I guess my criticisms of Salesforce.com's AppExchange a few days ago (AppExchange is so 1998) probably didn't go down too well among the throngs gathered at the company's DreamForce user and partner conference this week. But I seem to have struck a chord with the views of others in the industry. Here, for example, is what Zach Nelson, CEO of NetSuite, wrote me yesterday in an email (republished with his permission):
Phil, you are a god. Your blog about the goings on at DreamForce (we call it PipeDreamForce at NetSuite) were spot-on. Finally, somebody gave critical thought to AppExchange. You are definitely right that this is SO 1998, I can't believe it.
Actually, I think it is safe to say the concept is so 1988. How many decades have customers heard "Oh yeah, my application works seamlessly with that one," only to be utterly disappointed with the results?
Also. the majority of these so-called "applications" are done by SF.com, and they look like pretty rudimentary customizations of salesforce.com's core app. Below are a few (I got tired of looking at this stuff and stopped, but there are probably another 10-15 ginned-up sf.com apps in there). And you're right, many of these (commissions, channel, etc.) need a transaction engine behind them (ie, something like NetSuite):
I know Zach didn't quite mean it this way, but I was intrigued by the idea of using NetSuite as the transaction engine for your AppForce applications. Theoretically, it ought to be possible, hooking up NetSuite's NetFlex web services API with salesforce.com's AppForce APIs. Hmm, would you call that a mash-up or a smash-up?