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Following close on the heels of last month's platform news, this week is making developer news again, this time with their announcement of AppStore, their vision for monetizing the AppExchange marketplace. What is it? For customers it aims to be one-stop shopping for trying, buying and deploying on-demand applications. For developers it is a variety of commercial services and revenue sharing programs aim to make it a global distribution network to market, sell, invoice and deliver their AppExchange applications. So the last news was about technical infrastructure and this week's is about business infrastructure. For more details see Dan Farber at ZDNet.

Why is this news here? There's a lot of talk in the mashup space about how to monetize applications built on the hundreds of APIs listed here. Once you move past the simple models of ad revenue and affiliate money there are some major obstacles for small developers to overcome: sales and marketing, billing, trust (certification), support, or even annoying logistic details about selling internationally. The major API providers, especially the old-timers on the e-commerce side like eBay and Amazon, know that it takes more than just offering an API to be successful. With AppStore, is tackling another piece of the bigger picture.

And there are of course more Platform players coming. Just last week the WebEx API was listed here...

Be sure to read the next Financial article: How eBay Scales Their DevNet