Mike Dolan believes that we need an open API for the various App Stores that are or will be on the market soon.  He writes:

“I can’t help but think with Apple, Sun, Nokia and others with “AppStores” live and working or clones in the works, is it time to have 1 set of open, “AppStore” APIs?”

I couldn’t agree more, especially from the ISV point of view.

Most ISVs will wish to submit their applications to multiple stores.  For instance, an ISV with an application supporting Linux would want the product listed on the Novell, Red Hat and Ubuntu application stores.  Reducing duplicate, or worse, conflicting work, while packaging and submitting the application to these three stores would definitely be a good thing.

The App Store standard would be less about lock-in, since the ISV isn’t locked into any of the App Stores they’ve submitted their application to.  The standard would be about driving consistency, to varying degrees, across application packaging, submission, installation, update, etc. process.

Redmonk’s Stephen O’Grady has written about the need for an App Store for the Enterprise:

“I would love for Ubuntu, our server platform at RedMonk, to connect me back to qualified, rated community resources capable of working on the various packages available in the repository…To the extent that I would pay them for it.”

As enterprise platform vendors, at the operating system, middleware and application levels, begin to expand their App Store capabilities, the wrong path forward will be for each vendor to invest in building the store platform themselves.  The App Store isn’t going to be differentiating technology, so why invest in it individually?  A better approach is for one of these vendors to open source their existing store platform code, with the goal of building open standards based on that implementation.  Then the cost of maintaining and evolving the App Store platform code would be shared across multiple vendors.

What do you think?

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