Salesforce and the Cloud: What's Really Up There?

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Apologies for starting with a bang, but we must disappoint some of you straightaway - the mythical Cloud DOES NOT EXIST.

It’s just someone else's computer.

But don't be disheartened, because the cloud, especially when it's powered by Salesforce, has a lot to offer that your local server might not.

Cloud computing, in simple terms, is the delivery of computing services - including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence - over the Internet (“the Cloud”).

Salesforce, a trailblazer in Customer Relationship Management (CRM), offers cloud-based solutions that have become an integral part of many businesses worldwide. Salesforce's cloud is a network of servers on the Internet that stores, manages, and processes data. This is different from a traditional local server or personal computer that uses its own physical hard drive.

What's multitenancy?

Salesforce's cloud solutions operate on a multi-tenant architecture, which means that multiple customers share common technology and all run on the latest release. You can think of it as living in an apartment block - everyone shares the infrastructure and security, while each tenant can customize and secure their own individual apartment.

In terms of the actual database technology, Salesforce uses Oracle Database as the underlying relational database management system. However, the data isn't stored in the traditional table-like structure you might be familiar with from other relational databases. Instead, Salesforce has a unique data architecture to accommodate the multi-tenant design.

When an organization (or 'tenant') in Salesforce needs to store data, rather than creating a new database or a new table in an existing database, Salesforce creates a new set of fields in a multi-tenant table. These tables are designed to store data from many different tenants. A specific "Tenant ID" is associated with each organization's data to ensure it is kept separate and secure.

This architecture allows Salesforce to efficiently manage resources, providing allusers with high performance, scalability, and uptime. It also makes it possible for Salesforce to deliver three seamless upgrades each year, ensuring all users benefit from the latest features and improvements without the need to manually install or update software.

It's important to note, however, that while Oracle Database is the primary relational database management system, Salesforce also makes use of other database technologies for specific applications and functionalities. For example, they use a database technology called Apache HBase for their big data and analytics capabilities.

One more thing to keep in mind: as a Salesforce user, you typically don't interact directly with the underlying database. Instead, you interact with the various applications and tools provided by Salesforce, which handle the underlying database operations for you. This means you get to focus on leveraging the powerful features of Salesforce to drive your business, rather than worrying about database management and maintenance.

Salesforce and Amazon: collaboration in the cloud

It is also worth mentioning that Salesforce and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have established a robust partnership in the cloud computing sphere, enabling developers to build and deploy customer applications that natively integrate AWS services within Salesforce. This integration facilitates seamless deployment of AWS voice, video, and AI services within Salesforce business applications. Various Salesforce products, including Salesforce Service Cloud Voice and Tableau, utilize AWS services, providing a suite of tools for contact center agents and helping organizations deploy and scale analytics in the cloud.

MuleSoft on AWS accelerates cloud adoption, connecting data and workflows from any system whether on AWS, on-premises, or in a SaaS application. Slack, powered by AWS, serves as a digital command center for engineers, improving their cloud-oriented workflows. Salesforce's Government Cloud Plus, which received temporary authorization from FedRAMP, provides a compliant and secure environment for deploying Salesforce's market-leading Customer 360 platform and industry solutions. The cooperation of Salesforce and AWS illustrates how cloud technology is transforming the way organizations manage their data and business processes, enabling them to create more innovative and effective solutions fortheir customers.

Safety First

One of the main concerns when it comes to cloud computing is security, and rightfully so. However, Salesforce has this covered. Their robust security measures include encryption, multi-factor authentication, and a dedicated team of security experts working round the clock to protect your data. While no system can guarantee 100% security, Salesforce's cloud infrastructure is designed to offer a high level of protection against threats.

So, next time you're thinking about the 'mythical cloud', remember it's not so mythical after all. It's a powerful, flexible, and secure computing solution - and with Salesforce, it's in safe hands.

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