Jive announced the availability of its Jive Apps SDK beta today at its Social Business Developer Summit at its Palo Alto headquarters. Developers will be able to build applications for the Jive Apps Market, opening in early 2011, to Jive’s 15 million users at 3,000 organizations. The SDK is free and open source and based on open standards such oAuth and Open Social, enabling developers to develop third party applications for the forthcoming Jive 5 platform using any programming language they want.

Jive will handle all the billing for applications sold through its apps store and instead of charging for the SDK, Jive will take 25% of sales of applications sold in its app store. In exchange for that 25%, according to the company’s announcement, Jive will provide the following:

  • Ensures the quality of Jive Apps by reviewing them before accepting them into the Jive Apps Market;
  • Markets Jive Apps through Jive Apps Market;
  • Sells Jive Apps alongside the Jive platform by the Jive enterprise sales team;
  • Manages the billing platform to collect subscription payments; and
  • Hosts the infrastructure to bring cloud apps into the enterprise in a secure and scalable way.

This is a big move for Jive. CTO and co-founder Matt Tucker says Jive has invested more resources into the application framework and app store than any other Jive initiatives since the company’s founding.

Jive hired Mark Weitzel, the president of the OpenSocial foundation, in November as a developer evangalist for Jive Apps. Jive also joined the board of the OpenSocial recently.

Disclosure: Jive Software paid for Klint Finley’s plane ticket and accommodations for him to attend its Social Business Developer Summit