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@CloudExpo Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Jyoti Bansal, Carmen Gonzalez

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Cloud Computing: Salesforce.com Buys Heroku

The transaction is expected to be completed in salesforce.com's fiscal fourth quarter

Salesforce.com, which nowadays boldly describes itself as "the enterprise cloud computing company" has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Heroku, the fastest growing cloud application platform for writing Ruby-based applications, for approximately $212M in cash, net of cash acquired.

The transaction is expected to be completed in Salesforce.com's fiscal fourth quarter ending Jan. 31, 2011, subject to customary closing conditions.

“The next era of cloud computing is social, mobile and real-time," said Marc Benioff, Salesforce.com chairman and CEO, in an accompanying statement.

“I call it Cloud 2," Benioff (pictured) continued. "Ruby is the language of Cloud 2, and Heroku is the leading Ruby application platform-as-a-service for Cloud 2 that is fueling this growing community. We think this acquisition will uniquely position salesforce.com as the cornerstone for the next generation of app developers.”

Byron Sebastian, Heroku CEO, also chimed in with a comment:

“We have a service that developers really love, and salesforce.com has the trust and credibility the most demanding customers expect. Together, we will provide the best place to run and deploy Cloud 2 apps. We believe this is the winning combination to bring cloud application platforms into the mainstream of the enterprise."

Ruby has a growing community of more than 1 million developers, making it the leading development language used to write next-generation social and mobile applications.

Such apps include Internet and social-media leaders Groupon, Hulu, 37 Signals and Twitter. Heroku - with its flexible and open platform - is geared to that Ruby development community.

Heroku serves customers of all sizes, in all industries, from around the world. More than 105,000 web apps run on Heroku's application platform, ranging from social media apps from cutting-edge companies like FlightCaster, which helps users avoid delayed flights, to established companies such as Best Buy, which created an app to help consumers improve their shopping experience.

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