AppExchange: An On Demand Application enabled by XML and WebServices

“Creating and Using applications should be as easy as creating and using blogs” says Marc Benioff, of The announcement of AppExchange is getting a lot of attention in the technology press. While I was reading a few of these, the ZDNet blog by Phil Wainewright caught my attention.

“AppExchange from is a service that lets companies create, customize, integrate, and share on-demand applications over the Internet — all without needing to purchase or install software. The service is comprised of two main parts: the AppExchange directory, an online marketplace for sharing on-demand applications, and the AppExchange platform on which those applications are developed.” There are already several on-demand apps available here.

A developer white paper describes the essence of the service and provides a look into what makes it possible.

  • Meta-data-driven app development model
  • A Web services API that provides direct, low-level access to all data stored in AppExchange from
    virtually any programming language and platform
  • Multiple applications which share a common data model, security model and UI

But a very innovative move on part is the Directory. It is an iTunes-like Web site where visitors can share, review, demo, and install AppExchange apps. is bringing WebServices into main stream. It will be interesting to see the adoption rate.