AppExchange critique strikes a chord and its partners may not like what I said about AppExchange, but others do. Here's what NetSuite's Zach Nelson wrote me yesterday.

I guess my criticisms of'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, and they look like pretty rudimentary customizations of'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 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's AppForce APIs. Hmm, would you call that a mash-up or a smash-up?

    Topics: Developer


    Since 1998, Phil Wainewright has been a thought leader in cloud computing as a blogger, analyst and consultant. He founded pioneering website, and later Loosely Coupled, which covered enterprise adoption of web services and SOA. As CEO of strategic consulting group Procullux Ventures, he has developed an evaluation framework t... Full Bio

    Contact Disclosure

    Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

    Related Stories

    The best of ZDNet, delivered

    You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
    Subscription failed.