VMforce is Dead: The Platform Rivalry Heats Up Between Salesforce.com and VMware


The competition between VMware and Salesforce.com is pretty clear when you look at VMforce, the platform as a service launched last year by the two companies that is now all but dead.

Salesforce.com and VMware launched the service in April of last year with the promise of offering VMware’s Spring as a platform for Java development on Force.com.

Today, the service is pretty much dead. By the end of last year, Salesforce.com acquired Heroku, the Ruby-on-Rails platform. In February, VMware launched Cloud Foundry. Now the two platforms are competing in the heated platform race. Yesterday, Salesforce.com Executive Todd Nielsen said VMforce will not be delivered.

According to Gartner Vice President and Distinguished Analyst Yefim V. Natis,  CloudFoundry technology will not run in the Salesforce.com data center and CloudFoundry users will be enabled to access database.com in some unspecified way as a compensating feature.  Byron Sebastian, salesforce.com platform executive confirmed it.

Yes, VMforce is dead.

Services Angle

The battles are now skirmishes between Salesforce.com and CloudFoundry. Users are the first casualty. I concur with Natis. This is a good lesson for us all. Be very skeptical of alliances between technology companies. Companies can easily become competitors, leaving users with the challenge of moving what they have developed to an entirely new environment.

There’s more to this story. These are two companies that are both moving up the stack and will increasingly compete at the application layer. Platforms are the building grounds for these efforts. The question, as always:

“Where will the developers go?”