NetSuite upgrades cloud developer tools

The company has upgraded its SuiteCloud 2.0 platform, adding cloud-to-cloud authentication, workflow management and application management
Written by Matthew Broersma, Contributor

NetSuite has upgraded its SuiteCloud cloud development platform, adding features for application management, cloud-to-cloud integration and workflow management.

The company got its start selling on-demand business applications such as accounting, ERP and CRM, but in 2009 it expanded into developer tools with the first release of SuiteCloud. SuiteCloud competes with offerings such as Force.com from Salesforce.com.

Version 2.0 of SuiteCloud, announced on Thursday at the SuiteCloud 2010 conference, is focused on improving the customisability of cloud-based applications.

For instance, the product's new single sign-on system makes it easier for cloud-based offerings to connect to other cloud applications or to on-premises software, according to NetSuite.

In addition, SuiteCloud 2.0 adds a single sign-on authentication system called SuiteSignOn that is based on the Soap standard. It allows login credentials to be securely passed from NetSuite to "virtually any" other cloud applications or to in-house applications supporting Soap, NetSuite said.

The update adds graphical workflow management software, meaning software makers can deploy cloud-based applications that can be customised to work with their users' normal business processes.

"This new capability smashes one of the final remaining myths regarding software as a service (SaaS) business applications — that they force companies to alter their normal business processes to accommodate hard-coded workflows that come with the vendor's software," NetSuite said in a statement.

SuiteCloud 2.0 also adds the deployment and upgrade tools NetSuite uses for its own software offerings, making those tools available to third-party developers. The tools are designed to simplify version maintenance and include the ability to implement phased rollouts.

SuiteCloud includes SuiteCloud Developer Network (SDN), a developer programme for independent software vendors, and SuiteApp.com, an online marketplace where ISVs, customers and other users can look for applications that may suit their business requirements.

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