group. “The RIA and web 2.0 application market is also getting crowded, with significant architectures being offered from Adobe, Microsoft, Google and open source technologies. By adopting Adobe’s Flash Builder platform and Flash Player and AIR delivery clients, Salesforce.com has aligned itself with the clear market leader and once again avoids having to partner with Microsoft, a direction that Salesforce.com has consistently avoided” he added. “The clear loser here is Google. Salesforce.com could have chosen to adopt Google’s Chrome and gadgets approach instead of Adobe’s architecture. Once again, Google has missed an opportunity to gain the enterprise application street credentials that it so badly needs.”
Hickernell explains that Adobe’s Flash Builder platform and delivery clients, such as Flash Player, Adobe AIR and even the Adobe Reader will allow organizations to build rich users interfaces comprising Web 2.0 tools and techniques and new application mashups by combining services from the cloud in new ways. He predicts Salesforce.com clients will see an explosion in new end-user clients leveraging Salesforce.com data and services and will also gain access to Adobe’s business process services from the Adobe Livecycle platform. “Combining the Salesforce.com development community with the Adobe development community is a win-win for everyone,” Hickernell said. He recommends that Salesforce.com clients reevaluate their offline user needs and look for opportunities to extend access to Salesforce.com through Adobe AIR applications, in particular.