As Goldfinger said to James Bond, "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence." The third time something happens, you have to take it seriously, and that's what's happened with productivity measurements for development on Force.com. A third independent study (PDF) has now confirmed a fivefold improvement in development time for custom applications, built by a diverse group of more than 1,100 organizations who were sampled by the respected research team at CustomerSat (a unit of MarketTools Inc.).
These results agree to astonishing precision with the previous results of studies by Nucleus Research and Galorath Inc., both of which also estimated 80% reduction of developer effort (with varying ranges around that mean) for diverse projects built on Force.com compared to similar work done on Java or .Net platforms.
Even if a Force.com application didn't come with all the advantages of cloud-based delivery – the near-elimination of capital costs, the operational benefits of world-class physical security and infosec teams, the nearly instantaneous scalability (up or down) with varying demand – you'd still be required, I think we can agree, to investigate any application development option that offered such extraordinary gains. We're talking about productivity improvements as big as those that attended the move from languages like C to managed-code platforms like Java, more than a decade ago: in that sense, it almost seems as if the next fivefold leap is merely arriving about when we should have expected it.
And here it is. I tell you three times.