I’ve never used Heroku but I’ve always known it to be the premier solution for hosting Ruby apps in the cloud. The acquisition by Salesforce.com is interesting from the standpoint that Sf.com cloud app solutions have been primarily Java based. I think their broadening their strategy, and potential user-base, by opening up to more languages. Java dominates the enterprise (Yes, I know that’s a dirty word in the Ruby community.) application space which is traditional ground for Sf.com. Presumably, vmforce, Sf.com’s Java cloud app solution will service the bulk of their customers. I don’t see how they can simply merge the two services but it will be interesting to watch this evolve.
Heroku apparently has over 100,000 apps hosted. That’s damn impressive if they aren’t loosing money on every customer. According to the Heroku CEO, Sf.com want them to “keep doing their thing”, which should soothe the fears of those using the service. So that indicates that Sf.com will be providing a “right cloud for the right job” rather than a “one cloud to rull them all” approach. Possibly better for users but less efficient for Sf.com to run multiple businesses using different technologies.