Appcelerator is having its first-ever developers' conference this week in Mountain View dubbed CODESTRONG. At the conference the company is announcing the "Appcelerator Open Mobile Marketplace" that is essentially a Salesforce AppExchange-like marketplace for independent software vendors and cloud providers. Appcelerator's marketplace is the first ever to bring software and solutions specifically for mobile to a centralized hub and could be an inflection point for how mobile development growth and how tools are bought and shared.Mobile cloud platform
Appcelerator, through its acquisition of Aptana this January, gives it a developer base of almost 1.5 million. The marketplace will be integrated into the company's Titanium platform and provide mobile modules, app templates, design and cloud extensions. Salesforce was a driver behind cloud development with AppExchange. Appcelerator hopes to do the same with mobile.
What's New In The Marketplace?
The idea for the marketplace will be that Appcelerator can position it to be an integral part of a developer's workflow. The company wants developers to ask on a daily basis "what is new in the marketplace that can help add functionality to our app?"
Scott Schwarzhoff, Appcelerator's VP of marketing likens it to the explosive growth of Facebook. The inflection point for Facebook vis-à-vis MySpace was when Facebook opened up its API to developers and the ecosystem skyrocketed. Salesforce and RackSpace made similar movements within the cloud and enterprise application space. Appcelerator thinks that kind of scale for developers is at hand.
"This is all about scale," Schwarzhoff told ReadWriteMobile. "From here on out it is all about the ecosystem and we think this is a good starting point."
There will be 50 premium modules in the Appcelerator Open Mobile Marketplace to start. Those include offerings from Get Glue, PayPal, AdMob, Box.net, Greystripe, Twilio, OpenGL and Urban Airship. That is a short list of what is getting offered, but think about what it can offer. Get Glue can offer a sticky social service as a module. PayPal can help integrate payments. Box.net can give an app user easy storage. AdMob provides the primary tools for advertising for Android developers.
The marketplace will not just become a place where developers check for new tools, but a central repository for functionality itself. You want to use an SDK to add payments? That can be found? An API to call on Facebook? It will be in there. One complaint I hear from many developers are that there are just too many APIs and SDKs out there and it is near impossible to sort through the mess at times. Appcelerator could position itself to cut through the clutter.
There are three main products that will be found within the marketplace. ISDs such as services with SDKs and cloud solutions will be the most valuable for day-to-day developers. Then there will be long tail functions like third party extensions that can provide certain functionality, like UI control and template provider Mosaic. The third will be design elements like OpenGL.
Mosaic is a template and theme for developers to make Flipboard-like content
There will be free services, one-time purchases, PSD files that can range from $50 to $100 and subscription modules. Appcelerator is taking the traditional 70/30 revenue split route that was popularized by the Apple App Store.
"The stage is set for enabling the entire mobile value-chain to scale their business by increasing their reach and adding innovation on top of the Titanium platform," said Jeff Haynie, CEO of Appcelerator. "This open and extensible approach represents the future of where Titanium is going as a platform and where Appcelerator is going as a company."
Top right image: VodaModo