Google Apps Marketplace Stats Expected to Show Platform Success

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2010-04-08

The Google Apps Marketplace turns one month old April 9 and Google is expected to release some usage statistics to show how successful the platform has been to date.

Google launched the Google Apps Marketplace March 9 as a way to let third-party software developers sell applications that integrate with Google Apps, including Google Docs, Calendar and the Sites Web publishing app.

Google Apps customers, which include more than 2 million business and 25 million active users, can purchase project management apps from Atlassian and Manymoon or billing and accounting software Intuit, among other services.

One week after the launch, Google Apps Marketplace Product Manager Chris Vander Mey described the reception of the Marketplace as "fantastic." Vander Mey told eWEEK that four of its 50 Marketplace partners each installed 1,100 domains to hook into the platform.

That is a testament to the interest and demand for cloud computing platforms that let programmers infuse business applications with collaboration apps. Google has been busy promoting the Marketplace further since its launch.

The company has released the Gmail contextual gadgets API to show previews of documents, videos, photos, right inside Gmail messages; established a YouTube channel for third party vendors to publish videos about their apps and hosted a series of posts about Marketplace from third party developers.

Google plans some Marketplace-related sessions for the Google I/O event for next month. Tomorrow, Google is expected to release updated figures on the platform, which opens Google Apps to third party programmers wider than ever before.

David Glazer, the director of engineering for Google who is overseeing the Marketplace, told eWEEK Google created the Marketplace because it realizes it can't build everything, such as project management and payroll apps, itself.

"There's a tremendous amount of talent that wants to be build innovative software out there in areas where we won't ever be building that software," Glazer said.

Glazer also said Google was quite comfortable opening up its Google APIs to let other businesses build apps with them.

"You give people freedom with the ability to connect and guidelines for good practices and you get out of the way," Glazer said. "It's the kind of business-oriented open standards that lets customers buy the software they want from the vendors they trust, control the experiences they give their users, but with no control over how those experiences or built and who builds them. That's something that people are excited to see."

Google, which is charging developers a $100 entrance fee taking a 20 percent cut from recurring revenues on applications sold in the Marketplace, won't say how much money it expects to make from the program.

"Our first goal is to give customers and users better apps and give them apps in the way they're asking for them," Glazer said. "I expect people will buy more of stuff they like."

Meanwhile, Google has claimed it is not trying to challenge in the market for business and collaboration apps markets in the cloud.

If Google and are at war, it's a friendly one. CEO Marc Benioff is scheduled to speak at Google's Atmosphere 2010 cloud computing event for CIOs April 12.

Benioff was in New York City April 8 to unveil AppExchange 2 and a new round of beta testing for Salesforce Chatter, which infuses apps with social collaboration for enterprise workers.

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