Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Cloud computing - cloudforce and beyond...

Having recently attended Cloudforce UK - London (07th-04-2009) I though I'd blog a little with some resources and links.

I don't really want to re-invent the wheel and attempt to explain what cloud computing is exactly, hopefully some of the resources and links should cover that. For an overview, the Wikipedia entry is a good start

A couple of terms that crop up in this domain are:
  • SaaS - Software as a Service
  • PaaS - Platform as a Service
  • IaaS - Infrastructure as a Service

Cloudforce itself is a worldwide tour of - evangelising and spreading the word about their cloud products and frameworks, customer success stories and break out sessions covering aspects from development to opportunities.

Details on the event

Salesforce cloud platform:

Main features at a glance:
  • Product portfolio including CRM
  • Application store - the AppExchange
  • Multiple server, massively scalable environment
  • Multi-tenant database optimised for cloud usage
  • Disaster recovery
  • Database, web service, business logic and presentation layers
  • Fast app creation, instant deployment
  • Live update of applications, can copy to sandbox to develop new versions
  • No built in source code control / visioning
  • Eclipse force plug ins available for development integration
  • Presentation framework and components (Visual Force)
  • Strongly types OO language - Apex (an on-demand language)
  • Web service creation API and integration support
  • Integration with Mobile devices - iPhone, Blackberry and Windows mobile based devices
  • Integration with Twitter, Facebook, Google API's supported

Site gallery / reference sites: Applications:

The platform has an App Exchange, a place where cloud based applications can be shared and exchanged

The Salesforce platform offers a number of off the shelf, customisable applications products, such as Salesforce CRM

App Development:

Salesforce developer home is here

The platform framework offers some technologies such as Visual Force for GUI components and component creation and Apex for code/page creation -

Salesforce blerb about Apex " Apex Code is a strongly-typed programming language that executes on the platform. Apex is used to add business logic to applications, to write database triggers, and to program controllers in the user interface layer. It has a tight integration with the database and query language, good web services support, and includes features such as futures and governors for execution in a multi-tenant environment."

Cloudforce take-aways:

As well as the above, the overall event gave an impression of some key takeaway points.

  • The service cloud, service applications now integrating and utilising knowledge from social networking sources such as Twitter, Facebook etc as well as traditional sources such as Phone.
  • Easy of application creation
  • Speed of development
  • Enable business to meet customer demands in terms of cost or time to market that might otherwise be impossible

Some other providers:

Many over companies offer computing in the cloud, such as:

Well, having just signed up for the Google App engine, expect more blogs in the future as I play around and experiment up in the clouds...

Further Resources:

Google AppEngine blogspot -

Sun Cloud Computing Primer (Need a Sun account) -


Thursday, 2 April 2009

.NET and C# - an introduction

Not so much an actual blog today, rather a link to a presentation I recently gave as an introduction to the .NET framework and C# - to a mixed audience of C, C++, Java and web developers.

It's mainly a high level overview of the .NET framework and then an introduction to the C# language, from a programmers perspective, for programmers familiar with other languages like Java and C++, to help get familiar with the basics.

Available in OpenOffice format ODP:

Or MS PowerPoint presentation format PPT: