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michael_mcmahonmichael_mcmahon 

database.com, VisualForce, and Sites

I posted a similar question on the VisualForce board a few weeks ago without response, so I'm trying here.

 

I'm building a database on database.com that I want anyone to have Create and Read access to without registration, and Update and Delete with registration and apporopiate account ownership.  I've spent the last three months teaching myself APEX and VF, so when the database.com guys say, "The best part is, you can use anything you want to build the front end!", I want to use APEX and VF!

 

It's like when someone is "let go" from their job and says , "No you don't have to let me, I wasn't trying to go anyway.".

 

Can I use VF and APEX to build a database.com front end?  If not, would it be more efficient to learn more PHP rather than starting yet another language from scratch?  Is there a language that people feel strongly is vastly superior to PHP for database driven development and apps, perhaps including mobile somewhere down the road?

 

How does the Force.com IDE fit into this picture?

 

Thank you in advance.

Best Answer chosen by Admin (Salesforce Developers) 
Park Walker (TAGL)Park Walker (TAGL)

The short answer to your first question is no, you cannot use APEX and Visualpages to create an application on database.com. Database.com is a database service, not an application hosting platform. That would be Force.com.

 

Step back and ask yourself why you chose to use database.com in the first place. It sounds like your application requirements are pretty straight forward and might be more appropriatly satisfied by a simple web hosting service which provides such free databases as SQLite, MySQL and Postgres. With your choice to use databse.com you have not eliminated the need to find this web hosting service as it will be the platform you run your application on, using your language of choice to develop the application code. By adding in database.com you have made the process more complicated than it probably needs to be and one which will be more expensive if the volume exceeds the free level provided by database.com.

 

If you still want to try database.com as a database service your choices of development language are limited to those which can use the Salesforce APIs to communicate with the database. This includes most currently popular programming languages. The developer section at Force.com has an extensive listing as well as many examples. As for which to use, you will find hundreds of articles on the internet discussing the various reasons to use one or another, all with different recommendations. There is no one right/best answer.

 

The Force.com IDE is a development tool (Integrated Development Environment), particularly useful if you are developing APEX code for the Database.com or Force.com environments or the Salesforce CRM platform. It is built on Eclipse, a generic development environment which can support Salesforce related development in most of the languages that can be used with the API with the installation of appropriate plugins.

 

Park

All Answers

Park Walker (TAGL)Park Walker (TAGL)

The short answer to your first question is no, you cannot use APEX and Visualpages to create an application on database.com. Database.com is a database service, not an application hosting platform. That would be Force.com.

 

Step back and ask yourself why you chose to use database.com in the first place. It sounds like your application requirements are pretty straight forward and might be more appropriatly satisfied by a simple web hosting service which provides such free databases as SQLite, MySQL and Postgres. With your choice to use databse.com you have not eliminated the need to find this web hosting service as it will be the platform you run your application on, using your language of choice to develop the application code. By adding in database.com you have made the process more complicated than it probably needs to be and one which will be more expensive if the volume exceeds the free level provided by database.com.

 

If you still want to try database.com as a database service your choices of development language are limited to those which can use the Salesforce APIs to communicate with the database. This includes most currently popular programming languages. The developer section at Force.com has an extensive listing as well as many examples. As for which to use, you will find hundreds of articles on the internet discussing the various reasons to use one or another, all with different recommendations. There is no one right/best answer.

 

The Force.com IDE is a development tool (Integrated Development Environment), particularly useful if you are developing APEX code for the Database.com or Force.com environments or the Salesforce CRM platform. It is built on Eclipse, a generic development environment which can support Salesforce related development in most of the languages that can be used with the API with the installation of appropriate plugins.

 

Park

This was selected as the best answer
michael_mcmahonmichael_mcmahon

Thank you very much Park, your answer was helpful.

 

The API daily usage limits have me worried and I'm trying to avoid using API to access the data if I don't have to. Is this called running natively in Force?  Could I use APEX and VF on Sites and point to the database.com data without having to use the API?  Or is accessing the data via the API a very common thing that I should just stop worrying about?

 

I'm using database.com, at least for now, because beyond the free public information there is more functionality for paying customers which requires more permissions and objects etc...  I have cobbled together a working proof-of-concept and now I need to figure out how to move ahead.  I am reading and re-reading everything I can find on developer force and also REST and JSON and SOAP on various websites.  It's fun, but overwhelming at times.  I appreciate your help.

 

Michael

Park Walker (TAGL)Park Walker (TAGL)

Running a 'native' app means you are relying entirely on the Salesforce.com platform - no outside code. That's possible, but you need to be using the Force.com product if that's the way you want to go. Force.com is a superset of the features available from Database.com and uses exactly the same database platform. There is no need (or way) to access a Database.com database from Force.com. Using the IDE it is pretty simple to move your database structure from one to the other.

 

API allowances are a fact of life for all Salesforce.com platforms. They vary based on the level of service that you have subscribed to. If you feel that you will be running into limits then you will need a different subscription than you are using now. The Force.com platform is priced in a different manner than the Database.com platform, reflecting the richer environment that you are subscribing to. In general, it does not require API use, but you will pay more for the use of the additional tools available and for authorized users. You may want to give them a call and discuss your situation and see what they suggest.

 

The choice between Database.com and Force.com is one between front-end platforms. WIth Force.com you are free to use Visualpages and Sites to host your application and the application can run entirely on their platform. With Database.com you provide the front-end platform (i.e. hosting service) and code, communicating with the database using API calls. There's no other options with Database.com.

 

michael_mcmahonmichael_mcmahon

Got it.   I am in discussions with salesforce about the best licensing model, which is why I'm now rebuilding everything on database.com.  Time to suck it up and learn more PHP and REST!

 

Thank you VERY much.

 

Michael

o2bdbo2bdb

What's the best way to push data from a Salesforce.com Org to Database.com? Bulk Api need csv or xml files? All examples are provided based on Data loader which is an external tool, but we want push data from a Salesforce Org to Database and use it as cheaper storage service.

 

Any suggestion?

 

Bhaskar