and Google connect the clouds and Google have released developer tools tying to the Google App Engine and offered some previews of Spring '09. today extended its relationship with Google, offering tools that allow developers to access

data from Google's App Engine.

With for Google App Engine, developers can create new business applications that run on the Google and platforms.

The move today is just the latest step in's evolution beyond a Software as a Service (SaaS)-based CRM vendor and into a platform as a service. Last month, at its Dreamforce conference, the company released Sites, a website-building tool that allows users to publish data to any website. It also released for Facebook, allowing developers to use Facebook application programming interfaces (APIs) within their applications.

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Learn more about's new Sites release has moved beyond being simply an on-demand CRM vendor into a platform -- and it's not stopping there, CEO Marc Benioff said Monday at an event in New York.

"We see another vision we call connecting the clouds," he said. "When we're working on cloud computing, we're not just an island. There are other clouds emerging."

Benioff identified four major cloud computing entities: Amazon Web Services (which partnered with last month to allow developers to leverage Amazon's computing and storage with, Facebook, Google and itself.

"We have our platform for building enterprise quality applications," he said. "But what if you could start combining these four platforms to create quality applications? We're deeply integrating our cloud with their cloud." for Google App Engine includes a Python library, examples showing Python code accessing, a testing harness for the library and a wiki FAQ page on with best practices, tips and tricks.

The free tool is available at

Narinder Singh, chief marketing officer of Appirio, demonstrated one possible use for the new development tools. An online game from the consumer Web, like a virtual slot machine, could be combined with microsites for Harrah's casinos that are targeted at VIPs. VIPs visiting those sites could play the virtual slots and earn real rewards, such as show tickets, at the casinos. The slot machine could even be added to their iGoogle page. Meanwhile, Harrah's employees can follow their VIP's activity in their SFA system, building loyal customers.

This is not the first collaboration between Google and The two companies first joined forces on for Google AdWords, an application that lets users track their Google AdWords programs in In April, the two companies integrated's CRM application and Google's productivity applications.

George Hu, executive vice president of CRM at, also discussed some of the features of the company's forthcoming Spring '09 release. is combining a search tool with the content management technology it acquired with Koral. The results will allow users to select documents, like slides from sales presentations across the company, to assemble their own, personalized presentations. is also developing a de-duplication engine to eliminate ideas that are created more than once in its Ideas product, Hu said. Moving forward, that will serve as the basis of how manages data quality in all its applications.

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