SFDC is a Platform
Or, rather force.com is. SFDC is not in focus today because it is a beautiful CRM product, but because it enables you to so much more using the force.com platform. Irrespective of whether you go all native, or use the force.com APIs, today the ecosystem appeals to many developers and architects. With a faster time to go to market, ever increasing market share of cloud applications and a solid, proven ecosystem to work on - all make the choice of this platform a safe bet. SFDC is a platform, and a rather good one at that indeed.
Louis Columbus quite nicely outlines the transformation that is underway in SFDC into a platform company and how it is winning the platform war today. Read more at Enterprise Irregulars .
However, don’t abandon your day job right away:
- SFDC is proprietary (for whatever the reason). Though APEX is great and so is SOQL, will it successfully pull developers away from core systems is a fact that remains to be seen. I did have some hope of seeing some standards enforced (using Ruby on Rails) when SFDC acquired Heroku, but I have not seen anything exciting there
- Oracle, Microsoft and SAP have been too slow to adapt to the changing world. Although they have been making some noise recently, there is little to show in terms of progress. But when they do catch up, that will probably hit really hard and in a short time. MS CRM is doing significantly better than the other two in comparison
- I see Sugar CRM marketplace as a strong contender as well. After-all Sugar CRM’s starting point does encourage a pluggable, extensible framework. So there with very little investment and lot of encouragement, Sugar CRM has the potential to develop into a formidable competitor in the coming days