What's your thinking on Heroku's acquisition by Salesforce?

So I’ve been keeping an eye on the recent acquisition of Heroku by
Salesforce.com, and truth be told, I’m pretty concerned. I’ve been
developing an app recently that I had planned to launch on Heroku,
before I heard about this merger. But now that Salesforce.com is
about to finish the acquisition of Heroku, I’m not so sure that’s a
good idea.

But the question I have is: what do you think?

I fully concede that I could be over-paranoid here. It’s happened
before and I’m sure it’ll happen again. But in a world where we see
large IT companies gobbling up everything in sight (Oracle, Google,
Apple, Microsoft) as a strategy to limit competition and force vendor
lock-in, as well as with what Oracle’s done with MySQL (and what it’s
obvious they plan to do - make it crippled and pointless over time,
forcing people to buy Oracle and effectively killing an open source
database competitor), it would be foolish for me not to at least
consider what Salesforce.com’s future strategy is for Heroku.

Not only that, but in my opinion, these days, CEO’s are every bit as
“dodgy” and untrustworthy as politicians. I don’t believe a word
they’re saying. Just because CEO X says something today doesn’t mean
that’s what’ll actually happen three months down the line.

So I’m curious - what do you guys think? Am I over-paranoid here,
thinking that SF is basically going to try to “pull an Oracle” on
Heroku (jacking up the price, killing the service’s usefulness, etc.),
or do you think that SF is a “good steward” of something like Heroku?

My biggest concern is launching my app on Heroku, only to find that SF
jacks up the prices, or starts charging differently for various
components that would make the application take a nose-dive in terms
of profitability or cost-effective scalability. Not only that, but
I’m concerned that if the do these things, I may have some difficulty
later getting access to my data so I can move the application
somewhere else (i.e. vendor lock-in).

Am I being paranoid, or are these concerns well founded?

On Sun, Jan 2, 2011 at 10:03 PM, Phoenix R.
[email protected] wrote:

My biggest concern is launching my app on Heroku, only to find that …

…you’re not happy with the price/T&Cs/whatever? Then move the app
to another provider. It’s not a big deal.


Hassan S. ------------------------ [email protected]
twitter: @hassan

On Jan 2, 11:26pm, Hassan S. [email protected]
wrote:

…you’re not happy with the price/T&Cs/whatever? Then move the app
to another provider. It’s not a big deal.

Well, Hassan, that’s just it. If I launch the application now, let it
build up a solid user base over the next 6 months to a year, and then
SF screws something up, now I have a database potentially several
gigabytes in size that I have to move from Heroku to Engine Y. or
some other place. That is kind of a big deal. While it’s simple in
theory, I’m not sure I trust SF to avoid trying to prevent me from
accessing my own database/data and/or doing some form of a SQL dump to
export it all elsewhere.

My question to the community is: do you trust Salesforce.com not to
screw up the platform or introduce additional financial, technological
or procedural burdens on customers?

On 3 January 2011 07:12, Phoenix R. [email protected] wrote:

theory, I’m not sure I trust SF to avoid trying to prevent me from
accessing my own database/data and/or doing some form of a SQL dump to
export it all elsewhere.

You should not be trusting Heroku to backup your database anyway.
Suppose the company ceased trading suddenly for some reason, your data
might become inaccessible. Alternatively some act of or malicious individuals might cause havoc. It is essential that
you have your own backup so you do not loose everything.

My question to the community is: do you trust Salesforce.com not to
screw up the platform or introduce additional financial, technological
or procedural burdens on customers?

You can never trust any company to do more than the immediate contract
requires, and even then, as I pointed out above, a company may cease
trading and then all bets are off.

Colin

On Mon, Jan 3, 2011 at 12:32 AM, Colin L. [email protected]
wrote:

You should not be trusting Heroku to backup your database anyway.

Agreed; keeping a running backup of a live DB is always a good idea,
and Heroku makes that easy enough.

My question to the community is: do you trust Salesforce.com not to
screw up the platform or introduce additional financial, technological
or procedural burdens on customers?

I would expect (not trust) them to honor their contractual obligations

have you and/or your attorney gone over the contract thoroughly? Do
you know what they’re agreeing to provide right now? :slight_smile:

I’m only using Heroku for development sites right now so I haven’t, but
if I were planning to go to production on their platform I certainly
would.

And as Colin says – stuff happens. Companies go out of business,
change business models, experience catastrophic failures – being
prepared to switch to another provider if necessary is always a good
idea. Run a backup system on another provider’s cloud; without any
traffic it’ll cost you almost nothing, but if you need it – a DNS
change
and some propagation time and you’re back in business.

FWIW,

Hassan S. ------------------------ [email protected]
twitter: @hassan

Salesforce enables companies of all sizes to build amazing app experiences that drive stronger customer relationships. Heroku makes it easy to deliver engaging apps on the public cloud that integrate customer data.

Salesforce dot com has just announced that it is acquiring Heroku, which provides a Ruby application platform-as-a-service, for approximately $212 million in cash. That’s one hell of an exit for the startup, which was founded in 2007 and has raised only $13 million in funding. I learn this during the online salesforce course.

Heroku wasn’t acquired primarily for it’s integration capabilities with salesforce dot com or the Force dot com Platform. Neither is Ruby and the Rails framework seen as a replacement for the on-platform languages such as Apex and Visualforce. Every language in the world that is web services capable could integrate with the platform before the acquisition of Heroku.

A perception that the company is involved in “hip” developer culture thereby winning the hearts and minds of a key developer demographic.

Perhaps more importantly - even though salesforce dot com and the Force dot com Platform can be integrated with just about anything, their business model wasn’t originally built with the consumer-web in mind. Heroku (or more precisely RoR) is perfect to plug this gap in their offering.

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