NYCPHP Meetup

[nycphp-talk] SalesForce

Fernando Gabrieli fgabrieli at gmail.com
Mon Aug 9 15:39:34 EDT 2010


Paul,

First of all, thank you for sharing all this information

In this case it seems like a client is already using SalesForce and asking
about doing some changes. So after this i've been asked about how many time
it would take for a developer to get into the platform

My first guess was a week, then i downloaded the manual (with > 300 pages)
and i started thinking in two weeks, but if it's Java i don't think we'll be
able to take it. We are doing PHP mostly, also FB apps, ASP, AS, but not
Java

>From what you are telling me, it seems like we might need to develop in
Java, not in PHP, is this correct?


best,
Fernando



On Mon, Aug 9, 2010 at 2:23 PM, Paul A Houle <paul at devonianfarm.com> wrote:

> Fernando Gabrieli wrote:
>
>> Hi all, i'm working for a company which is considering creating a website
>> using SalesForce
>>
>> I've been asked about how many time it would take for a developer to get
>> into it
>>
>> Have you ever used it? How much did it take to you to get familiar?
>>
>> thanks in advance
>>
>> best regards
>> Fernando
>>
>>    I haven't made "Salesforce pages" (public-facing web sites that run on
> the SF platform) but I have done some work with the API and I made it to
> Dreamforce last year.
>
>   From a technical point of view,  you can develop public and private
> facing SF applications with a system that's very similar to modern MVC
> frameworks like CakePHP or symfony,  but you'd do coding in a language
> called APEX,  which is derived from Java,  and the database is somewhere
> between SQL and NoSQL.  There's a Web UI builder in the IDE for it,  so you
> can build simple pages with very little coding -- I saw a demo aimed at
> marketing people where they were able to knock up a form in the builder in
> about five minutes.  Particularly looking at the API I see a lot of
> similarities between the SF platform and the Facebook platform,  but SF is
> really optimized for classic OLTP applications and doesn't have the
> specializations for large social networks that you see in sites like FB or
> LinkedIn.
>
>   That said,  I find the business of Salesfore puzzling.  I like building
> web sites that are supported by advertising,  so think in terms of eCPM,
>  which is typically between $0.25-$5.00 for the sites I make.  Pages hosted
> on the SF platform cost $1.00 eCPM to host,  which would eat an unacceptable
> amount of my profits...  Particularly when the costs of a more conventional
> system (MySQL/PHP,  or MSSQL/ASP.NET) is probably 1/100 that assuming
> reasonable scale and utilization.  SF has an ARPU of around $1000 a year...
>  If it wasn't possible to provision a similar kind of service for 1/1000 the
> price,  it wouldn't be possible for Facebook to exist.  You'd think,  given
> the prices they charge,  SF would have good margins,  but according to what
> they file with the S.E.C.,  Salesforce.com's margins are much much smaller
> than those of Amazon Web Services!
>
>   In the back end,  SF has several big clusters that center around an
> instance of Oracle 10g,  and they buy lots of gold plated hardware.  The
> reliability of SF is excellent,  and performance is really good for OLTP
> work,  but the platform is weak for analytics,  network analysis and
> anything that doesn't fit into its paradigm...  They charge something like
> $1K / month/ GB for database storage,  which is just nuts...  They could be
> storing it in RAM for what they're charging.
>
>   Overall,  if your company is already using SF and you want to build
> applications that communicate with your SF database in an OLTP manner,  SF
> pages are a reasonable way to go.  If you don't already have a commitment to
> SF,  I'd stay away.  They like to recall the days that they were a
> disruptive upstart,  but I think 10 years from now they're going to be seen
> as an over-the-hill high cost provider.
>
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