Enterprise 'app store' unveiled... cool idea

Summary:'I believe every enterprise will ultimately adopt the App Store as the primary model for delivering information in the future.'

Over the months, we've had occasional posts about making well-tested, well-governed services available to the enterprise through an 'app store,' just as Apple has a well-regulated site for its iPhone and iPad third-party apps.

'I believe every enterprise will ultimately adopt the App Store as the primary model for delivering information in the future.'

Steve Jobs' business model presents an interesting and organized way to acquire services and content. That is, the idea that applications (or services or whatever) are sitting out there in a common catalog, ready for use anytime you need it and send a few dollars/euros/pounds/rupees their way. Dion Hinchcliffe, an industry visionary and fellow contributor here at ZDNet, has been exploring the idea of the app store model for some time, and how its shaping our perceptions of how a software delivery system should function.

In fact, SOA infrastructures have even been compared to Apple's iTunes service, in which users pick and choose from an organized directory, knowing that everything in the service is compatible, ready to plug into a framework, and nothing will break in the process.

The app store supports an ecosystem of developers and creators, but acts as a governance mechanism to make sure the crappy and malicious stuff doesn't degrade and contaminate the ecosystem. Apple and Amazon maintain app stores that provide a consistent and reliable source for services and software.

The idea of an external 'app store' or service marketplace has been experimented with over the years, but has had mixed results. Perhaps such an internal capability will help smooth the way for the buying, selling and trading of services.

The federal government runs an app store to supply services and software to its agencies. Apps.gov, administered by the General Services Administration (GSA), categorizes available services by function (CRM, Data Management, Communications, etc.) to make it easier for federal government agencies to identify and compare products. Once purchasing decisions are made, agencies have a direct link to GSA’s online shopping and ordering system, GSA Advantage or eBuy, to make their purchase. Apps.gov also offers free social media and web 2.0 tools, such as wikis and blogs, to federal agencies. However, adoption of Apps.gov services reportedly has been slow.

That's why it's interesting to see JackBe's announcement today in this space. JackBe, an enterprise mashup software vendor, says that the latest version of its enterprise mashup platform, Presto, provides a way to create internal Enterprise App Stores. The JackBe release quotes Mirko Minnich, CTO and SVP of Elsevier Health Sciences, who said: “I believe every enterprise will ultimately adopt the App Store as the primary model for delivering information in the future.”

Something to ponder indeed.

Topics: Developer, Amazon, Apple, iPad, Social Enterprise


Joe McKendrick is an author and independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. Joe is co-author, along with 16 leading industry leaders and thinkers, of the SOA Manifesto, which outlines the values and guiding principles of service orientation. He speaks frequently on cloud, SOA, data, and... Full Bio

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