Since our launch four years ago, AppDirect has operated as a traditional SaaS provider by offering our marketplace capabilities "as a service" to partners in a white-labeled fashion. In practice, this means that AppDirect has served up a branded instance of our platform for every new marketplace with a customized front-end that is managed and hosted by our team.
Today, we are giving partners an entirely new way to use the AppDirect platform to power marketplace functionalities. We are proud to announce the launch of brand new APIs that will open the gates to the entire AppDirect platform. This includes our provisioning engine, our catalog of more than 150 leading cloud applications, our back-end Billing-as-a-Service engine, jBilling, and award-winning marketplace features such as single sign-on (SSO), comparison tools, ratings and reviews, a recommendation engine, and more.
What exactly does this mean? For any service provider looking to launch a marketplace, our new APIs allow for full customization of the front-end and end-user experience while still relying on AppDirect for the back-end heavy lifting that makes marketplaces so incredibly difficult to build in-house. It also means greater reach and more distribution opportunities for application providers, since they will now have the ability resell their apps through any consumer of the API.
Developing APIs is no small task, especially when they are as powerful as our new Marketplace APIs. However, we thought it was important for two key reasons. First, after launching marketplaces with partners like Comcast, Staples, Deutsche Telekom, and many others, we’ve recognized the need to rapidly iterate on a growing number of requests from our partners in a universal fashion. With these APIs, we can empower our partners to control the marketplace front end and provide a user experience that is fully customized and consistent with their core products. In effect, this frees our partners from the constraints of the marketplace framework while allowing them to use our provisioning, billing, and catalog tools to offer products to their customers in more creative ways.
Second, we all know that a massive distribution problem currently exists in the cloud. Offering APIs to tap into our growing catalog of leading applications gives providers tremendous value, particularly when it comes to expanding reach and distribution. By opening our catalog via API, any apps reseller—whether an ISPs, VARs, SaaS/PaaS/IaaS providers, or even a single developer—can now offer a curated set of applications to their customers and do it with minimal effort. AppDirect has taken care of the legal negotiations, technical integration, and packaging so that any reseller can plug-in to the API and distribute apps without the headache.
Ultimately, one of our top goals at AppDirect is to create a standard for the delivery of web-based products. With the launch of our Marketplace APIs, we’ve just taken a major step to making that standard a reality. To get more details about the APIs, read our press release or check out our Marketplace API documentation. If you're ready to dive in, sign up here to get started building with our new APIs or you can also email me directly.
Paul Arnautoff is a director of business development at AppDirect.