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Google Opens Apps Marketplace 54

snydeq writes "Google has launched the Google Apps Marketplace, providing a venue for third-party, cloud-based applications to supplement Google's own online applications. The program enables integrations with such applications as Google Gmail, Documents, Sites, and Calendar. All told, the effort begins with 50 vendors participating, including Atlassian, NetSuite, Skytap, and Zoho. Participation in Google Apps Marketplace is open to customers of the Premier, Standard, and Education editions of Google Apps. Applications are linked to the marketplace via REST Web services and APIs including OpenID and OAuth."
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Google Opens Apps Marketplace

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  • by bertoelcon ( 1557907 ) * on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @06:31PM (#31432030)
    I don't see it here or the TFA so http://www.google.com/enterprise/marketplace/home [google.com]
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Speaking of that, does anyone else get really annoyed when the only link to the actual site/content being discussed is in TFA, when it would be trivial to incorporate it into the summary? Maybe it's just a case of Internet Bitching Syndrome (IBS), but it really sets off my sellout detectors.

      • For what it's worth, bugs the hell out of me as well. The worst is when it's some subject the geek crowd is obviously familiar with. Like ten links explaining "what a linux is" without a link to the actual download for some patch.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Fred_A ( 10934 )

      They call this a mobile app marketplace ?

      Your search - fart - did not return any listings.

      • They call this a mobile app marketplace ?

        No, this will be the Synaptic of Chrome OS. They are getting the bugs out, and more software in, before the OS is launched.

  • I see Google trying to leverage this for Android App sales.

    It will be "voluntary". For a while...
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Hype, clouds, lock-in and the anti-thesis of free-as-in-freedom software, all in one convenient bubble.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You're absolutely right. I really hope all of this bullshit ends soon, so we can get back to writing real applications that let people actually get stuff of value done.

      Eventually, even the stupidest of managers will have to realize that the marketing idiots pushing for cloud computing and "app stores" are full of shit, and fire their sorry asses.

      I never would have thought it, but it makes me yearn for the days when we wrote Java apps deployed to our own Solaris servers, and didn't have to deal with all of t

      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        The amount of aging geeks on slashdot who don't realize their situation is getting depressing. We get it grandpa, it's everyone else who's stupid because you don't get the new social trends.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tftp ( 111690 )

        Eventually, even the stupidest of managers will have to realize that the marketing idiots pushing for cloud computing and "app stores" are full of shit, and fire their sorry asses.

        The PHBs are reading trade magazines, and as long as the propaganda of "cloud *" is going strong they won't move a finger. That would also show them for fools, if after years of push for cloud they suddenly reverse the course.

        While in long term it may be better for the business to have locally deployed and executed tools, clo

        • by PCM2 ( 4486 ) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @09:36PM (#31433532) Homepage

          It's not just "instant gratification." CFOs like expenses they can get their heads around. They pay a monthly bill for the lights, for the phones, for their lease. Traditional software, on the other hand, can be pretty hard to budget effectively. How many heads do you need to count for licenses? When will the new version be released, and how long should you wait to upgrade? Sun Microsystems switched to a per-employee, per-month licensing scheme for its software (based on the total size of your organization, not the number of machines that would have the software installed) and it claimed its customers were much happier with the new way of reckoning cost.

          The other part of it, of course, is what you allude to. The sticker price of any on-premise software is just a small fraction of its total cost of ownership. You need the hardware to deploy it on, plus hardware to QA patches. But the real cost is in the ongoing maintenance required to keep it running, secure and up to date. With cloud services you roll those costs into the monthly fee. No more haggling the price of health insurance, vacation time, redundant employees for maintenance roles and the managers to supervise them. The quoted price is what you pay. That's appealing to a lot of business managers.

          • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @12:32AM (#31434534) Journal
            I suspect that they could be making a play for the smallish business segment(not that they'd actively turn down big ones; but that they have the greatest initial hopes there.

            In a large company or organization, you can afford to hire the right people and build the right infrastructure to get handy stuff like single sign on(except for that one crap legacy app that everybody hates; but so it goes), user configurations that follow users between machines, backups that actually work, a network infrastructure that isn't a complete clusterfuck, standardized hardware and system images, and the like. Plus, over a large enough userbase, the somewhat bursty and unpredictable day-to-day IT costs can be averaged into something resembling a "TCO per capita" number that isn't a complete lie, which keeps the bean counters happy.

            The smaller you get, though, the less likely that these things are true(particularly in businesses run by non techies. Your one man linux kernel development consultancy is probably Just Fine Thanks. Bob's Indy Auto Body is probably an IT disaster waiting to happen on a small scale). For a smaller outfit, having the technical expertise and infrastructure to provide the features that enterprises take for granted is hard. Having a decent admin permanently on staff is expensive overkill; but having to depend on consultants and geek squad visits is very pricey per-incident, can mean seriously uneven quality of service, and is hard to predict and budget for.

            If Google can use the third party offerings to fill out the missing aspects of its Docs and Gmail offerings(payroll, accounting, any number of domain-specific software oddities), they could have a very compelling offering for a smaller business without much in-house technical expertise: Works on basically any modern computer with a browser and an internet connection, single sign on, some degree of integration between email, documents, and calendar, and a familiar interface, backups happen silently and automatically for you, all for some predictable subscription fee. Geeks with the chops to DIY, or larger outfits who can afford proper IT staff have had all this for some time, and will be harder to sway(geeks are likely to be cheap and/or afraid of Google's sinister intentions, large outfits will have legacy baggage of one sort or another); but a lot of smaller businesses have basically the same quality IT as home users(none at all, totally fucked); but with a good bit more money on the line.
      • My God! They've outlawed desktop applications???

        It's too bad they are forcing us all with loaded guns to write cloud apps.

        It's new, so it's in the news...get it...news.... It seems to me that local apps are still going fairly strong, but someone opening an online store for software downloads wouldn't really be newsworthy. If this is just a fad, then just wait it out. People will be back to local apps momentarily.

        Is it just me or are people getting more and more adversarial about relatively minor things?

      • by severoon ( 536737 ) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @10:02PM (#31433692) Journal

        You guys don't get it. Apps developed for the cloud have to be infinitely scalable...if they don't scale well, the cloud provider is happy to just keep adding machines and charging you for your crappy workmanship. Google's App Engine (GAE) goes one step beyond by providing a container into which you can deploy your app, and the restrictions placed upon your app is to guarantee that it's well-behaved in terms of scalability.

        For all you PHB's that read this site: this is for your benefit, not theirs, to keep your technical people from doing all the stupid things they're free to do on Amazon EC2 that costs you lots of money. And it's also why companies like RightScale can provide OTT services for EC2 and charge you...to manage a lot of the technical drudgery that goes along with doing what GAE gives you for free, provided you understand why you have to comply with the requirements of their container. (Once you understand that, you realize that even if you're developing for EC2 you should follow all the same restrictions in your development anyway, or you'll end up with runaway scaling problem.)

      • by mrboyd ( 1211932 ) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @07:23AM (#31436146)
        It's not the solution for everyone but it sure is one for my 5 employees company. Google gives me an email/shared calendar/document sharing and website hosting for a ridiculously low price. We use an hosted CRM, billing and issue tracking software for a a near zero infrastructure cost and the recurring if far below what the local cisco distributor would charge us to even have 10 minute look at our setup. We wouldn't be able to afford self-hosting and maintaining a tenth of the applications we use if we had to do it in house. And most important for us at this point it works for roaming users; google app integrates well with blackberry without the need for a BES. etc.. etc..

        Last week i needed to do a quick survey of our customers about a specific point and it took me all of ten minutes to set up a form using google docs; that less than the time it would have taken me to launch emacs remember the syntax for a doctype. Sure google forms sucks for anything more complex than a five bullet points questions but it beats sending excel sheet by mail.

        Am I scared to have all my company information on Google's and third party servers, sure. We keep backups. I sometime wonder if it's a mistake but franckly at this point relying on Google to treat my data respectfully or relying on myself to do a decent admin works and fight off "Chinese" attack it more or less the same. The cloud is cheaper (for us).

        When the company will have grown (fingers crossed) we'll re-assess the situation and most likely move things back in-house. In the mean time it's a boon for us.

        TL;DR: my SMB can't afford to manage everything we use in-house. Google apps and SAAS (aka cloud) is cheaper.
  • by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @06:36PM (#31432098)
    While I see the benefits of this, I can't help but see that all these things can be easily manipulated into Google "owning" the services using this. If this was Microsoft I think that everyone would be raising red flags, but Google hasn't abused the community's trust... yet. And no, I'm not really anti-Google, I use Gmail for my primary e-mail and will be getting an Android phone as soon as a decent one comes to AT&T or I get an unlocked one.
    • by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @06:40PM (#31432130)

      While I see the benefits of this, I can't help but see that all these things can be easily manipulated into Google "owning" the services using this

      Sure. But this is still better than Apple's ecosystem.

      • by abigor ( 540274 )

        Apple has a web service ecosystem? That is news to me. How about a link?

        This Google web app store bears no relation or similarity to the iPhone app store, just so you know.

        • by Wovel ( 964431 )

          He was confused by the guy making the weird leap to Android above.

          • He was confused by the guy making the weird leap to Android above.

            No, I was just confused. The GP got pretty testy though ... probably somebody peed in his Wheaties this morning. Interesting enough, there was a Slashdot article a few weeks ago about Apple building out some heavy-duty server farms for the express purpose of competing with Google (not in the ad space, but as far as mobile services.) I haven't read any further on the subject, since I dislike anything to do with Apple and iPhones.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      I work for one of the vendors mentioned in the summary.

      Google has nothing to do with the services provided by the vendors in the marketplace aside from inviting them to participate in the first place. They certainly don't own the services or even have any control over them. We still host our product and store any data on our "own" (well our hosting partner's) infrastructure in exactly the same manner if you buy our product without enabling the Google apps integration.

  • Too much lock-in. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Seor Jojoba ( 519752 ) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @06:46PM (#31432194) Homepage
    Maybe if this was based on an open standard defining how to implement the same services on a non-Google platform, this would all be more palatable.
    • It's not restricted to Android phones, if thats what you are saying

    • by IamTheRealMike ( 537420 ) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @06:57PM (#31432298)
      OpenID and OAuth are open standards.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by erikdotla ( 609033 )

      There's no lock in. You can list an app and leave the whole thing as third party with no integration with Google Apps.

      If I'm some random Google user and I use Gmail, Calendar, and other apps every day, and I also use Joe's Hosted Task Manager, it would be very convenient for that to be in the google apps tabs and on my google apps domain.

      • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

        Can you use it without logging into a Google account? Can you use it without everything you type getting into Google's hands?
  • remember the motto (Score:3, Insightful)

    by spiffmastercow ( 1001386 ) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @06:49PM (#31432234)
    don't be evil.. yet.
  • calm yourselves (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Jesus guys, going for blood pretty early here - it's just a hosted/cloud app store where you can list stuff, and if you want to integrate your app into Google Apps, you can, but you don't have to.

    I'm really happy to see it as I don't know of many good centralized hosted app stores.

    I just listed my little niche hosted small business application and paid the $100 fee gladly. Keep in mind that you can list third party hosted applications such as hosted CRM or whatever that you might specialize in, and you abs

  • I wonder if, companies are paying to get listed google apps. Its almost like advertising, and likely instant success for companies that get listed. I think I'll think about moving my apps, to some google cloud, if it get freely listed for that. Some of the listing, like dimdim for example, have been appended with, whats the connection to google apps.


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  • I think this harms open software more than Microsoft ever has.

    Come to think of it - Microsoft with its money-grabbing ways did more in the way of pushing the open source movement than we would think. They provided the (although unintentionally) 87% of the incentive to go opensource.

  • Trusting Google (Score:4, Insightful)

    by linuxguy ( 98493 ) on Wednesday March 10, 2010 @08:43PM (#31433160) Homepage

    I don't have too much trouble trusting Google. They haven't done anything yet that would make me lose that trust. They have a lot riding on maintaining that trust with their users. I have more of a problem trusting the smaller companies (app developers) with my data. They don't depend on my trust as much.

  • And, as we role along, Microsoft has actually booted, I think, ISVs from its own Windows store, so now, there's just Microsoft selling a Microsoft stuff, and, a bunch of shareware sites with varying degrees of reputation. I think, in the long run, not having a good store is really damaging the market for Windows software. While Google and Apple get it, Microsoft seems not to.

  • ...but I'd rather keep my data and the applications I need to manipulate it on my own machine, under my own control. Even in the absence of sheer blackmail, what happens to your work when some patent/copyright troll finds a way to sue the supplier, and demands that the program you've been using be made unavailable until the case is decided?

    • but I'd rather keep my data and the applications I need to manipulate it on my own machine, under my own control.

      and then:


      Need I say any more?

      • LOL. Good line. I don't for one minute believe you're dumb enough to think that's my major e-mail addie. I use Thunderbird, by the way, for the stuff that matters...and is on my own machine.

God helps them that themselves. -- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac"