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Salesforce.com buys Ruby cloud-app platform Heroku

Salesforce.com hopes to attract Ruby developers with the acquisition

By Jeremy Kirk, IDG News Service
December 08, 2010 08:12 AM ET

IDG News Service - Salesforce.com said on Wednesday it will acquire Heroku, a company that specializes in hosting applications based on the Ruby programming language, for US$212 million.

With the acquisition, online customer relationship management (CRM) specialist Salesforce.com said it will gain access to a large community of Ruby developers who are now using Heroku's multitenant platform.

Heroku offers its own data center for developers to upload and run their code, sparing them the trouble of buying and running their own hosting hardware. It can be used for the development, testing and production deployment of Web and enterprise applications. Other companies offer similar services.

Heroku's sells database services and processing power depending on how much performance the application developers want. The company calls it platform-as-a-service, and it is responsible for maintenance and quality of service.

The platform is built on Ruby, which Heroku maintains is one of the most popular languages used to build Web applications and those for mobile devices. So far, Heroku hosts some 105,000 applications, including those from companies such as Best Buy and Comcast.

Salesforce.com expects the deal to close at the end of January. While the deal won't affect Salesforce.com's fiscal fourth quarter results, it will reduce its non-GAAP earnings per share by $0.12 to $0.13 in the year ending Jan. 31, 2012, the company said.

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