says developer base almost doubled in a year

The new Salesforce1 platform could spark even more rapid adoption, according to an executive says it now has 1.4 million registered developers, almost double the number it had a year ago, a growth spurt one analyst called "stunning."

The newly announced Salesforce1 platform announced this week could help it grow even faster, said Adam Seligman, vice president of developer marketing, during a keynote Wednesday at the Dreamforce conference in San Francisco.

Salesforce1 provides additional APIs (application programming interfaces) and a new mobile app that serves much like a portal for's own software, as well as custom-built applications and third-party programs.

Developers can work with the platform both programmatically and with point-and-click tools. The latter will be the focus of an online course created with Udacity that requires no prior development experience. The goal is to get students interested in's technology, Seligman said.

Salesforce1 has features aimed at seasoned developers too. New APIs tap into system metadata, analytics, the Chatter social collaboration tool and other areas. The point is to make's products "API first," Seligman said.

New mobile services are also on tap, including for geolocation, identity management and notifications. And there's a new version of Heroku, the development platform for consumer-oriented applications gained through its acquisition of the namesake company. Dubbed Heroku1, it can synchronize data between a Heroku-hosted application and

Finally, there's a new command line interface for, for developers who prefer to work that way. The CLI is open source and is looking for help from the developer community to finish building it.

Many of those developers packed the keynote hall at Dreamforce on Wednesday, and more participated in a "hackathon" with a US$1 million prize for creating the best mobile app using's technology.

"You bring the energy, you bring the innovation, you bring the passion," Andrew Waite, vice president of product management, told the crowd. "You're taking the platform we've provided and taking it further than we ever imagined."

That praise reflects the fact that recognizes the multiplying force developers can have on its success if they create applications that catch the market's fancy.

"The war for developers is happening," with going up against Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, IBM and others, said analyst Ray Wang of Constellation Research.

The growth in's developer base "is simply stunning," IDC analyst Al Hilwa said via email.

That said, "the one thing to keep in mind is that developers these days are inherently polyglot and participate in many communities at the same time," Hilwa added.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is

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