Late last year salesforce.com announced its acquisition of PaaS product Heroku. At the time there was a smattering of concern from users of Heroku as to what the acquisition would mean for Heroku – would salesforce play nice with the product and community? Would developers still want to hang out somewhere no longer independent? Would third party products still look to Heroku as an integration option?

As is often the case in situations like this, after the initial hubbub, the status quo returned. Developers kept using the product, salesforce (as yet) hasn’t done anything stupid, and today we see that third parties are still making a bet on Heroku. Today database service Xeround is announcing that it is becoming an add-on for the Heroku platform – this is doubly interesting as Xeround is at least in part, a competitor for salesforce’s own database.com product, also announced at Dreamforce 2010. I questioned Xeround about this and they made the following points;

This is not competition because:
1. We offer MySQL native, they offer a sub segmented SQL offering in a limited soap/rest api.
2. We offer our service on Amazon (world wide) and soon on other CSPs (cloud service providers) worldwide given our vendor agnostic technology/solution, they are not…
3. We offer distributed and multi-tenancy, they don’t
4. Our DB was designed and built from day one as virtual cloud DB, they are using the same old traditional limited engine now run in a virtual container

That’s not the sort of talk that new Heroku bosses salesforce are going to like to hear – I reached out to salesforce who said that they;

don’t have any comment with regards to Xeround.

Ouch.

Anyway, Xeround is providing their database service for MySQL based apps and a one-click integration on the Heroku platform. From the user’s perspective, all they need to do is add the add-on to their application from within the Heroku environment. This automatically creates a MySQL-compatible cloud database that connects to their application. Xeround’s cloud database enables Heroku users to take advantage of a highly available and elastic database that can grow in size and throughput as required by the application.

At this stage Xeround is the only horizontally scalable SQL database available for Heroku users, and the add in is currently in private beta. It is available either as Database as a Service or as a virtual appliance. Let’s see how far they get with this integration…

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Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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