• Salesforce Lightning brand leveraged to promote low-code, customization capabilities
• Salesforce DX emphasizes advanced dev tools: CLI, Scratch.org, repackaging/distribution
Amidst all the hoopla of a big city mega conference which attracts 135,000 attendees were some very important points about how developers and operations teams wish to proceed over the next year with their cloud native app development/deployment projects.
First things first: All in all, Dreamforce was a well-oiled machine able to organize a huge amount of press, analysts, customers, keynotes, and sessions, from my viewpoint, without a hitch. It was jarring, of course, to see armed officers with rifles at many entry points, and police dogs throughout. Once inside keynotes, most forgave Marc Benioff for packing into four hours what could have been said in two because of the philanthropic nature of the company. Benioff shared touching examples of how Salesforce’s technology is being used to help the underprivileged and the company’s progress in helping promote equality in the workplace, among other admirable efforts. With that said, I’ll admit that I get the most out of the Salesforce developer keynote.
Salesforce’s overarching technology theme was about addressing the direction developers and operations teams are heading over the next year, which is a desire for a more advanced development platform including application lifecycle management capabilities addressing operational requirements. For those looking for an easy on-ramp into cloud app development, Salesforce offers its Lightning UI technology on a number of platforms with low-code features. For the savvier developer, it is prepping its newest platform, Salesforce DX, apparently well-received among the Salesforce community by providing developers with more flexibility through slick features including a command line interface (CLI) and push tools through Scratch.org and third-party tools. Additionally, DX will include new distributing/packaging/versioning apps to address growing operations concerns around automation. (Please see Dreamforce 2017: Salesforce Rebranding Targets Non-Coders, while DX Threatens to Steal Professional Developers from Rivals, November 10, 2017).
Salesforce rivals including IBM and Red Hat are including similar features in the form of more advanced DevOps capabilities through platform services that recognize the industry is moving into the next phase of cloud development. IBM Cloud App Service includes the use of toolchains which create a typical DevOps lifecycle scenario around particular project, including build, deploy, manage, with optional advanced services and pipelines. Red Hat’s new OpenShift 3.7 version of PaaS, released this week, places a large emphasis on its ability to integrate with third-party services on par with Ansible Playbook to automate systems configuration. These cloud providers are realizing the importance of attracting operations to cloud services by addressing pain points around management, automation and configurations.
We’ll delve deeper into this increasingly important topic in our end-of-year market advisory report on application platform lifecycle management (APLM).