Definition

Salesforce App Cloud

Salesforce App Cloud is a collection of development tools that allow developers to quickly create applications that will run on the Salesforce platform. The tools include the following:

AppExchange. Launched by Salesforce in 2005, the AppExchange offers free and paid apps that integrate with the Salesforce platform. The AppExchange website was the first public directory of its kind.

Force.com. Force.com enables admins and developers to build websites and applications with Apex (a proprietary Java-like programming language for Force.com) and Visualforce (an XML syntax typically used to generate HTML).

Heroku Enterprise. Acquired by Salesforce in 2010, the PaaS offering supports development in a variety of languages, including Ruby on Rails, Java, Python and others. Heroku enables developers to build apps on top of the Salesforce platform.

Lightning. This framework was launched in 2014 at Dreamforce, and is becoming the default for building websites, applications and features within Salesforce clouds and on top of them. Lightning is the Salesforce back end, which is open to developers. The Salesforce1 mobile app was built on it and, as of 2016, Salesforce has announced plans to bring the Lightning framework to all its clouds. 

Lightning components. Components are reusable, self-contained app portions that enable drag-and-drop development of mobile and desktop apps with relative ease and speed of development. Salesforce has opened this code to developers and admins so they can build their own components and applications. Lightning Components are built on the Aura framework.

Lightning Process Builder. The Process Builder was designed to minimize the number of steps in development and to help automate business processes. Process Builder can create automated workflows without enlisting laborious Apex code.

Lightning Connect. This tool enables rapid, easy data integration into Salesforce clouds.

Lightning Schema Builder. This tool enables data visualization and extension of the Salesforce data model in real time. It's possible to visualize and see data relationships without having to write complex code.

Thunder. Thunder is the development framework for the Salesforce IoT Cloud. Thunder is designed to process billions of events per day, so it in turn is powered by several open source technologies that are tailored for big data processing.

Shield. This encryption software helps meet the needs of Salesforce customers that store personally identifiable or otherwise sensitive data. Shield enables encryption of data while also ensuring the ability to search the data and apply workflows to it.

Trailhead. Trailhead helps guide novices through the process of learning Salesforce development. Once all units within a module are finished, the user receives a badge of acknowledgment.

This was last updated in April 2016

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