Salesforce and Facebook just announced a partnership -- sort of

Parse, the popular app development tool owned by Facebook, and Heroku, the popular app development platform owned by Salesforce, have announced an integration that makes life easier for their mutual customers, according to a blog post published Thursday on Parse’s website.

The basic idea behind Parse, acquired by Facebook in 2013, is that it makes it stupid-easy for mobile developers to put crucial features like push notifications and analytics into their apps.

Parse has a feature called “Cloud Code” that lets an app handle heavier computing workloads than it could handle on its own. Basically, if the app has to do something that’s too intense for the phone it’s running on, Parse can shunt that bit of code to run up on the cloud.

Which is where Heroku comes in. Heroku, which Salesforce bought in 2010, is a popular cloud platform for building and hosting apps without worrying about servers. Companies like Macy’s, Red Robin, and Soylent use Heroku to quickly build and update their apps.

You may see where this is going: With this integration, Parse can kick code up to the Heroku cloud.

“We’ve created a smooth experience for you to run code on either Heroku or the Parse Cloud, and we’re excited about the opportunities this combination has to offer,” says the official blog post.

That’s important, because Heroku can do something that Parse on its own can’t.

Salesforce CEO Marc BenioffJustin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSalesforce CEO Marc Benioff

The Node.js programming language has seen its star rise in app development circles over the past several years, and Heroku has full support. So while Parse has some Node.js support on its own, using Cloud Code with Heroku offers more robust support.

Regardless, it’s still the first time Facebook and Salesforce have combined their efforts on this kind technical level since 2008, when the two companies collaborated on an integration tool. And back in 2012, Facebook and Salesforce teamed up on advertising.

Who knows? Maybe it’s a sign of things to come.

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