Wednesday, June 2, 2010

vmForce - adding new age features to the application platform

As VmWare and Force.com joined hands to create the vmForce platform for cloud applications it's interesting to note how some of the new age features are becoming part and parcel of the application infrastructure.

Few years back, an application server with servlet, EJB containers, connection pooling and other services was considered to be an application platform. Then with the SOA wave, features like orchestration (BPEL), service bus (for routing, transformation), adapters (for connecting apps), and governance tools became part of the platform leading to development of composite applications.
Now, vmForce is taking it another step ahead including features such as social apps like collaboration, google like search for any data, mobile access, BPM and reporting dashboards to be part of the platform, relieving application developers and administrators from integration pains with external tools providing these features.

Following vmForce feature list is extracted from Anshu's blogpost on this topic.
  • Social Profiles: Who are the users in this application so I can work with them?
  • Status Updates: What are these users doing? How can I help them and how can they help me?
  • Feeds: Beyond
    user status updates, how can I find the data that I need? How can this
    data come to me via Push? How can I be alerted if an expense report is
    approved or a physician is needed in a different room?
  • Content Sharing: How
    can I upload a presentation or a document and instantly share it in a
    secure and managed manner with the right set of co-workers?
  • Search: Ability to search any and all data in your enterprise apps
  • Reporting: Ability to create dashboards and run reports, including the ability to modify these reports
  • Mobile: Ability to access business data from mobile devices ranging from BlackBerry phones to iPhones
  • Integration: Ability to integrate new applications via standard web services with existing applications
  • Business Process Management: Ability to visually define business processes and modify them as business needs evolve
  • User and Identity Management:
    Real-world applications have users! You need the capability to add,
    remove, and manage not just the users but what data and applications
    they can have access to
  • Application Administration: Usually an afterthought, administration is a critical piece once the application is deployed