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Salesforce.com to splash $212 million on Heroku

Marc Benioff's firm buys Heroku for $212 million as Salesforce.com looks to become king of the cloud.

Deal

Salesforce.com has agreed to acquire Ruby platform-as-a-service provider Heroku for around $212 million (134.3 million).

The cloud company made the announcement during its Dreamforce conference in San Francisco as it looked to open up its services to developers working on what it called "Cloud 2" apps.

These were defined as next-generation apps that were social, mobile and real-time, and Salesforce.com chief executive (CEO) Marc Benioff said Ruby was "the language of Cloud 2."

Benioff told delegates the combination of Salesforce.com and Heroku will be a "killer combination for Cloud 2."

"I feel like we've been somewhat myopic, we haven't listened close enough to our customers," the CEO explained, claiming his company needed to spread its wings wider to help support more developers.

"Ruby truly is the language of Cloud 2... Developers love Ruby they relish Ruby."

Benioff claimed Heroku had "some of the best computer science" he had ever seen.

"Heroku is really designed for developers, it is not trying to force developers into doing any unnatural acts. It gives developers the tools and technologies they are used to," said Byron Sebastian, Heroku CEO.

"We think we're really going to pull out ahead and establish a lead with platform-as-a-service."

Heroku already powers over 105,000 apps and uptake appears to be quick with 2,600 apps added to the platform just last week.

One app run by Heroku comes from Groupon, a company which has reportedly been courted by Google.

The Salesforce.com deal is expected to go through by the end of January 2011 after the Heroku board of directors approved the deal.

Ruby will line up alongside Java as the supported languages on Salesforce.com. There was no news of further support for other languages.

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