Salesforce.com hopes to enhance  their public cloud play with the completed acquisition of Heroku, a Ruby platform as a service (PaaS) startup. Earlier reports placed the value of the deal at $212 million.

By marrying Heroku's Ruby focus to their own VMforce Java platform, Salesforce.com hopes to become the de facto leader in cloud application development and delivery, according to the official press release. A claimed 110,000 apps have already been written for Heroku's open Ruby PaaS - which means Salesforce.com gets a developer community built into the deal.

But beyond just market share, Salesforce's press release indicates that the two have a unity of purpose, with a mutual understanding that there needs to be an "open and portable" cloud application programming environment. In fact, Salesforce is quick to praise Heroku's multi-tenant philosophy, which they say is the hallmark of their own Force.com application platform.

Of course, they're hoping that this ideology -- coupled with the combined forces of the Ruby-on-Rails and Java developer bases will draw them a "critical mass" of customers, ISVs, and developers. It's all part of the company's recent "Cloud 2" next-generation SaaS  initiative.

The endgame, of course, is to take a larger chunk of the public cloud services market, which Salesforce estimates will reach $55.5 billion by 2014.

This leads to a TalkinCloud prediction for 2011: as the IT world wakes up to the profit potential of the cloud, we're going to be seeing a lot more action in the application frameworks and platforms space.

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