VMware, Salesforce.com to offer in-cloud Java

Two tech companies are in an alliance to offer a Java programming foundation over the Internet. A preview version should arrive in 2010.

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Two relatively new arrivals in the computing industry announced a partnership to profit from the trend toward general-purpose cloud computing services on the Net.

The first partner is VMware, an EMC subsidiary that specializes in virtualization technology that lets multiple operating systems run simultaneously on the same computer for greater operational flexibility. The second is Salesforce.com, a company that offers its clients customer-relationship management services online. Under the partnership, the two will offer a cloud-based service called VMforce for running Java applications.

Specifically, VMforce will permit programs written with VMware's SpringSource tools and technology to run on tc Server, a version of the Apache Tomcat project for running Java programs on servers. VMforce will be available in a developer preview form later in 2010, at which point pricing will be announced, the companies said.

The service is an example of one variety of cloud computing, a general-purpose foundation customers can use to run their own programs. Previously, Salesforce.com had offered a Java-like language called Apex for such services.

Among competitors for the service are Google's App Engine, which now can run Java programs, and Microsoft's Azure, which are cloud-based Windows servers on which customers can run their own programs.

Another major variety of cloud computing operates at a higher applications level, with examples being Salesforce.com's pre-built CRM service or Google Docs. And a third variety makes low-level computing resources available over the Net, the prime example being Amazon Web Services.