Deployment takes on a very different meaning in the cloud. In the past I’ve had to ship a CD (done that) or a USB stick (done that) or a DVD (done that) or a hard drive (done that too) or an entire computer (done that) or fiddle with FTP folders, directories, ZIPs and EAR files.
And that’s just one customer…
In the cloud here at Force.com it’s a matter of getting listed on AppExchange. Multi-tenancy does the rest. Now all of your clients can pull in the new version.
It almost sounds too simple, and I know there’s a little bit more to it (packaging, tests and so on), but having this sharing does open up a lot of new opportunities, including this process of deployment (and installation) that scales rather well.
In the past, as a developer, I stopped at EAR production. That was the job done. It was as far as you can go, as a developer. You don’t own your client’s machine. On the cloud, your other computer is a data center, which changes things some what.
That brings me onto the Industry Standard Innovation Awards, where AppExchange is listed as a finalist. Vote if you agree!