Today, Salesforce goes all-in on its vision of shiny, responsive, fast apps for every business with the launch of Heroku Enterprise, which takes the core platform-as-a-service and adds more features to make it accessible to the enterprise.
Heroku already has a reputation: Startups and more established consumer-facing tech companies like Lyft, Instacart and Caviar alike use it to power their customer-facing web and mobile apps, making it a first-class citizen in the Silicon Valley app development scene. Developers love PaaS because it makes it easier and faster to build, test and deploy applications at web scale. By the same token, that reputation for startup-friendliness has also given it the stigma of not being ready for large enterprise customers.
Salesforce, which owns Heroku, has been tackling this problem piece by piece: Last year, it released Heroku Connect, designed to sync Heroku Postgres databases to Salesforce CRM data, alongside some other tools to bring back-end data into forward-facing apps. This is critical as, after all, every company is an app company now (or so we keep hearing). Heroku boasts that this enterprise effort has been rewarded by deals with Macys.com and other big-ticket customer wins.
"It's amazing how the most disruptive thing you can do for any business is to launch an app," said Adam Seligman, Salesforce's vice president of developer platform marketing.
Heroku Enterprise is considered a new product, not an add-on to an existing Heroku subscription, and is available only to Salesforce CRM customers (for now, anyway), so plan accordingly. Heroku Enterprise adds features like code collaboration and better dashboards for -- and integration with -- third-party tools by way of API support for Dropbox, GitHub, Git and more.
It also adds enhanced administrative features like team and user permissions, so no one can work on code they're not authorized to see, along with user access logs -- eliminating the need for costly and time-consuming code audits to make sure everything's on the up-and-up, Seligman said.
It's all about taking the agility Heroku customers enjoy and layering on assets that enterprises need -- important, since "agility" and "enterprise" usually go together like Jay-Z and Nas, circa 2001. Heroku takes care of patching SSL and updating libraries, so developers can just develop, removing headaches to app deployment.
"In a more structured environment, things like the path to production is a real problem," Seligman said.
Heroku for Enterprise is a major investment for Salesforce, Seligman said, and a serious effort to get its enterprise customers quickly building apps that can make life happier for its customers and its customers' customers. That's important in the days where everybody's trying to be a developer.
As for Heroku's not-ready-for-enterprise stigma?
"The same's true of the iPhone," Seligman said.