Introduction to Cloud Computing (Salesforce.com and Force.com)

Cloud computing has become a buzz word now a days and every one trying to cash on it. If you offer your services on cloud, then you will find many takers for it as its going to be huge cost saving for organizations and enterprises. Salesforce is one such player who offers many services over cloud and enjoys huge popularity. In this tutorial series we are going to explore more on salesforce and its cloud services. We will start with basic concepts of cloud computing and move forward to more advanced topics and services.

1.1 Introducing the concept of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is the term in which consumer can get the services like software support or development, platform development, infrastructure management and sharing, e-business (m-business) via internet. The term cloud was inspired by the symbol of cloud used to represent internet in flowcharts.

Basic idea behind the cloud computing is Anytime, Anyone and anywhere can access the services through internet. The service provided by cloud computing can have characteristics like elasticity, dynamic, cost effectiveness, on demand services, pays for what you use.

These characteristics have different meanings to different types of cloud users (stakeholders). In order to ensure common understanding, potential cloud stakeholders are characterised into four general roles:

  • End Users : Consumer of the cloud application services
  • Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) : Provider of cloud capabilities
  • Cloud Tool Providers (CTPs) : Third party provider of cloud support and manageability tools
  • Cloud Application Vendors (CAVs): Vendor of cloud services

Following is the list of Top 10 Cloud Services

  1. Amazon Cloud Drive (https://www.amazon.com/clouddrive)
  2. Box  (https://www.box.com/pricing)
  3. Dropbox    (https://www.dropbox.com)
  4. Egnyte      (http://www.egnyte.com/corp/plans_pricing.html)
  5. G Suite     (https://gsuite.google.com/pricing.html)
  6. iCloud      (http://www.apple.com/icloud/)
  7. iDrive      (https://www.idrive.com/idrive)
  8. Microsoft OneDrive   (https://onedrive.live.com)
  9. OpenDrive    (https://www.opendrive.com)
  10. SugarSync  (https://www.sugarsync.com)

1.2 Introduction of cloud vendors (Salesforce)

Customer relationship management (CRM) is the key feature of Salesforce cloud vendor. The term is based on CRM cloud software systems. Salesforce.com is used to manage sales and has the key products like Chatter, Work.com, ServiceCloud, Salesforce1 Platform, Salesforce Communities, ExactTarget Marketing Cloud, Pardot, and Sales Cloud.

The most popular product from Salesforce.com is Sales Cloud. This is a CRM system that allows you to manage opportunities for your business, contacts, leads and customers; forecast projected revenue; track customer cases, follow the status of deals; feedback, problems and resolutions etc. Sales force Sales Cloud is only a tool to manage your sales process.  We need to develope processes according to our unique business needs in order for it to work.
Saleforce

1.3 Overview of each of three building blocks in cloud applications

Cloud computing is a model for providing IT services through internet. The services are placed at remote place (UDDI registry). The resources are retrieved from the Internet though web-based tools and applications. These services are mainly divided into three categories:

  1. Software-as-a-Service (Saas).
  2. Platform-as-a-Service (Paas)
  3. Infrastructure-as-a-Service (Iaas),

1.3.1 SAAS (Salesforce.com)

Software as a service (or SaaS) is the way of delivering applications over the Internet—as a service. Instead of installing each software on your personal computer / laptop, you can easily access it from internet.

Salesforce.com is a standard application for CRM which provides many services online (as discuss earlier in section 1.2).

Sales Cloud consists of following objects likes

  1. Campaign: campaigns is a “marketing tactic” (or series of tactics) that are designed to achieve specific goals such as increased revenue, leads, used to generate invoice etc. Campaign can be Online Campaign, Web Campaigns etc.
  2. Leads : Leads can be define as future perspective object of Salesforce.com.  You may get more business from leads. Its a object which support Business to Consumer (B2C). When lead becomes your customer create an account for them, find the contacts and generate opportunities.
  3. Account : Unique entity to track your customer business.
  4. Contacts : Contact details of customer (employee of that company).
  5. Opportunity: This object can be in terms of revenue where all financial transactions are maintained.
  6. Products : Item which you sale to your customer.
  7. Pricebook : Catalog of standard prices
  8. Quotes : (Quotation) This is proposed price of services and product.

Service Cloud consists of

  1. Cases : This is the description about customer’s complained
  2. Solutions : Solution to customer issues
  3. Idea : Open online suggestion box, we can say forum where anybody can post an idea, others can comment, like etc.
  4. Q and A – Questions and Answer (Note: if question is not answered in some specific time span then that is converted to case)
  5. Reports : summarized representation of Data
  6. Dashboards: graphical representation of data.
  7. Documents: This is centralized repository where access is granted to right people.
  8. Tasks/Activities tasks and activities are scenario or project.

Out of these 16 objects, Idea and Q and A are Community objects.  Accounts, Contacts, Reports, Dashboards, Documents, and Task/Activities are Universal objects.

1.3.2  PAAS (Force.com)

The platform as a service means that the platform exists “in the cloud,” accessible to customers via the Internet. The functionality of a platform’s infrastructure differs widely across platform vendors.

Force.com is multi-tenant architecture which is used by corporate application developers and independent software vendors. Force.com provides a custom application platform centered on the relational database, one resembling an application server.Force.com is free for developers. Production applications are priced based on the usage for storage.

Force.com is integrated with other technologies using open standards like SOAP and REST, the programming languages like APEX. Force.com supports metadata driven development model. VMforce is one of the best platform for developer community which consists of development tools from the Salesforce community and virtualized computing resources from VMware. Using VMforce, one can create hybrid applications that use Force.com for data and services, but are built with Java standard technologies such as spring.

1.3.3 IAAS

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a form of service where resources are shared virtually. Multitenancy is a good example of virtualization. The Virtual machine monitor (Hypervisor) is responsible to create and run the virtual machines(guest machine).

That’s it for our first tutorial on the overview of cloud computing. Please stay tuned for next tutorial which will talk about database concepts and databases used in salesforce.

Please feel free to get back to us for any questions and we will try our best to answer them as soon as possible.

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