Buyers passed on the domain at TRAFFIC NYC 2009, now Salesforce.com unveils Database.com

database

TechCrunch is reporting that Salesforce.com, the cloud computing company that runs the world’s #1 sales application, has launched Database.com, its enterprise cloud database.   Last year, if you recall, the domain name database.com went up for sale at the TRAFFIC 2009 New York Domain Conference – with a reserve range of $800,000-900,000 USD. 

Buyers passed on the name, with some commenting that: “Database [Database.com] is not worth $250,000 let alone $800,000!”.

Not everyone saw the potential of the name, but Salesforce CEO and founder Marc Benioff did.

Marc Benioff says: “We see cloud databases as a massive market opportunity that will power the shift to real-time enterprise applications that are natively cloud, mobile and social.”

Built to power cloud-based applications, Database.com will offer an infrastructure for enterprise apps to deliver updates and information in real-time. Developers can write their applications in Java, C#, Ruby, PHP or more and can run their apps anywhere – on Force.com, VMforce, Amazon EC2, Google AppEngine, Microsoft Azure or Heroku.

Apps can also run natively on any device, like an iPad, an iPhone, Android or Blackberry. Salesforce says that these apps can all call the Database.com APIs whether it be for a small application or for an app that supports hundreds of thousands of users.

Salesforce.com heavily invests in domain names for branding purposes.  In 2007, the company acquired Force.com.  As Andrew Allemann pointed out: “The branding change was necessary because the company has expanded beyond simply sales management.”  eWeek ran a story that discussed the domain acquisition. 

Apparently Salesforce was in negotiations for the Force.com domain with a California man who had used the dot-com designation for his company, which was named for his surname, according to media reports. Its not clear how much Salesforce paid for the right to Force.com, but the ownership of Force.com has enabled Salesforce, finally, to settle on a brand with continuity.

“We needed a name change. The message wasnt clear enough,” Benioff said during a question-and-answer session with press and analysts following his keynote address. “The key thing was getting the brand out there, a new brand. [We had] sales, service, marketing [and then] heres the platform and the UI. On the platform side, we needed a revision of naming. I did it under duress of the employees. Today I think we really got that.”

Read more about the debut of Database.com.

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