Intuit has cracked open its developer doors with the launch of a new open-source community for developers interested in creating online applications for small businesses.
The community, at code.intuit.com, lets developers work with Intuit and each other to build SAAS (software-as-a-service) applications that solve important small business problems on the Intuit Partner Platform.
Intuit officials said the community is part of the company's commitment to provide an open and flexible PAAS (platform-as-a-service) offering that helps developers build SAAS businesses. The platform's recently announced Federated Application capability gives developers the ability to write applications using any programming language, host them on any cloud infrastructure, connect them to the Intuit Partner Platform and market them to millions of Intuit's small business customers.
In a July 27 blog post on the Intuit announcement, Alex Barnett, group manager of developer relations at Intuit, said:
""A few weeks ago we announced IPP's Federated Applications capability to provide developers the ability to write applications using any programming language, host them on any on cloud infrastructure, connect them to the Intuit Partner Platform and market them to millions of Intuit's small business customers."code.intuit.com is next step to developing an open small business ecosystem and we believe that by adopting the open source model for the Intuit Partner Platform, we're enabling developers to collaborate with us to enhance their applications and the platform and Small businesses will benefit from a better SAAS experience with Web applications that work together and solve real business needs.""
Alex Chriss, business leader of the Intuit Partner Platform, said, "The Intuit Partner Platform is creating a connected and thriving small business ecosystem. By adopting the open-source model, we're enabling developers to collaborate with us to enhance their applications and the platform. As a result, small businesses will benefit from a better SAAS experience with Web applications that work together and solve real business needs."
The site will host and provide early access to code, toolkits and documentation for the Intuit Partner Platform. By collaborating, sharing and improving platform components, developers can build their own businesses faster and easier and take advantage of the work of Intuit and their peers when building applications, the company said.
The first Intuit-sponsored open-source projects are designed to expand a shared infrastructure to make it easier for developers to integrate their applications with the Intuit Partner Platform. In the future, Intuit will sponsor additional projects and encourage developers and organizations to create and run their own Intuit Partner Platform-related projects.
The initial Intuit-sponsored projects under Common Public License include:
IPP Developer Toolkits: Language-binding libraries and sample code for the Intuit Partner Platform. The toolkits under development include Java, Java 2 Platform, Micro Edition (J2ME), Ruby, .NET, iPhone and others.
IPP Federated Authentication: Working and sample code for Federated authentication for the Intuit Partner Platform using SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language).
Princeussie for Flex: Adobe Flex components that extend the existing Intuit Partner Platform Kingussie frameworks.
IPP Deployer: Maven and Ant tools for deploying Intuit Workplace applications. This project is in incubation.
Meanwhile, Intuit said third-party developers already are contributing code to the community. VerticalResponse provided a sample Ruby SAML gateway that enables authentication between the Intuit Partner Platform and their application, VerticalResponse for Intuit Workplace.
"Contributing our gateway code serves two purposes," said Alan Keller, vice president of business development at VerticalResponse, in a statement. "First it will help other developers integrate their applications with Intuit's platform and bring more users to it. In addition, we expect to benefit from future code contributions the community will provide. Everyone benefits here-developers and customers alike. We're all working hard to develop great small business apps, and sharing code with Intuit's developers and others can dramatically speed up development of additional features and enhancements to our offerings. And in the end, that really benefits the customer."
Moreover, Intuit will host an Intuit Partner Platform Cloud Jam to encourage third-party developers to collaborate with Intuit on a number of open-source projects and speed up their efforts to add their own applications to the platform. The event will take place Aug. 11-13 at the company's Mountain View, Calif., headquarters. The Code Jam will also be available online with live Webinar sessions taking place throughout the week. More details are available at http://developer.intuit.com/IPPCloudJam.
"We've had an enormous level of interest from developers wanting to reach the small business market by tapping into our platform," Barnett said in a statement. "This Cloud Jam is an opportunity for external developers to collaborate with Intuit in a focused effort to help them bring their products to market quickly and help them grow their SAAS businesses."
Also, in his blog post, Barnett said Intuit has amassed a team of open-source and development community leaders to serve on the advisory board for code.intuit.com. They are:
Jay Sullivan, vice president of mobile at Mozilla.
Michael Cote, analyst at Redmonk.
C. Michael Pilato, technical lead for CollabNet's Version Control team and leader in the Subversion community.
Jason van Zyl, founder and CTO of Sonatype and one of the founders of the Apache Maven project.
Barnett added that code.intuit.com has been in open beta for a couple of months now and many more months in development.