At its first TrailheaDX developer conference in San Francisco, Salesforce said it will enhance its Trailhead developer learning program and also debuted its new App Cloud that will bring together platform services for mobile developers. For Salesforce, that will mean a ramped-up training presence and a $50 million infusion from its venture capital arm, along with the creation of an incubator for enterprise startups.
Among the new tools meant to speed up development of apps and components are Lightning LockerService to ensure that apps under development stay secure. Also included are Lightning Inspector for debugging and Lightning CLI for code validation. Those components are scheduled to be included in the next Lightning release later this summer.
To date, 2.8 million Salesforce developers have built more than 5.5 million apps. The company's AppExchange enterprise app store is the world’s largest, with more than 3,000 apps available.
At TrailheaDX, the company emphasized that the new offerings are meant to meet the demand for enterprise apps, which at this point far outweighs the supply.
This labor gap could be closed by diversifying the developer base by enabling everyone from computer scientists to self-taught coders to novice business users to build apps using simplified tools, according to Brian Goldfarb, senior vice president of the Salesforce App Cloud. "We can take a wide approach to move beyond language, expertise and gender," Goldfarb said at the event.
With its developer efforts, Salesforce also aim to establish itself as a wide-ranging platform for enterprise software by joining various tools, including CRM, analytics, apps and the Internet of Things. Its Trailhead training platform will assist in that effort by offering more help to a wider range of developers. The deluxe edition of the two-year-old platform lets users earn badges and "super badges" that reflect training time and expertise level.
Salesforce Ventures’ $50 million Lightning Fund will go toward entrepreneurs building game-changing Lightning apps and components that extend the power of Salesforce. A number of capital companies are joining Salesforce to seek out opportunities to jointly invest in the more innovative startups. Salesforce's corporate investment group has invested in more than 150 enterprise cloud startups in 14 countries.
The company’s new incubator, Salesforce for Startups, aims to provide cloud startups and accounting firms that use Salesforce Lightning with access to technology, resources and expertise. The incubator will also provide a collaborative physical space within Salesforce offices that gives startups and services companies access to Salesforce technology and mentorship. The incubator will open in the San Francisco Bay Area by the end of 2016.