As part of a concerted effort to entice developers to build applications on top of its cloud platform, ServiceNow this week opened its own app store.
Launched at the ServiceNow Knowledge15 conference, Pat Casey, general manager of the ServiceNow Platform, says the ServiceNow Store creates a vehicle through which ServiceNow can return to its roots as a provider of a cloud platform for building applications.
Known today mainly as a provider of IT service management applications that are delivered as a service, ServiceNow has always made it possible for organizations to customize its applications. Now, Casey says, ServiceNow is making it possible for developers to access isolated instances of the ServiceNow platform and the tools that ServiceNow created for that platform to develop entire applications that can now be sold via the ServiceNow store. Initial applications available in the ServiceNow store include offerings from Cloud Sherpas, Fruition Partners, and MobiChord.
Casey says ServiceNow was originally envisioned to be a provider of a plaform-as-a-service (PaaS) environment in the cloud. As the company gained momentum in the IT management space, Casey says that part of the business overshadowed the application development platform.
Now, Casey says, ServiceNow is making a renewed effort to entice developers of enterprise applications, in particular to the underlying PaaS offering that ServiceNow exposes as a service using both REST and SOAP-based APIs across 16 global data center facilities.
ServiceNow certifies all applications and integrations on the store for performance, security, and compatibility. Developers, however, determine the price of apps in the store, which customers can pay for using credit cards.
At launch, there were more than 80 certified free and commercial applications and integrations available for download. Casey also notes that developers that build applications on top of the ServiceNow PaaS should find a ready base of customers that are already using ServiceNow applications in the cloud.
While developers have plenty of options when it comes to PaaS environments, Casey says few of them are from providers that have extensive experience delivering applications into demanding enterprise IT environments. For example, Casey says that ServiceNow knows what it takes for a certified application to survive an audit in an enterprise world where the number of compliance and security issues that need to be addressed can be dizzying.
Ultimately, developers of enterprise applications generally need a lot more support than developers get by using PaaS offerings provided by larger cloud service providers. But in those instances where access to someone who can specifically address a particular technical issue, it may very well turn out that smaller service providers may be better equipped to provide higher levels of support to developers.