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 Salesforce.com. 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 salesforce.com 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 Salesforce.com part is the Directory. It is an iTunes-like Web site where visitors can share, review, demo, and install AppExchange apps.

Salesforce.com is bringing WebServices into main stream. It will be interesting to see the adoption rate.